Wednesday, June 6, 2012


For many aspiring actors and actresses, the horror genre has been incredibly kind as the jumping off base for successful careers.  Who can forget the infamous blue bulge of Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th or the ill-fated sucked through the bed death of Johnny Depp in A Nightmare On Elm Street?  Oscar winners, teen heartthrobs, and even Dame Judi Dench have all tampered in the genre of blood and boobs.  That being said, horror isn't a genre for everyone.  It just isn't.  Those that do not get their start in horror may struggle being taken seriously in the genre after making a name for themselves as something else. It would be like Michael Cera playing anything that isn't Michael Cera.  That being said, let's take a look at 10 actors who made the decision to be in a horror movie...and really, really shouldn't have.

I'm admittedly pushing it a little bit with this one considering they weren't nearly as big of stars back then as they are now, but both of these two had performed in a little movie called Dazed & Confused before this one.  They both became huge stars just two years later and the marketing people behind TCM 4 suddenly decided to completely refocus the box art and publicity material to make the duo the center of attention.  The film was to be a torture-romantic comedy. The film played theatrically in less than twenty theaters and for good reason.  Not only is the film itself horrendous, but why these two ever signed onto this piece of garbage is beyond me.

Kelly Rowland wasn't the first singer to be in a horror movie and the late 1990's/early 2000's were really into having hip-hop, r&b, and rap stars to dive into horror films.  I don't know what casting guru came up with it, but just about all of the attempts were absolutely ridiculous.  The one I found the most distracting, was Kelly Rowland.  All of you should recognize her as the not-Beyonce girl from Destiny's Child that you actually knew the name of.  Well, after the group split up and Beyonce became a superstar, Kelly decided acting was her forte and the whole time we kept thinking "...why isn't this Beyonce?"

He tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end...IT DOESN'T EVEN MAAATTTTERRRR. He was glued to the chair, they shaved his hair, but in the end...IT DOESN'T EVEN MAAAATTTERRRR. They put their trust in casting directors, pushed hard to transcend his singing career, but when he failed the trap, this is the song we were all thiiiiiiiiiiinking of. They tried so hard...didn't get far, but in the end...IT DOESN'T EVEN MAAAAATTTEEERRRRR.

This one is a little interesting considering Brooke Shields actually got her start in horror films as a child victim in the cult hit Alice, Sweet Alice.  However, after rising from child stardom, she became the most memorable Calvin Klein model in history, and had that stint with Michael Jackson.  Brooke Shields became a total IT-girl and although has plenty of acting credits to her name, nothing will ever be bigger than her "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing." ads that arguably put Calvin Klein on the map.  So when she popped up as the super artsy woman in control of Bradley Cooper's career in The Midnight Meat Train, it was ridiculously hard to separate between "model" and "serious actress". 

I really shouldn't be picking on a kid here considering she probably had absolutely no choice in her casting decisions at this point in her career.  Despite this being a horrendous film to begin with, AnnaSophia Robb had been making a name for herself playing just about the cutest little blonde girl since a Fanning sister.  She was an American Girl Doll, one of Willy Wonka's golden ticket winners, and the coveted female lead in Bridge to Terabithia. Trying to picture her as anything but sugar glazed adorableness was next to impossible, and trying to act alongside Hilary Swank was almost as painful.

Leigh Whannell and James Wan burst their way onto the horror scene and spawned the most financially successful horror franchise in nearly a decade with the torture thriller SAW.  While the film contained a multitude of actors, the major plot was centered around two individuals trapped in a bathroom.  Those two: Leigh Whannell and Westley himself-Cary Elwes.  The whole time I was just waiting for him to throw the saw and call Leigh Whannell's character a warthog-faced buffoon or look at Jigsaw and say "as you wish" before hacking off his leg. 

This one has the potential to be blamed on the poor quality of the film as a whole, but Christian Slater's decision to play the leading male in Uwe Boll's Alone In The Dark was probably a worse idea than blowing up Westerberg High.  After making a name for himself as a cult film icon, jumping into the leading role of a thriller/action/horror flick was ill planned and difficult to believe.

