Promising Young Woman (2020)

Promising Young Woman (Fennell 2020)

This episode we return to the rape-revenge sub-genre with Promising Young Woman by Emerald Fennell. This is a sub-genre for which the films, by virtue of the very topics they address, are particularly difficult to construct responsibly. It is also due to these very concerns that we have done an ongoing series devoted specifically to these films. Promising Young Woman is as compelling as any film in the sub-genre we have seen. It does live up to its laurels of “changing the game” of the rape-revenge sub-genre . Join us as we explain why.

Check out our episodes on other rape-revenge films including I Spit on Your Grave, Last House on the Left, Revenge, and others.

There is lots more of our podcast, please listen, review, subscribe, and tell your people whatever side of the Further they are in!


Promising Young Woman (Fennell 2020) – please watch the film before listening!
I Spit on Your Grave (Zarchi 1978)
Funny Games (Haneke 1997)

TOPIC INDEX – Promising Young Woman (Fennell 2020) (times are approximate) 

0:35 – Introductions
5:50 – Movie discussion begins
6:30 – more on spoilers
7:20 – suffering for the sake of the message
11:50 – overall reaction
12:30 – genre: not horror but still a rape-revenge film
14:45 – imagined vs actual
17:00 – rape revenge
18:00 – leveling up the argument
23:30 – strengthening the argument with empathy or not
31:30 – atonement
34:30 – does the high road work?
40:00 – punishment
49:00 – expanding the argument
55:00 – accountability, vigilantism, failed social justice systems
1:03:00 – the police
1:10:20 – individuals and institutions
1:17:00 – protecting the accused
1:19:30 – vigilante justice vs systemic change
1:25:00 – social change
1:28:50 – smaller concerns
1:37:00 – Grading the film using the Collective Nightmares Evolving Rubric of Social Responsibility
1:41:30 – not showing the assault
1:49:30 – evolving the rape revenge sub-genre

Related Episodes
I Spit on Your Grave (Zarchi 1978)
Revenge (Fargeat 2017)
Last House on the Left (Craven 1972)
Funny Games (Haneke 1997)
The Comedian (Harris 2019)
The People Under the Stairs (Craven 1991)
Swallow (Mirabella-Davis 2019)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 87

horror, podcast, sociology, pain, empathy, sin, punishment, rape revenge, sexual assault, gender, rape, nuance, gray area, realistic argument, atonement, violence against women, penance, regret, justice, vigilantism, vigilante, boys club, men, coercion, mise en scene, production design, critique vs glamorize, rape culture, institutional sexism, micro, macro, social change, believe victims,