A collection of buddies and peers discuss what attracts people to horror, personal favorites, what film festivals are like, and so much more it eventually suffers a little from overstuffing. Occasionally talking points fly by without much depth, in what seems to be no particular order, which I guess at least resembles what real conversation can be like. Plus with the abundance of topics there’s a wide range to touch on so you probably won’t get bored. 

As for a plot summary on this horror documentary, a fellow named Ruben Pla gets together many friends and colleagues such as Lin Shaye, Russell Mulcahy, Ernest R. Dickerson, Clare Kramer, Darren Lynn Bousman, Lombardo Boyar, Sarah Nicklin, Ryan Turek, Brea Grant and Chelsea Stardust to pore over their experiences in the Hollywood horror communities on topics like parental influence, scream queens, Halloween the holiday, stigmas, the studio system, and dozens more.

Every participant’s love of horror, whether long part of childhood or by finding those of like mind as an adult, couldn’t be more obvious–lots of hearts on sleeves to be found (the metaphorical kind, of course). Several describe an “otherness” they felt growing up in being surrounded by those who shunned their taboo interests which led them to search out other scary movie nutters and form close-knit communities. Being brought up on horror from as far as they can remember also gets a bit of play since there’s no right way to be a fright lover and we gather from all walks of life.

As someone who happily sat through things like Never Sleep Again, Camp Crystal Lake Memories, & The Making of the Frighteners (and wishes more horror films had such thorough, overlong documentary options–where’s Ken Burns when you need him?) I actually think another 15 minutes would have been beneficial to The Horror Crowd. Things like women in horror, minority representation, the studio system compared to indies, and the stigma attached to horror films/filmmakers (among others) need more than a couple minutes each to really do justice. A flow in some capacity would have helped the aimlessness, too, instead of random talking points for a couple minutes at a time.

Also nothing against director Ruben Pla personally, but I prefer my documentarians to be heard more than seen and he’s around too much. There are some anecdotes that really have nothing to do with anything (a Freddie Mercury tangent jumps to mind) which could have easily been excised and they sure go on about the Final Destination franchise like it reinvented the wheel, but those are minor issues. At the end of the day, if you’re in the mood for an hour and half of fellow horror fans fondly remembering good times, favorite films, creepy experiences, and what the future holds for scary movies I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with The Horror Crowd


7 out 10 Sleeve Hearts


The Horror Crowd
Runtime:1 Hr. 32 Mins.
Directed By:
Ruben Pla
Written By:/