Horror Heavyweights Share Their Biggest Fears and Favorite Scary Movies!
Actor - Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, Take This Lollipop, Resolution
1) The Devil
2) The Exorcist.
Actor - The Clerks franchise, Brutal Massacre
1) Being burned alive.
2) The Exorcist
Director - The Hills Run Red, Coldwater
1) My biggest fear is death.
2) George A. Romero's Creepshow is without question my favorite horror movie.
Director - Paranormal Activity; Producer - Sinister, Insidious, Insidious 2
1) The unknown.
2) The Exorcist
1) My biggest fear is waking up to find my nightmares have become a reality.
2) My favorite scary movie is the original version of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting.
Actor - George A. Romero's Day of the Dead
1) Death. Especially at the hands of pus-fuck zombies!
2) It would be a toss up between Howard Hawks' The Thing From Another World and Son of Frankenstein.
Actor - Laid to Rest franchise, Madison County
1) To be immobilized. To lose all body movement and sight, but still be able to think and feel.
2) Tomb of the Blind Dead 2 (aka Return of the Evil Dead)
Writer - Final Destination franchise
1) My biggest fear is dying a long, slow death.
2) My favorite movie is the original A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Actor - "The Walking Dead"
1) Dying alone.
2) The Omen (1976)
Author - The Vampire Chronicles, The Mayfair Witches, The Wolf Gift Chronicles
1) I'm scared of the dark and scared of ghosts! Really scared of them. Really, really.
2) Oh, I love so many scary movies. I would say The Others with Nicole Kidman is my top choice scary movie at this time. I mean there are so many subtle terrifying ghost scenes in that film. Love it.
Director - Look, Chillerama, Detroit Rock City
1) Embarrassing as it is to admit, my biggest fear is Pseudodysphagia, better known as the fear of choking to death. There's nothing romantic about fearing choking to death. It lacks the excitement of Acrophobia (heights), the romance of Nyctophobia (the dark) or the sheer curb appeal of a real in your face, chills up and down your spine kind of fear, like Arachnophobia (spiders). No, Pseudodysphagia is a blue collar fear.
It hits those of us who experience it squarely where we live. Well, technically where we eat. And it could happen at any mundane meal. The idea of abruptly cutting off a good laugh over dinner by inadvertently sucking a hunk broccoli deep into my windpipe, and not being able to breath, or wheeze, or utter any sound of distress of any kind hunches me over in dread. And once it lodges the clock starts ticking. A good Samaritan would have less than four minutes to save me from death or permanent brain injury. The hope, the entirely unreliable hope, is that someone at the dinner party or on the other side of the restaurant is skilled at administering the illusive and wholly under trained for Heimlich maneuver. Of course, part of the fear is imagining a restaurant filled with blank staring faces. Nobody knowing what to do. Waiting for someone else to take control. Or worse, someone who has no discernible idea of how to administer the Heimlich properly and finding myself slowly and painfully losing consciousness while all of my ribs are loudly snapping. I know exactly when the fear took hold. I was probably three. Perhaps four. I was sitting at the foot of my parents' bed watching my father put on his pilot's uniform while I ate a banana. I laughed. Before I knew what had happened a bite of banana was down my throat. My breath stopped and panic gripped me. I remember my father's fingers digging down my windpipe, trying to grab hold of the slippery morsel. Being that this was pre-Heimlich, he had no other field of reference. I don't remember which direction the banana ultimately went, up and out, or down. All I remember was the subsequent fear when I ate. A fear that still haunts me today.
