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James Grabowski

When was the first time you watched a horror film, and how did it affect you?

I can’t recall the first time I watched a horror film, I’m pretty sure it was either a Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street. But I do remember seeing The People Under the Stairs, that movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. The fact that monsters in the movie were once people and that the parents were so evil they mutilated their children.

What was it that first attracted you to horror? 

I wasn’t originally a huge horror fan to be honest, I was a broke teenager in suburbia; and Blockbuster had a 99 cent horror section. I started at A and got to around F before they took away the 99 cent deal.

What achievement are you most proud of?

New Terminal Hotel because that’s my only feature. It was a great experience working with some great people. BC Furtney, Nicolas Rossi, Stephen Geoffreys, Tiffany Shepis, Ezra Buzzington and Corey Haim. All these people had so much more experience than I did and I was able to work and learn from them.

What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m writing a sci-fi graphic novel, I also do behind the scenes work onset. Still perusing acting in Hollywood, it’s tough.

Who do you admire in the horror world?

David Goyer, ever since the Blade movies, I think this guy is a great writer. I’ll pretty much watch whatever he makes.

David Slade since Hard Candy. I didn’t see his Twilight movie but I’m sure I’ll watch whatever else he does.

Robert Kirkman because of The Walking Dead. I’m a huge comic book and zombie nerd.

Do you prefer gore or psychological horror?

Either, I like something with great characters and even better original story.

How important is it to unsettle a viewer?

I’m kind of a goof-ball and enjoy always stepping over boundaries to get a laugh, so I think if you’re trying to scare the viewer do what’s necessary. Go see Drive, it’s surprisingly gory, but it gets the emotions across.

How do you evoke fear?

I’m not sure if I’m that scary. I like hiding in the dark and spooking people that’s about all, it doesn’t take much.

What scares you?

The dark. Seriously, not being able to see in pure darkness freaks me out. I start imagining incredibly strange things and I scare myself. I wouldn’t ever admit it if I were scared but on the inside I’m thinking about some really f’ed up things.

Why should people watch your films?

I’ve only been in New Terminal Hotel. I say watch it because it’s Corey Haim’s last film, and BC Furtney wrote a psychological horror film with plenty of gore.

How far is too far when it comes to horror cinema?

When Videodrome becomes real.

How do you think horror cinema will evolve in the next ten years?

Hopefully the vampires don’t sparkle, but seriously, I’m not sure. If I had that answer I would make it into a film right now.

Recommend a film. 

Drive – in cinemas now – it’s not horror, just a great story. Foreign – I Saw the Devil, it’s more of a crime film but there’s plenty of gore and a great story. Eighties – Videodrome if you haven’t seen it. Indie – This Old Machine by Brad Garris, starring Lance Henriksen. Garris is a good friend of mine and the guy who got me back into horror.

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