Horror Movie Origin Stories: Directors, Actors, and Writers on How They Fell in Love With the Genre


“As a kid, I had one particular friend who really deeply loved horror movies. In fact, his mother was in Dementia 13. His name was Jeffrey Patton, and his mother was Mary Patton, who was one of the actors in Dementia 13 [under the name Mary Mitchel], which of course was my Dad’s horror movie that he made as a young man. And we used to watch horror movies. So when I think of that genre, I think of films, and again, particularly the canon of Universal Movie Monsters.

I became very interested in makeup when I was a kid, theatrical makeup. And so Jack Pierce is sort of a hero to people who love that kind of thing, you know the Famous Monsters of Filmland [magazine]. There’s a lot of fan activity. There’s a guy named Forrest Ackerman, who I had the pleasure of meeting, and he had a wonderful selection of horror memorabilia, and he’s very generous to let me do tours of his home. In fact, I think he has the ring, Dracula’s ring from the film and had a lot of King Kong armatures, a lot of great stuff.

… I think of the horror movies, and especially this particular friend, Jeff Patton, who introduced me to all that. In terms of literature, reading, it’s not really the same, but the Grimms’ Fairy Tales are something that I had a selection of. I used to read those, and of course, they’re very outrageously kind of gruesome and kind of shocking and horror-esque. So that’s kind of what I think of when I think of horror in reading and films.”

Sean Pertwee

Star of Dog Soldiers, Event Horizon, Doomsday

“I was sort of obsessed with ghosts. With my father being an actor, we stayed many times in lots of different places, wherever he was filming we used to rent and I had a few experiences myself. My mom absolutely doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she has had the most horrendous experiences of anyone being a non-believer. I, on the other hand, do and I had quite a few experiences. Coal thrown at us, bouncing balls, all the cliche’ stuff really.

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