Solid stories with strong themes inhabited by compelling characters work for any genre. As you remarked about reactions from some movies you chose for your list, such as AMERICAN PSYCHO and UNDER THE SKIN, I recall how many disliked THE WITCH because they thought it wasn’t a horror film. It seems that many see gore and slashers as “horror” when they are mere subgenres. Horror is multifaceted, so why not feminism?
I also considered the engaging ROSEMARY’S BABY to be a sad tale. Yet, when Rosemary moves to rescue her “baby,” her stopping of the cradle with the knife gets me every time. It’s not that she “lost her innocence” and stands tall in the face of a new reality, but she was simply a good person who had never expected her husband to betray her. Spitting into his face sets her free from him, and as mother to a newborn anti-king, she will have power in keeping the coven at bay, and maybe instilling some humanity into the child she was forced to create. Satan may have raped her and robbed her of a normal life, but as a strong women in this new supernatural world, that strength may be the devil’s undoing.
I’m sure I need a disclaimer that a woman does not to be a mother or child bearer to be strong, and this is certainly true. However, in Rosemary’s story, this is what happened, and the coven had better watch out as the tow the line for their “master” — male and female alike — because Rosemary’s on the threshold of raising a rebel they never expected.
Be well and write on,