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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? The Visit

Where Are the Women? The Visit

The two adult women here are defined solely as mothers, but at least there is a teenaged female coprotagonist who is not defined by her gender.

BASIC REPRESENTATION SCORE: +10

+10
Is there a female character with significant screen time who grows, changes, and/or learns something over the course of the story? (for an ensemble cast, or a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]

FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE: +2

+2
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]

THE MALE GAZE SCORE: 0

[no issues]

GENDER/SEXUALITY SCORE: -5

-5
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [why this matters]

WILDCARD SCORE: 0

Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

No.

TOTAL SCORE: +7

IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: The two adult women here are defined solely as mothers, but at least there is a teenaged female coprotagonist who is not defined by her gender: she could have easily been played by a boy, and she has a nontraditional (for depictions of teen girls on film, at least) interest in filmmaking. On the other hand, this is basically a horror movie, a genre that always seems to enjoy putting girls and women in jeopardy, as if it’s all extra scary when girls and women are the ones in danger.


Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Visit! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of The Visit.

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)


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