Wicked Seams

by: , February 6, 2024

This video looks at the work of Israeli costume designer Michal Dor on two recent Israeli Horror films, Rabies (2010) and Big Bad Wolves (2013). Dor has done wardrobe work and costume design for dozens of Israeli film and television productions over the past two decades, and won the Ophir Award (the ‘Israeli Oscars’) for Best Costume Design in 2014.

Rabies and Big Bad Wolves, both directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado, are two of the most prominent and critically-acclaimed examples of the ‘New Israeli Horror’ wave of the 2010s (Gershenson & Hudson 2019; Rosen 2020). Rabies, in particular, has been described by various critics as ‘the first Israeli horror film’ – though earlier precedents of Israeli horror can be found as far back as the 1970s, admittedly in more marginal productions that did not break into critical and public mainstream as these new films have tended to (Gershenson & Hudson 2019: 49-50). Turning to various subgenres of horror, a new generation of Israeli filmmakers has produced dozens of films that ‘deploy sociopathic violence to capture [the] nightmares of a nation through social satire’ (Gershenson & Hudson 2019: 45). Neta Alexander has described both these and numerous other contemporaneous, non-horror Israeli films as the ‘New Violence’ movement in Israeli Cinema, arguing that ‘these films confront their viewers with disturbing taboos, including pedophilia, incest, rape, and torture’, as well as issues of ‘social violence and economic inequalities’ (2016: 5).

While much has been written on the historical, ideological, and political contexts and interpretations of new Israeli horror films—and of Rabies and Big Bad Wolves in particular—in the unique context of Israeli cinema and Israeli society (Alexander 2016; Rosen 2020; Gershenson 2024), this video focuses exclusively on aspects of clothing and costume design. Combining images from both films with relevant epigraphic quotations (taken from Pterov & Whitehead 2018), and set to music composed by Frank Ilfman for the score of Big Bad Wolves, the video seeks to investigate the relationship between clothing and horror, and to highlight Dor’s significant contribution to these two pivotal works of contemporary Israeli horror.


Alexander, Neta (2016), ‘A Body in Every Cellar’, Jewish Film & New Media, Vol. 4, No.1, pp. 4–24.

Gershenson, Olga (2024), New Israeli Horror: Local Cinema, Global Genre, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Gershenson, Olga & Dale Hudson (2019), ‘Nightmares of a Nation: Israeli Horror-Satires Rabies and Big Bad Wolves’, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 44-65.‏

Petrov, Julia & Gudrun D. Whitehead (2018), Fashioning Horror: Dressing to Kill on Screen and in Literature, London: Bloomsbury.

Rosen, Ido (2020), ‘National Fears in Israeli Horror Films’, Jewish Film & New Media, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 77-103.


Big Bad Wolves (2013), costume designer Michal Dor.

Rabies (2010), costume designer Michal Dor.

Download article


Feeling inspired by MAI? Dedicated to intersectional gender politics in visual culture? Want to keep your feminist imagination on fire? MAI newsletter will help refresh your zeal for feminism with first-hand news on our new content. 

Subscribe below to stay up-to-date.

* We'll never share your email address with any third parties.


The team of MAI supporters and contributors is always expanding. We’re honoured to have a specialist collective of editors, whose enthusiasm & talent gave birth to MAI.

However, to turn our MAI dream into reality, we also relied on assistance from high-quality experts in web design, development and photography. Here we’d like to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to the feminist cause. Our feminist ‘thank you’ goes to:

Dots+Circles – a digital agency determined to make a difference, who’ve designed and built our MAI website. Their continuous support became a digital catalyst to our idealistic project.
Guy Martin – an award-winning and widely published British photographer who’s kindly agreed to share his images with our readers

Chandler Jernigan – a talented young American photographer whose portraits hugely enriched the visuals of MAI website
Matt Gillespie – a gifted professional British photographer who with no hesitation gave us permission to use some of his work
Julia Carbonell – an emerging Spanish photographer whose sharp outlook at contemporary women grasped our feminist attention
Ana Pedreira – a self-taught Portuguese photographer whose imagery from women protests beams with feminist aura
And other photographers whose images have been reproduced here: Cezanne Ali, Les Anderson, Mike Wilson, Annie Spratt, Cristian Newman, Peter Hershey