The Splat Pack

It’s not a secret my passion for the horror genre: my favourite author is Stephen King (I wrote my degree thesis about the double personality in The Dark Half and The Shining) and I’ve always had a thing for horror movies from the 70s and the 80s (the first three movies of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Lost Boys and Carrie are among my favourites). I’m not a fan of contemporary horror movies, because they often lack originality and suspance and contain plenty of gory scenes. Yesterday my eyes fell on a photoshoot by Terry Richardson, published on Interview Magazine in November 2008: the protagonists are the rising stars of horror movies, but Richardson portrays them in an old Hollywood fashion, and this is the reason why I’ve decided to write something about it.

I love the title of the photoshoot – the Splat (from splatter, of course) Pack – which reminds us of the original Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford), of the Brat Pack (a group of young actors who were big in the 80s, such as Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Andrew McCarthy and Anthony Michael Hall) and of the Frat Pack (the actors Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Luke and Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn). Though not so famous, all these actors share a common destiny: they’ve come out of nowhere thanks to their roles in horror/splatter movies.

Before starting with the gallery, let me tell you my unpretentious opinion about the images. If you are a fan of Terry Richardson, I’m sure you’ve noticed the recent turn in his career and style: he’s working more and more often with important fashion magazines (he’s a regular contributor of Vogue Paris), and this has probably brought him to tone down the racy factor. It’s nice to see he’s a great photographer even when he’s not shooting half-naked girls or flashing his member in front of the camera.

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Among the protagonists of the gore fests Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, Deadgirl and Chainletter, Noah Segan somehow resembles Johnny Depp in this pic. He’s elegantly dressed and holds a skull in his hand; they both hold a cigarette in their mouth. I’m glad this pic was shot in black and white, because it really has an old style vibe.


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The British actor Julian Morris has become quite famous with Cry Wolf (a slasher movie set in a high school) and Donkey Punch, but he has also played a role in Valkyrie and in the tv series E.R. In this pic, he’s completely smeared with blood, but he’s wearing a trendy trench coat and his eyes are made up.

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Johnny Simmons – who played a role in Boogeyman 2 and has acted in the upcoming movie Jennifer’s Body, starring Megan Fox – is hanging from a rope. He’s wearing a formal velvet jacket, a white shirt and what looks like a scarf around his neck. This pic is the most disturbing of the photoshoot, in my opinion: I cannot stop staring his death-pale skin and those red-rimmed eyes, scary!

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Here come the scream queens Scout Taylor-Compton and Haley Bennett. They’re both wearing Rodarte dresses and are licking blood-smeared knives (in the fiction of the photoshoot, they’re sexy killers). Scout Taylor-Compton is a slasher specialist, since she’s starred in April Fool’s Day and Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween, while Haley Bennett is the protagonist of The Haunting of Molly Hartley, where she’s a teenager who’s doomed to be a servant of the devil.

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Ashley Greene, who plays the vampire Alice Cullen in the Twilight saga, is portrayed as a sexy temptress, wearing a short lace and sequin dress. She’s posing in front of a chain web, so she’s probably intended to be the modern version of a black widow spider, waiting for her preys to get trapped.

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AnnaLynne McCord has recently gained popularity for her role in 90210, but has also played a role in Slaughter and in Day of the Dead (remake of the classic zombie movie by George Romero). In the photoshoot she plays a sexy vampire, wearing a beautiful Balenciaga black dress and a stunning diamond necklace. Her white eyes reminds me of the blonde demonic kids in The Village of the Damned (a great horror movie by Wolf Rilla).

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I’m quite surprised to see Olivia Munn among the scream queens, since she’s only played a part in Insanitarium. Despite that, she looks gorgeous while she’s crying blood tears. I love her smokey make-up!

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Last but not least, Shanna Collins – who has played a role in The Haunting of Molly Hartley – is the Black Bride. In this pic, she pays homage to the vamp, the Belle Dame Sans Merci who fearlessly loves and kills in classic horror movies. She’s wearing a short black dress and a satin-trimmed veil; her cat eye make-up is impressive.

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Before closing this post, I can’t leave out a homage to my favourite scream queens, who accidentally are mother and daughter: Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis. Janet Leigh played the role of the morally ambiguous Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho, but also appeared in two horror films – The Fog and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later – with her daughter. Her scream queen status cannot be denied, since her scream during the iconic shower scene of the movie is part of the history of cinema.

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Jamie Lee Curtis, on the other hand, is the ultimate scream queen: she debuted in a movie playing the role of Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s Halloween (she’s a quiet bookworm, who prefers babysitting over parties; she is the only character not to be killed by Mike Myers, some critics say because she’s the only virgin character, not obsessed with sex like her peers [1]). She played the same role in the several sequels of the movie, but also acted in other horror movies, such as The Fog and Prom Night.

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The horror movies of the 70s and 80s were paid homage to by the genius director Wes Craven in the Scream saga, where a masked killer (Ghostface) finds his victims among the teenagers of Woodsboro. The brilliant screenplay by Kevin Williamson contains numerous in-jokes and references to other horror movies, especially Halloween and The Nightmare on Elm Street (directed by the same Craven). The pic above sees the protagonists of Scream 2 – Heather Graham, Neve Campbell [2], Jada Pinkett Smith, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tori Spelling – in a blooded bathroom, with their clothes smeared with blood, a funny parody of a ladies’ night gone bad.

Are you horror movie fans? Which are your favourite horror movies?

[1] This theory is expressed by the character of Randy (the expert on horror movies, played by Jamie Kennedy) in Scream and can possibly be applied to another classic stalk-and-slash movie, Friday the 13th by Sean Cunningham.

[2] Neve Campbell reached a huge success with the Scream saga, but then decided to act in smaller productions and in theatre; on the other hand, Sarah Michelle Gellar has kept her status of scream queen – started by Buffy the Vampire Slayer series – with The Grudge and The Grudge 2, and the upcoming Possession.

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4 comments

  1. I discovered horror movies quite late and I haven’t stopped yet! I have trouble watching gore (but I can bear some if the story is good), I prefer pure tension.
    I loved “The Blair Witch Project”, which some hardcore horror fans find dull because you can’t see the “bad guy” – that’s why it’s so chilling to me, on the contrary. It’s like a scary tale told around the campfire in a very effective manner.
    I recently saw some good ones. In London I saw “Drag Me to Hell” by Sam Raimi, which is a perfect mix of scary and black humour – lots lots of fun! “Let the Right One In” is a very fine film. “The Orphanage” is good too (I guess you have to look outside the US for the most interesting works).
    One of the most chilling experience was watching “The Shining” all by myself with the lights off in our guest-room. During one of the chilliest scenes, a shadow slided in front of the tv screen! Ugh!! It was my cat Bart, who was in the mood of a walk on the furniture… 😀

    PS – I guess Haley Bennett has found her Buddha’s delight?!

  2. I loved “The Blair Witch Project” for the same reason, and I also appreciated the ground-breaking campaign before the release of the movie, which suggested that the film was a real event. Most of the film was based on improvisation and this made the action even creepier.
    I haven’t watched the movies you’re writing about, but I’ve heard positive reviews about “The Orphanage”, I’d like to watch it!
    As for “The Shining”, I had to watch it over and over again for my final paper at university, so for some time I kinda hated it, but it’s really one of the best horror movies ever made. Everything is perfect – the actors, the setting, the special effects – and the story is of course pure genius (thanks Steve!).

    PS – I haven’t watched “Music and Lyrics”, so I didn’t know Haley Bennett is a singer too!

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