Horror Through My Eyes with…Emma Dark

Emma Dark - Headshot 2020

For the latest edition of Horror Through My Eyes, we are joined by actress/director/producer/writer Emma Dark to discover the horror films that have shaped her career so far.

The Horror Film That Makes You Sick –
Not specifically one film, but the initial retransformation of Uncle Frank (brain and spinal cord) in “Hellraiser” (1987) is pretty grim.

The horror film that scares you the most –
“The Exorcist” (1973). I slept with a bible and crucifix under my pillow the first time I watched it, just in case!

The Horror film you can only watch alone –
I watch many films alone, and this isn’t horror as such (although it is truly horrifying) but I would say “Threads” (1984). It’s so utterly grim and bleak I’d feel bad subjecting others to it. It’s a great film, and in my all-time top ten film list, but it is a very heavy watch.

That horror film you own but secretly hate –
I really like the concept of the films, and some of the later instalments, but the “Friday the 13th” films have never really done it for me. I love the whole concept of Jason, the styling, it’s absolutely amazing, but I’ve just failed to get into the series in the same way most people I know have.

Your horror guilty pleasure –
I don’t know if this is really a guilty pleasure, but “Demon Under Glass” (2002) has a fantastic storyline, yet seems to only have a 5.1 on IMDb. I think it’s great!

That horror film with a better cast than its script –
Probably quite a few! There are a lot of horror remakes that tend to fall in this category. After all, the script should be great, but somehow something tends to be missing. “The Wicker Man” (2006) is probably a good example. I’m sure everyone did a fantastic job individually on the production, I’d never fault a film for that, I know how much hard work and effort goes in as a filmmaker myself… Nicholas Cage is an extremely talented actor, and although the film didn’t need remaking there was an amazing plot to work with, but it somehow just fell short.

The horror film you have rewatched the most –
Probably “Child’s Play” (1988). What can I say, Chucky is adorable!

That horror film you have owned on VHS, DVD and Blu Ray –
I sold off most of my VHS cassettes many years ago unfortunately and only retained a few films I hadn’t upgraded to DVD at the time. So I’ll say “Child’s Play” (1988), one of my favourite horror films.

Your scariest cinematic experience –
“Hereditary” (2018). The ‘car scene’ was more shocking than terrifying, what is left to your imagination was absolutely chilling.

That horror film you need a shower after watching –
Probably any of the “Hostel” or “Saw” films! Or “Cannibal Holocaust” (1980), which makes my skin crawl!

The horror film that made your jaw hit the floor –
More of a dark Sci-Fi, I’d say “Under the Skin” (2013). It wasn’t what I was expecting and was delightfully dark and art house! I really like a film that can leave you thinking about it for days and days.

A horror film you used to love but now despise –
I’m not sure I really despise any horrors I used to love. I think sometimes you get over-familiar or a little bored with some films you watch repeatedly over the years, and some films do appear dated after some time.

On the flipside, a horror film you despised but now love –
If I don’t like something I generally don’t change my taste or grow to like something many years later. I might become interested in different sub-genres over time, but if I’ve already seen a film and didn’t like it I don’t usually change my mind. Of course, there are some films I also have a love/hate relationship with too!

The horror film you laughed the most at that isn’t a comedy –
Actually, a true crime film based on spree killer Andrew Cunanan – “The Versace Murder” (1998). Not a subject to be laughed at, but the lines had me in stitches throughout the entire film. Also, I managed to pick up a version with no score, later to find famous horror composer Claudio Simonetti’s name cited at the end. What happened with the score who knows!

What is the craziest practical effect you have seen in a horror film –
I think “The Void” (2016) topped it in general for weird, Lovecraftian, practical effects for me. I’ve watched too many films to cite just one effect I think.

The film that you introduced family or a friend to that you wished you hadn’t –
Perhaps “Nosferatu in Venice” (1988). The second film selection at one of only two public film nights I’ve ever hosted. I thought it would go down a storm amongst horror fans, but quite a few viewers were genuinely offended by the revival of Klaus Kinski’s portrayal of Nosferatu in this particular instalment, citing the marked change in his character as repulsive and sleazy. It was a very different follow up to “Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979), but worthy viewing, at least so I thought!

Watch Emma’s latest short film Salient Minus Ten below –

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