A1 Journal article (refereed)
Blood-Red Relations In and Out of Place : Women’s Self-Harm and Supernatural Crime in The Moth Diaries (2022)

Kosonen, H. S., & Greenhill, P. (2022). Blood-Red Relations In and Out of Place : Women’s Self-Harm and Supernatural Crime in The Moth Diaries. American Review of Canadian Studies, 52(1), 83-98. https://doi.org/10.1080/02722011.2022.2028250

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKosonen, Heidi S.; Greenhill, Pauline

Journal or seriesAmerican Review of Canadian Studies



Publication year2022

Publication date02/01/2022


Issue number1

Pages range83-98


Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Web address of parallel published publication (pre-print)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83578


In Canadian filmmaker Mary Harron’s The Moth Diaries (a Canadian/ American/Irish co-production), exploring adolescent girls’ friendships and self-harm in a boarding school setting, blood is out of place. It drips from the protagonist’s father’s wrist artery, willingly shed in suicide; involuntarily tarnishes her nightgown as menstrual blood; falls on the school director’s china figurines as nosebleed; and pours in the school library as a vampire-invoked rain. Moth uses blood to manifest the suicide contagion that Rebecca fears she has inherited from her artist father. Blood also signifies her resistance and recovery, enabled by her difficult relationship with her schoolmates, erstwhile best friend Lucy, and vampire Ernessa. Blood functions as a material marker of transition from girls’ childhood relationships that mainstream Anglo-American films often render passive and vulnerable, and marks same-sex attractions of different types of friendship and love. It symbolizes and draws attention to harms and crimes in interpersonal violence, paternal abandonment, and self-damage. Our focus on relationships between so called “blood kin” and the idea of blood relations weaves into our discussion of female agency, woman identification, and queer affinities through Moth’s out-of-place ontologies for blood as not only conventionally abject, but also a sacralized substance and symbol.

Keywordsbloodgirlswomanhoodsexuality (sexual orientation)suicidesupernatural creaturesvampireshorror filmsfeminist aestheticsfeminist media studiesfilm research

Free keywordsThe Moth Diaries; Mary Harron; vampires; blood; feminist film analysis

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-15-06 at 00:25