Reviews | Written by Martin Unsworth 29/08/2020

THE HORROR CROWD [FrightFest 2020]


There’s something about horror filmmakers and fans that initiates a community. Anyone who has been to one of the big genre film festivals held around the world will have no doubt experienced it at some level. Ruben Pla, recognisable as an actor in films such as Insidious and Contracted, directs this insight into the way serval Hollywood writers, directors, producers, and actors value the support of their peers.

Split into different aspects - from the first experiences with horror to feeling like an outsider to embracing their dark side - there are plenty of engaging anecdotes and Pla makes a fun, relaxed inquisitor. Clearly friends with many on screen, he often has a playful approach that brings the best out of the interviewee. There are some elements that are rarely touched upon in similar docs - such as working with partners and spouses. The frank responses make for interesting and compulsive viewing.

The talking heads are by no means wannabes: they include Saw II - IV director Darren Lynn Bousman, Final Destination creator Jeffrey Reddick, Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), and Ernest Dickerson (Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight). The stories of how some of the biggest horror franchises and titles came to fruition are inspirational and entertaining. Because the subjects are talking about something they love rather than simply pimping their wares, it feels as though they could be your friends down the pub.

The Horror Crowd is an enjoyable, well put together documentary that makes for an easy watch. It might not to teach you how to make it in the industry, but it will hopefully make you feel that you’re not alone if you try. The lesson to learn is clear: be receptive, and you might just make some valuable friends.

THE HORROR CROWD (Teaser) from Ruben Pla on Vimeo.