I met Anatasha Blakely at a film festival two years ago. She was easily one of the coolest and funniest people there. She is the embodiment of stage presence. She is also one of the most down-to-earth people you could ever meet. She was also there with her creepy little short Inch Thick, Knee Deep which was one of my favorites of the festival. A film she wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. Because I will never be as cool as Anatasha, I set out to stand next to her and live vicariously through her. Which is how I make all of my friends to be honest. I’m happy I did stand next to her at that festival because I’ve lived my best life watching her stay busy in this difficult industry ever since. If Anatasha (and her iconic coat) are on set, I’m opening my wallet without questions.
I knew this list of favorite filmmakers telling me their favorite films would become Anatasha’s problem even before I finished working out the logistics. However, I had no clue what movies she would choose. I just knew they would be the correct movies because my faves haven’t failed us yet. Happy to report, THEE Anastasha came back with a list of movies that are moments. We are truly welcome.
The Descent (2005)
Where You Can Watch: VOD
Friends get way more than they bargained for when they explore the wrong cave. I love to see women doing sporty things that I’ll never do, which is how I ended up on the Yellowjackets bandwagon. Lots of people love this movie. It’s giving lots of blood, body count, and backstabbing. Plus it makes time for monsters and tension. This is one of the easiest movies on the list to see in the DNA of Anastaha’s Inch Thick, Knee Deep.
Where You Can Watch: Paramount+ and Pluto TV
A teen is terrorized by a masked killer on the anniversary of her mother’s murder. Scream is the often imitated, but never duplicated film that shook my generation. This franchise is still killing it at the box office today because it’s that girl. Scream is culture! I’m happy Anatasha understands that. We can go back and forth all day talking about Wes Craven’s legacy, but if this and A Nightmare On Elm Street aren’t on the shortlist, then it’s an epic fail. I’m not the biggest fan of franchises, but I exclude this one when I say we need fewer of those. This movie also kicked off what I call Kevin Williamson’s 90s. It’s an iconic pick from an iconic favorite.
Where You Can Watch: Starz
A spaceship crew encounters a deadly lifeform because they refuse to listen to a woman. Sigourney Weaver went to space, and over forty years later film bros are still mad. Ellen Ripley is a final woman, and this movie is a horror movie. She’s the reason why this franchise exists, and we took a step away from the action dudes punching monsters that were saturating the genre. Let Arnold, Sylvester, and them stay in their lane. Ripley claimed space for the rest of us, and up here, “no one can hear you scream.” I’m happy Anatasha gave me a reason to share the good word again because I’m always happy to.
Where You Can Watch: Netflix
A vampire warrior is in the middle of a battle between vampires and werewolves. If you didn’t grow up wanting to be Selene, you didn’t watch this movie. Kate Beckinsale kicks so much ass while looking like she just stepped off a runway in Milan. This movie is a mood and a half. I’m screaming that it’s on the list. Also, I think I’m starting to see a theme here. Anatasha seems here for leading ladies who will put up a fight and are not afraid to throw hands. An underappreciated category, if you ask me.
Where You Can Watch: Netflix
A woman runs off with $40,000 from a client and makes the unfortunate decision to check into the wrong motel. Another iconic heroine serving looks and attitude, but men won’t let her be great. This movie might be why I’m a shower-in-the-daytime kind of girl. It’s also why I splurge for name-brand hotels in busy areas. This is probably my favorite Hitchcock film. I can also easily see its DNA in Scream’s Billy “Momma’s Boy” Loomis. I love that this is the oldest movie on Anatasha’s list because it’s one from that era that we should all be talking about for various reasons.
I told you Anatasha Blakely is the coolest. In addition to being cool, she’s one of my favorite people to be stranded in Utah with and is definitely a filmmaker to know. She rattled off these five moments of heroine horror like she had them locked and loaded for such an occasion. I love to see it! You should follow her on Instagram and visit her production company’s Darkling Films site. While on the website you should check out the trailer for Inch Thick, Knee Deep to see this superstar in action. It’ll also tell you this list of women-driven bangers was no fluke.