 I'm really going to show my age here on this one, but that's okay.  (EDIT: I am 22...I saw Army of Darkness waaaaay after I already developed my association for her with another character) I know that she was the French maid in Shindler's List in all that, but for me, Embeth Davidtz will ALWAYS be Miss Honey from the movie Matilda.  When I was in first grade, I had a teacher that was so alike with Davidtz character in the film that I become borderline obsessed with developing telekinesis and hoping my teacher would adopt me. Shortly after the film, she also played the loving mother in Bicentennial Man, further ingraining her as the sweetest and most woman in the entire world.  When she popped up as a "bad guy" in Thir13en Ghosts, I couldn't take her seriously. The entire time I just kept watching the screen wondering why Miss Honey was being so mean and manipulative.  I couldn't shake the kind hearted characters off of her. I'm sorry Miss Honey, please still adopt me?

Wait, someone actually thought that we were going to believe that Meg Griffin & Jackie from That 70's Show is a cold and calculated murderer who wanted to seduce William Shatner?  You've got to be kidding me.  Mila Kunis has one of those voices that you can hear ten years later and know immediately who it belongs to.  Watching her try to be threatening made me just think of the moments on Family Guy when Meg loses her mind in romantic obsessions.  I know I can't be alone on that one.
 There's a good chunk of you reading this right now with a blank look on your face wondering who the hell is Daniel Franzese and why is he number 1 if you have no idea who he is. Before I go into what he's normally known for, let's look at his role in the ISOYG remake, shall we?  In ISOYG, Daniel plays "Stanley" a rapist with a penchant for watching who loves to video tape his friends' actions of torture and raping a poor girl named Jennifer.  He does all of this with pure delight and the audience is none the pleaser when he finally gets what he deserves and has his eyes pecked out of his head by crows.  He performs with vengeance and generates a character the audience grows to hate with just about every fiber of their being. Well...before ISOYG, Daniel Franzese was...
YEP. HE'S DAMIAN FROM MEAN GIRLS.  DAMIAN "TOO GAY TO FUNCTION", "SHE DOESN'T EVEN GO HERE", "I WAS REALLY BUSY WITH CHOIR", IS THE CAMERA MAN RAPIST IN ISOYG.  To his credit, that goes to show just how talented of an actor he is to play both of these roles but god damn, the second I realized that's who he was, I turned off the movie.  I really did.  It took me three sittings to finally watch the remake. The first time was because I was so pissed they remade it in the first place, the second time was because I realized who he was, and on the third time I actually sat through it.  Don't get me wrong, he wasn't terrible in the film...BUT HE'S DAMIAN. HE'S COMEDIC. AHHH. My life is ruined.

6 comment(s):

Living Dead Girl Nicole said...

Great topic and great picks!!

titania86 said...

I completely agree with Embeth Davidtz. I will always see her as Miss Honey in every role.

And for #1, I just wanted to add "You go Glenn Coco!" and "Danny Devito, I love your work!"

Sir Jorge said...

I have to completely disagree with you on your #10. Matt looked to be legitimately brutalizing Renee in that film. I even wrote about it for school once about how violent and "real" some of the situations looked

Kev D. said...

Great list... to that I would add Mena Suvari and Nick Cannon from Day of the Dead: The Need to Feed (2008).

Granted, that whole movie was a steaming pile.

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea for a post. And it's funny, as soon as I read Bennington's name, that EXACT song popped into my head.

How about Tony 'Monk' Shalhoub also in Thirteen Ghosts? I've always thought that his casting was weird and his performance is totally wooden in that film. And he looks way too old to be Shannon Elizabeth's dad.

Spike Ghost said...

Talking about 13 ghosts... i know she has been in a bunch of horror movies, but i always picture Shannon Elizabeth as the horny foreign exchange student from American Pie.

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