Gimmfest 2020 Review: THE HORROR CROWD

4 out of 5 stars

Horror is a genre which shines a light on our darkest fears and nightmares. Horror films delve deep into human nature, taking the worst of humanity and bringing it to the fore. It also rips the most terrifying concepts from our imaginations and presents them to us on screen in a darkened theatre. It’s because of this many people believe that the filmmakers behind these movies are as dark and twisted as the productions they make – however the opposite of this is often the case.

Horror filmmakers ( and fans of the genre) are usually softly spoken and incredibly caring and friendly folk. It’s almost as if they use their work as a way of exorcising their inner demon and purging the darkness. Which brings us to actor-turned-director Ruben Pla’s The Horror Crowd. The feature-length documentary is a hugely entertaining and strangely emotional film which takes a look at the filmmakers behind film’s darkest genre. 

As an actor, Pla has starred in such films as Insidious and Contracted and he uses the connections he made in the horror genre to craft his debut film as director. The documentary includes a vast array of interviews with actors, writers, directors and producers who made their name making horror movies. People like Mike Mendez (Don’t Kill It), Lin Shaye (Insidious), Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity), Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, Razorback), Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II) and Brea Grant (After Midnight) – to name but a few – talk about their love and appreciation of horror movies what inspired them get involved in the genre in the first place. They also discuss their friendship with others involved in the genre – the Horror Crowd of the film’s  title.

Overall, there are 37 interview subjects in the ninety minute documentary and while this might see like a lot, it never feels rushed or crowded. Everyone talks openly, honestly and passionately about horror and what it means to them. There’s a lot of humanity of display in Pla’s film. 

A brilliant documentary about friendship and passion for what you believe in, The Horror Crowd is an expertly crafted documentary from Ruben Pla which is a must for horror fans – and those who would like to know more about the genre.

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