Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Heath Holland On...Talking Horror With my Daughter

by Heath Holland
Hey, gang! Hollywood Horrific Heath Holland here! I recently sat down with my nine-year-old daughter, who is a burgeoning horror aficionado, and asked her some questions about the genre we all love. Here’s what the Horror Kid has to say about monsters, black and white movies, and what makes horror so much fun to watch.

Horrific Heath Holland: I’m here talking with my daughter about horror and scary movies. Tell me, why do you like scary movies?

Horror Kid: Because they’re scary and fun. I like to watch the different monsters and see how they look so I can compare them to each other. I like to see how their personalities are different.

HHH: Okay! Do you have a favorite scary movie?

HK: I think it’s Dark Night of the Scarecrow.

HHH: You just saw that one yesterday.

MRS. HHH (interjecting): Are you saying Dark Night of the Scarecrow because you just saw it?

HK: *Sheepish nod*

HHH: Okay, but it does seem to have made quite an impression on you. You hated scarecrows before you saw the movie, but now you can’t stop talking about them and you wanted to make a scarecrow after you saw the movie. What do you like so much about Dark Night of the Scarecrow?

HK: I guess I like it so much because there was a ghost INSIDE the scarecrow.
HHH: It’s really creepy, but also a really neat idea that scarecrows can come to life. What’s the first scary movie that you remember liking?

HK: The Wolf Man (1941).

HHH: What did you like about The Wolf Man? Because earlier today you told me you remembered seeing Frankenstein before The Wolf Man. What is it about The Wolf Man that makes you think of it as the first one you actually really liked?

HK: I liked The Wolf Man better because it has wolves in it and I like wolves, and it has a man who turns into a wolf. I just liked it better.

HHH: You know, that movie came out ten years after Frankenstein, so do you think that has something to do with it? It’s just a little bit more polished?

HK: Yes.

HHH: What are your favorite kinds of scary movies? Like a theme, such as vampires, or ghosts, that sort of thing?

HK: Creatures.

HHH: So, like, supernatural animals or creatures that don’t exist in real life? Monsters, and that sort of thing?

HK: Yeah!

HHH: Is it more fun for you if a scary movie is really scary, or would you prefer it to just be less scary?

HK: I think it’s more fun for them to be scary. But it depends on the movie.

HHH: Do your friends like scary movies?

HK: If you showed my friends X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), they’d probably be in bed shivering, afraid that they’d end up with x-ray eyes. That would be really scary for them.

HHH: We should point out to everyone reading this that you stay up with me every Saturday night and watch Svengoolie (an American late-night horror movie host) for as long as you can keep your eyes open. You’ve also seen a lot of classic horror movies, from the Universal Monsters to a lot of Vincent Price’s movies and even several of the early Hammer films and American International Pictures horror movies from the 1950s and early 1960s.

HK: Mmm Hmm.

HHH: On that note, does it bother you when a movie is in black and white and isn’t in color? Does it make it any better or worse?

HK: No, it’s basically the same as being in color.

HHH: Does black and white make a movie more or less SCARY? You can’t see red blood in black and white. Does that matter? HK: No.
HHH: Do you prefer live-action scary movies or animated scary movies?

HK: That’s hard. I think I like live-action a little bit better.

HHH: Why do you think that people like to watch scary movies?

HK: Because it’s like Halloween. It’s just fun. It’s a good time.

HHH: You don’t really have to worry about real-life problems when you’re watching a lot of scary movies, right? You can forget yourself in the reality of the movie you’re watching.

HK: Right!

HHH: Although a lot of scary movies that you haven’t seen are very much about real life problems taken to the extreme, like people going on vacation and getting kidnapped by bad guys, or something like that.

HK: Ooooooh.

HHH: Yeah, I don’t really like watching horror movies like that these days. I like movies that are scary but don’t forget to be fun at the same time. I think that’s really what makes a successful horror movie, when it remembers that we love Halloween because it’s creepy in a fun way.

HK: Yes!

HHH: On that note, if you had to pick three movies to take with you to a desert island and could only watch those for the rest of your life, what would they be?

HK: The Wolf Man and The Monster Squad and Dark Night of the Scarecrow.*Laughs*

HHH: Okay, Wolf Man because it’s the one you remember liking first, and Dark Night of the Scarecrow because you said it’s your favorite and you really love creepy scarecrows now. Why The Monster Squad? What about that movie did you like?

HK: It had Frankestein, Wolf Man, The Mummy, and Dracula, and the kids were trying to protect their town--the world--by getting that amulet. And the Fish Man was in it, too.

HHH: The Gill-man from The Creature from the Black Lagoon?

HK: Yeah!
HHH: You get a lot of monsters all at one time in that movie, don’t you? How do you think the Wolf Man in The Monster Squad compares to the one from the 1941 version of The Wolf Man?

HK: *silence*

HHH: Wolf Man is Wolf Man? They’re the same to you?

HK: Yeah.

HHH: Alright. Is this your favorite time of year, or does Christmas beat it?

HK: This is my favorite. *thinks for a while* Well, I think Christmas beats it just a little bit.

HHH: Yeah, it’s hard to compete with Christmas, with presents and all of your family getting together. But there’s not much that’s better than watching scary movies for the entire month of October.


HHH: Well, thank you for taking the time to sit down and join us today.

HK: You’re welcome!


  1. This is so adorable. And good parenting to you for raising a kid who doesn't mind black and white! We need more intelligent people like that in the world!

    1. Not that long ago, she said that they named their favorite TV shows in school and hers was I Love Lucy. I'm honestly not sure she even notices if something is in black and white anymore.

  2. Sweet article, Heath. I try not to wish away my son's infancy because I know he's going to grow up too fast anyway, but if there's one thing I CAN'T WAIT for it's to watch and talk movies with him - I hope his taste is as good as your daughter's - Monster Squad is the best! On her advice I will check out Dark Night of the Scarecrow! :)

    1. Thanks! Yeah, never wish the time away; I'm sure this time next year she'll think Dark Night of the Scarecrow is ridiculous (because it is), but I was impressed with how much of a handle she has on things, and I thought her answers were pretty good. Why does she like horror? Because it's FUN. It's fun to get scared when you know everything is going to be alright, and her answer served to remind ME that I enjoy horror most when it remembers to be fun AND scary. Then again, she might very well have picked that attitude up from me in the first place, but that's okay. It's all about tension and release, like what I'm doing with my butt muscles right now.

    2. She's wise beyond her years - it's taken me until recently to realize that I don't particularly enjoy movies that make me feel queasy with thoughts of the inevitable, possibly horrible, deaths of me and my loved ones. With a few exceptions (namely Craven's The Last House on the Left because I haven't seen it and the blu-ray was on sale cheap) I plan on trying to keep the fun in my horror this SMM. Just got back from The Visit and it fits that bill pretty well.


  3. That was adorable! I'll also follow Horror Kids advice and check out "Dark Night of the Scarecrow". My little guy is still way to young and wife to unwilling, but luckily, in the meantime I can count on my dog Mouse to trooper through this with me (hence Mouse Dog). Thanks for the good read.

  4. My own daughter is seven and her most frightening movie so far is the Dark Crystal. To b e fair, I only showed it to her because it scarred me as a kid too. Can't wait to slowly corrupt her mind. Parenthood!

    1. Nice! If I were you, I'd wait until she's AT LEAST eight to show her The Devil's Rejects. Any younger than that, and all she'll talk about is wanting some Tutti Frutti.