2) I'm not going to list an obscure Italian cannibal movie or a rarely seen cult creeper that can only be found on bootleg VHS. No, my favorite scary movie happens to be the most successful scary movie in all of cinema history. The Exorcist. And no, not the "new and improved" Director's Cut released in 2000, the original 1973 cut only. The film doesn't scare me because it taps into deep religious iconography and fears that had been beaten into me from my youth, far from it. One needn't be religious to be traumatized by The Exorcist. To me, the reason The Exorcist excels beyond all others is because it's not presented as a horror film, it's a gritty 70's drama about a priest questioning his faith. LIke The French Connection before it, William Friedkin's directing style is stark, simple and almost documentary in it's no nonsense presentation. The performances are authentic, the camera work, minimalistic and there's barely a musical score. Consequently, it feels real. Sure there are some great "boo" moments, and Dick Smith's "monster" make-up is the stuff of nightmares, but Friedkin's grounded styleless style makes The Exorcist feel like it could actually happen in your town. In your house. In your soul.
Director - Alien Raiders; Production Designer - The Blair Witch Project
1) Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not really a control freak, but I am a self-control freak - and I think my biggest fear is being out of control of my body and/or my mind. When I hear about things like "trapped-in syndrome" or certain kinds of illness that rob people of their mental capacities… That shit freaks me out. I know it's supposed to be bittersweet, but books like "Flowers for Algernon" mess with my head just thinking about losing my mind and knowing I'm losing my mind.
And spiders. They scare the living fuck out of me. Little ones, big ones, poisonous ones, ones that keep other bugs at bay. In college I had a pet scorpion and my roommate had a pet tarantula - I could handle the scorpion all day but thinking about Ray's long-dead tarantula right now makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Tap-dancin' Jesus do I hate me some spiders.
2) There are so many and I desperately want to blow you away with some obscure gem that nobody's ever heard of but the choosiest of horror fans, but it's hard for me not to loop back to John Carpenter's The Thing. It manages to be grounded in a very real world of very real-feeling people where very surreal things happen, and those surreal things want to eat you. It's a movie than never takes the stupid shortcut of having people do something stupid just so the plot can be advanced, and the practical FX in that movie especially have always had a lifelike creepiness. I think I'm going to go watch it again right now.
George A. Romero
Director - Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Creepshow, Martin, Monkey Shines, The Crazies
1) Tea Party loonie, Ted Cruz.
2) The Thing from Another World
Host "Paranormal Paparazzi"; Paranormal speaker
1) Zombies, man, they creep me out. Relentless hordes of the resurrected dead is scary enough, but the idea that my loved ones could come back and try to eat me -- unless I destroy their brain -- just really eats at me (ahem). Outside of zombies, the closet thing to a "real" fear I have is cockroaches. I grew up in Florida, where nothing ever dies, it just gets bigger. Cockroaches are disgusting, flying, swarming creatures that can survive an apocalypse. Come to think of it, they are kind of like the zombies of the animal kingdom. Give me spiders, snakes, sharks or anything else traditionally freaky -- just please keep me away from the cockroaches.
2) I saw Night of the Living Dead when I was too young and I think that legitimately did some damage to me. But 1980's The Children seems to have stuck in my head more. The low-budget horror about atomic zombie kids with black fingernails who kill adults through hugs makes me never want to procreate. Not surprisingly the Stephen King-penned "They're Creeping Up On You" chapter of Creepshow still disturbs me. While Romero messed with me with NOTLD," it's this cockroach horror story that continues to churn my stomach. I nearly lose it when the buggers crawl out of Upton's mouth. As a runner-up, the scene in Jaws when Ben Gardner's corpse floats up and startles Hooper makes me jump every time.
Director - The Blair Witch Project, Altered, Exisits, Seventh Moon, Lovely Molly
1) Other than something bad happening to my kids - being buried alive is my biggest fear.
2) The Exorcist. It just freaks me out so badly.
FX Legend; Actor - Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn, Machete Kills
1) Crazy People!
2) The Exorcist.
Actor - Night of the Living Dead; Our favorite Ghoul Next Door
1) I have so many fears it's hard to know which one to list. I think the main one is a fear of losing my mind/getting dementia.
2) Favorite scary movie of all time: Jaws
Director - Dark House; Writer - Tales From the Hood
1) The suffering that often proceeds death.
