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10 Random Horror Movie Questions with BJ Colangelo

No two horror fans are alike, and our differing tastes is a large part of why horror remains such a successful genre.  Fear is universal, but what exactly inspires that fear varies from person to person.  Over on Halloween Love, journalist John Squires tagged me in a “10 Random Horror Questions” survey that’s been circulating on YouTube.  Getting to know a writer can help you determine who’s opinion you most align with when looking for film recommendations. I challenge the rest of the Icons crew to do the same.

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1. What was the first horror movie you remember watching?
My mother has always loved horror movies.  My dad was the type of person that loved to scare other people, but hated being scared. This meant that my mom would often watch horror alone, until they had me.  Thinking that I would just be too young to remember, my mom would sit me down and let me watch anything and everything.  STEPHEN KING’S ‘IT’ came out the year I was born, so it always held a special place in our lives. I was about four years old when someone gifted my mother the VHS box set and we watched it together. I don’t remember being scared, but I did have a serious case of Coulrophobia until I was in college.

2. What is your favorite horror movie?
Much like what John Squires said in his survey response, I hate this question. There’s a big difference between “favorite” and “greatest,” so it’s difficult to answer. If you’re asking for a film that changed my life, I’ll tell you LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. If you’re asking for a film that greatly influences me, then it’s I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE.  As far as a favorite, I’d probably have to say FRIGHT NIGHT. It’s without a doubt the film I’ve watched the most over the years, and it’s the one film I absolutely never get sick of. I still laugh at all of the jokes, Chris Sarandon’s Jerry Dandridge still gives me the vapors the way it did when I first watched it at age 12, and the soundtrack is still as awesome as it ever was.

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3. What is your favorite horror movie sub-genre?
If you’re new to my writing, this is where I’m going to lose a lot of you. I am a jazz squaring, tap dancing, belt singing, musical theatre maniac.  The fact that there is an entire subgenre that combines my love of horror films with my love of musical theatre is a godsend.  LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, STAGE FRIGHT, and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW are all films that I will cherish for the rest of my life. On the stage side of things, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MUSICAL, EVIL DEAD: THE MUSICAL, SILENCE! THE MUSICAL, BAT BOY, and YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN: THE MUSICAL! are ones that take some of my favorite source material and make them even freakin’ better. Whether it’s POULTRYGEIST: NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD or CARRIE: THE MUSICAL, you can bet your ass I’m super into it.

4. What horror sub-genre scares you the most?
I can’t deal with the trapped/abandoned subgenre. FROZEN and OPEN WATER make me stress-itch. It’s way, way too close to being within the realm of possibility and gives me genuine nightmares. I am a big scaredy cat when it comes to home hauntings as well, but something about being left completely on my own is enough to make my heart race. Whenever I drive, I always say “I don’t trust other people, but I surely trust myself.” This is true, I do trust myself, and I trust myself to know that if I was trapped in the ocean or on a ski lift, I would fucking die.

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5. What is the last horror movie that actually scared you?
IT FOLLOWS. Given my favorite extra-curricular activity, there is no way there isn’t some weird version of my grandmother, or a super tall man, or a girl pissing her pants coming after me. I left the theater and legitimately checked my rear-view mirror probably twenty times on the five minute ride home from the screening.

6. Who is your ultimate scream queen?
I like to keep it old school. Hazel Court. Educate yourselves. She’s a goddess.

7. What is a concept that you would like to see in a horror movie?
I am really interested in the aftermaths of the stories we are already familiar with. What happened to the city after the events of THE MIST? What are the group therapy sessions like now in the world of SAW? I’m much more interested in the story of human perseverance. I know there are films coming out soon that explore this sort of concept, but this could be a really neat way to pay homage to the films we love without outright remaking them.

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8. What is your favorite onscreen kill?
I love gory horror films, but subtlety has always gone a long way with me. The infamous pool sequence in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is one of the creepiest kill scenes of all time. First of all, it’s beautifully executed. It showcases just enough gore to amp up its brutality, but it never once drops into overkill territory. At the same time, it’s a kill sequence that we’ve been waiting for the entire film, and we cheer that it’s happening.  That is, until we remember that we’re eagerly supporting the massacre of five pre-teen boys. That’s the power of this scene. We forget about our morality and care only about the poetic justice of the film.

9. What is your favorite horror franchise?
I’m definitely showing my age with this one, but I cannot get enough of the FINAL DESTINATION franchise. I’m not saying that it’s “better” than TEXAS CHAINSAW or HALLOWEEN or NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET or anything. I am completely aware that all of the films in the franchise are a hot mess, but the fact the franchise is interconnected from the first all the way to the last and are filled with unique kill sequences consistently keep me entertained. I willingly watch all of these installments out of order for no apparent reason, because I think they’re fun.  The other big franchises all suffer as a whole because they each have one film that is leaps and bounds better than anything else in the canon (usually the first film).  For the most part, the FINAL DESTINATION films are teetering about the same level.  The generations before me were taught to fear “bad guys” or “stranger danger,” which makes characters like Freddy/Michael/Jason/Leatherface work so well. However, I was born in 1990, a generation raised to fear EVERYTHING. FINAL DESTINATION was the horrific answer to new age parenting styles, and I think it’s a major part of why I love the films the way that I do. In case you’re wondering, I rank them 1,5,2,3,4.

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10. Who is your favorite horror director?
It would be really easy to cite a Craven, Carpenter, or Cronenberg, but Joe Dante has made more films that I vehemently love. GREMLINS, THE HOWLING, and MATINEE are all horror films that I use as litmus tests to see if I get along with a person. His non-horror films also tickle my inappropriate sense of humor, and his films have always really spoken to me on a weird personal level. In addition, he was the creative mind behind the kid’s television series EERIE, INDIANA which arguably is one of the major inspirations for my love of horror. It was my gateway drug, so to speak, into the world of the weird, and Joe Dante delivered it to me on a silver platter.

 

Edit: The original creator of this survey is That Horror Whore on YouTube.

  • Regulator

    I love Matinee too. The best scare to me isn’t even the Mant movie. Its the boy who dreams of a nuclear explosion. It’s a moment during that time when people felt such a strong yet real premonition of death. Luckily, Dante cast John Goodman in a William Castle role for the proper lightness.