Is Promising Young Woman a Scary Movie?

When it comes to the film “Promising Young Woman,” there is a lot of debate over whether or not it can be classified as a scary movie. This dark thriller has received critical acclaim for its unique take on revenge and justice, but does it fall into the horror genre? Let’s take a closer look.

The Premise

“Promising Young Woman” follows the story of Cassie (played by Carey Mulligan), a woman who dropped out of medical school after a traumatic event involving her best friend. Years later, Cassie spends her nights pretending to be drunk in bars and clubs, waiting for men to try and take advantage of her. When they do, she reveals her sobriety and confronts them about their actions.

The Themes

At its core, “Promising Young Woman” is a film about sexual assault and the ways in which society often fails survivors. It tackles heavy themes such as victim blaming, gaslighting, and rape culture. These topics are undoubtedly frightening in their own right, but does that make the movie a horror film?

The Genre Debate

Some viewers argue that “Promising Young Woman” should be classified as a psychological thriller rather than a horror movie. The tension comes from Cassie’s elaborate schemes and her quest for vengeance against those who wronged her friend. The film is certainly suspenseful at times, but it doesn’t rely on jump scares or other traditional horror tropes.

That being said, there are definitely moments in “Promising Young Woman” that will make your heart race. Without giving too much away, there are scenes that are undeniably tense and unsettling. These moments may not fit neatly into the horror genre, but they still elicit fear from the audience.


So, is “Promising Young Woman” a scary movie? The answer is complicated.

It’s not a traditional horror film, but it does contain elements of suspense and fear. Ultimately, the movie is more concerned with exploring complex themes and telling a story than it is with scaring its audience. Whether or not you classify it as a horror movie is up to interpretation, but one thing is for certain: “Promising Young Woman” is a thought-provoking and unforgettable film that will leave you on the edge of your seat.