2) Rosemary's Baby.
Actor - Nightmare Man, Night of the Demons (2009)
1) Heights, and being kidnapped and forced to live in some freak's basement.
2) The original A Nightmare on Elm Street and also The Conjuring. Special nod to the campy Motel Hell and Attack the Block.
Author and Splatterpunk icon
1) Drowning in bullshit. (But any shit would be pretty bad.)
2) My scariest favorite movie is Jacob's Ladder. My favorite scary movie is like a hundred-film-long human centipede of cinema greatness that I could spend all day enumerating. Let's call it DAWN OF ROSEMARY'S EXORCIST MEETS DEAD ALIVE INHUMAN RESOURCES FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, ASKING WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN TWIN PEAKS, CREEPSHOW STYLE, WITH A SIDE OF SANTA SANGRE AND AN ORIGINAL TEXAS CHAINSAW PSYCHO OF THE LIVING DEAD MESSIAH OF EVIL, STARRING DR. PHIBES, SHAUN, MAY, AND THE LORDS OF SALEM, WITH SPECIAL GUEST HENRY, PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL SHINING VIDEODROME FLY BROOD THING ALIEN PHANTOM OF THE CARRIE-DICE (NOW WITH MARTYRS, TARGETS, AND A TWITCH OF THE HOWLING BLACK SABBATH PRINCE OF DARKNESS!)
Actor - Paranormal Activity
1) I don't want to tell you my biggest fear, because a voodoo witchdoctor might use that information to control my brain. That shit is real!
2) Paranormal Activity
Producer - Feast, Pulse, The Prophecy
1) Public speaking.
2) Little Miss Sunshine. Those little beauty queens scared the shit out of me.
Director - Grace, Dark Summer
1) Down time. And maybe dying alone, or something boring and existential like that.
2) Jacob's Ladder. But this is a difficult question.... Aliens, Alien, The Thing, The Shining... Impossible to decide.
Co-director - American Mary, See No Evil 2
1) My biggest fear is Sylv dying. I would go dark Willow if that happened.
2) John Carpenter's The Thing and American Psycho.
Co-director - American Mary, See No Evil 2
1) I'm afraid of commitment (truthfully).
2) American Psycho and Antichrist.
Director - The Last Exorcism
1) I always thought it would suck to do arts and crafts and accidentally get one eyeball super-glued to an anvil and the other to a helium balloon. It sounds crazy but it's true.
2) Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho always terrified the shit out of me.
Director - Witchboard, Night of the Demons, Brain Dead
1) My in-laws. Ha! (Although Uncle Creepy is a close second) Editor's Note: It's always friggin' me.
2) The Exorcist
Actor - "The Walking Dead," The Devil's Rejects
1) Getting curb stomped like in American History X.
2) Rosemary's Baby
Former Fangoria editor
1) Fatal, lingering illness
2) Psycho (1960)
Actor - The Candyman franchise, the Hatchet franchise, the Final Destination franchise, Night of the Living Dead (1990)
1) When I was a kid deathly afraid of earthworms.
2) Rosemary's Baby.
Former editor - Rue Morgue Magazine; Director - The Captured Bird
1) As a mother, that one's easy: birth control failure.
2) There are many. But I always defer to John Carpenter's The Thing when forced to choose. A near perfect film that's just as effective today as it was the day it was released (when it was panned by critics who later ate their words). A Lovecraftian masterpiece.
Actor - "The Walking Dead," The Exorcist III
1) Getting eaten by walkers.
2) The Thing From Another World
Director - A Horrible Way to Die, You're Next, V/H/S/, V/H/S/2
1) Being hyper aware of a slow painful death.
2) It's a tie between The Shining and Alien.
Actor - Shelly in Friday the 13th Part III in 3D
1) That I will go through life without making sweet love to Uncle Creepy. Editor's Note: See what I mean?
2) George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead
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