Women In Horror: Selma Blair To Star In Maria Gabriela Cardenas’ Feature-Length Debut, ‘The Great Illusion’

Chris PizzelloAP Images

It’s refreshing to see the continued movement of women filmmakers creating horror movies. Last year brought us the horror anthology XX, featuring short stories from four female directors: Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Roxanne Benjamin, and Jovanka Vuckovic. The project was promoted as a film to highlight women directors in a genre that is largely underrepresented.

In addition to the abovementioned, there are a handful of women who have made horror movies, like Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) and Mary Harron (American Psycho), but it is a genre largely dominated by men (it would be a challenge to come up with 30 mainstream titles created by women, where there have been hundreds of horror films made by men over the last several years alone). But excitingly, there seems to be a surge of female filmmakers in the horror genre, and Maria Gabriela Cardenas is about to join the list.

As Deadline recently announced, Selma Blair (Netflix’s Lost in Space) has been cast in Cardenas’ horror-thriller The Great Illusion. Maria found critical acclaim with her 2015 award-winning thriller short The Grand Guignol, and fans are eager to see what she has in store with her horror feature. The Great Illusion also features a female producer, Amy Williams (The Last Treasure Hunt). Starring in films like Cruel Intentions, The Fog, In Their Skin, and the 2017 hit Mom and Dad, Selma Blair is no stranger to horror movies, and fans are likely to be excited for her new horror-thriller. The Deadline report provides the official synopsis.

“The plot follows a tortured FBI agent suffering from an irrational fear of darkness, as he investigates a mysterious former prostitute in order to catch a vicious serial killer.”

Selma Blair in the 2017 horror movies Mom and Dad.
Selma Blair in the 2017 horror film 'Mom and Dad.' Featured image credit: Momentum Pictures

A serial killer whodunnit is always a welcomed addition to the horror genre, and a film featuring an FBI agent with a fear of the dark sounds like it could create many nail-biting scenes. The featured stars include Glenn Morshower (When the Bough Breaks), Tokala Black Elk (Wind River), Kenzie Dalton (#1 Serial Killer), and Oscar Cardenas (who co-wrote the movie with his mother, the director).

The film also co-stars an impressive cast: Graham Greene (The Green Mile), Rebekah Kennedy (Season of the Witch), Trisha Rae Stahl (Kiss the Abyss), Jaime Gallagher (Pandemic), Rob Evors (I Love You, Beth Cooper), Monte Markham (The Rift), and Beverly Todd (The Lena Baker Story).

Producer Amy Williams is currently in pre-production for the upcoming horror movie Red River. Glenn Morshower is currently filming Brother’s Keeper, and Kenzie Dalton is filming the thriller Hello Neighbor. The Great Illusion is set to start filming next month.

With horror movies like XX, The Babadook, and the upcoming feature-length film by Maria Gabriela Cardenas, the genre continues to introduce audiences to a number of talented female filmmakers.