In an earlier post covering the Hellraiser and Nightmare on Elm Street movies, I mentioned that horror seems to be the most common film genre in which to find Girls Underground examples. These movies capture the darker side of the stories that literature tends to view through a lens of fantasy. A few are profiled briefly below.
Heather, a teenager, is banished to an ominous boarding school by her uncaring parents, where she butts heads with the headmistress (adversary) and her subordinates. Girls are disappearing, and things clearly aren’t right at the school. She has a friend who acts as companion but does not see her through to the end. She spends time forgetting herself. Her visions and dreams are her key to unraveling the mysteries there. But she really just wants to get back home.
A little known and disturbing gem, rich in folklore. Ada is a rare adult “girl underground” and like most of those her main objective is to rescue her child. On a visit to her ex’s house in Wales, her daughter appears to drown. Ada learns of the terrifying history of the place related to a strange cult leader and his followers, especially his daughter Ebrill who also drowned and now seems to be haunting Ada. She makes the ultimate sacrifice and delves into the Welsh underworld Annwn (not underground, per se, but under the waves), to confront the evil dead man and win back her daughter.
Carol Anne is the essence of the creepy-little-girl archetype in modern horror movies, and she is also (at least to a degree) a girl underground. Her ability to hear spirits gets her sucked into the otherworld. She is held there by the “Beast,” the main adversary. She is helped by the spirit medium. However, perhaps due to her very young age, she doesn’t have much volition – she is captured and rescued by others.
Like The Dark, this features an adult GU who must rescue her child, another mysterious girl who resembles the protagonist’s daughter, and a scary religious cult, as well as a disturbing ending where two worlds don’t quite match up like they should (strangely, they both also star Sean Bean as the father). After her daughter Sharon’s nightmares drive Rose to seek out a mysterious abandoned town, Sharon vanishes into the mist there. Rose wanders the monster-filled town searching for her, losing some companions to the monsters, and eventually must confront the cult leader and make a sacrifice in order to save her child.
Friday the 13th and Halloween
Like Nightmare on Elm Street, these both feature several teenagers being murdered throughout the movies, but end up focusing on one girl in particular, who faces off against the adversary. In Friday the 13th, it is Alice versus Mrs. Voorhees. In Halloween, it is Laurie versus Michael Myers.