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There’s only one thing I dislike more than hearing “I hate horror” from industry people (who then go on to capitalize from the current genre craze), and that’s: “You don’t look like a horror director.” I can tell you now that the bat wings don’t fit in cabs, and the disposable fangs prevent me from enjoying the all-you-can-eat hors d’oeurves at receptions. It’s only good manners that prevent me from demonstrating to these jackasses exactly why I like horror.

But what really irks me about these statements is just how disrespected our genre is. It’s cheap, marketable, and disposable. Sort of like porn, except with blood. And unfortunately, the current studio-released horror titles only reinforce these misconceptions.

Good horror is very hard to do, despite what non-aficionados think. It’s not about throwing more red corn syrup at the screen, or following whatever current “found footage”/shaky-cam trend is popular. It’s about creating a truly unique storyline that causes real dread, getting great performances, all while serving up enough suspense and scares and creeps to keep the audience happy. It’s as hard as producing great drama, but even less leeway. Crappy horror will result in the horror fans and community shredding you. Bad drama just goes in the discount bin.

In the meantime, maybe I should consider a better integration of personal image and product. Ah, who am I kidding? The only way I’m dressing the part is if Diane von Furstenberg puts out a line of Goth-wrap dresses.

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