Our ongoing series of interviews with the Blumhouse crew continues, in which we share our collective passion for all things scary, discuss our personal and career histories in the genre we all know and love, reveal our favorite films, and maybe even share a few spooky stories.
Today we sit down for a Q&A with Derek Faraci, Writer for Blumhouse.com!
I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t a fan of horror. My grandma likes horror movies, and being a younger brother, I grew up seeing a lot of movies way earlier than I probably should have. I remember feeling pretty awesome as a kid when I introduced my friends to FACES OF HORROR and they all freaked out.
I think what attracted me to horror is the same thing that I love about comics, these movies exist in a world of crazy, but very definite, rules that both allow for stories like JASON X and WHAT WE DO IN SHADOWS. How many genres are that diverse?
What is your role at Blumhouse Productions? Can you tell us a little about your job?
I’ve written a series of articles for Blumhouse about comic book characters who delve into the realm of horror and go into the deeper aspects of what these characters were inspired by. I like it because I get to write about comics, but I also get to really dig into the history of various mythologies. The piece I wrote on Hulk, for example, lead me to learning about the first man to be diagnosed with multiple personality disorder.
I also write a series called A Very Spooky… where I take TV shows that aren’t horror related, but have done episodes that fit into the horror genre. Sitcoms in the 70’s and 80’s loved to do Halloween episodes where their worlds were suddenly filled with magic or vampires or ghosts. Most of the time, the episodes end up being someone’s dreams, but sometimes you get one like THE PERILS OF PUNKY where Punky Brewster saves a forest from a demon, her friends all dying in the process and the whole thing actually having happened in the show. That one is crazy.
What is your career background, training, school, etc?
I went to SUNY Purchase where I studied literature and took film classes when I could. After college I moved to Los Angeles and started working in video games while working on my own writing. I’ve always been an opinionated jerk, but it was only recently I decided to try writing for sites. I had become aware of Rebekah and Rob from their podcast Killer POV (it really is a good time!) and had become friendly with them on Twitter. When they joined Blumhouse, I sent in a few ideas I had for articles and lucky for me they liked them.
What I’m about to say will sound horrible, but I need you to stick with me on this… the Elephant Man.
When I was a kid I saw THE ELEPHANT MAN on TV. Not the David Lynch version, but the stage version with David Bowie. Bowie played John Merrick the Elephant Man, with no make-up, just as himself and for some reason it terrified me. I became obsessed with the idea that the Elephant Man wanted to take me away. I would be in the bath and would be positive that he was behind the shower curtain. When I would go to bed, my brother would say “The Elephant Man is coming for you tonight!” and I would freak. I couldn’t sleep. It’s terrible because clearly, John Merrick was not a monster, but when I was seven he freaked me out. To this day, real life stuff is far more frightening to me than any zombie or ghost movie. I’ll never be afraid of Dracula or Freddy Krueger, but something like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT will keep me up for days. When I first saw THE STRANGERS, I seriously could not get over it. I own it on Blu Ray, but have never been able to bring myself to watch it again and I loved it.
What is your weapon of choice?
I feel like if I had a gun, I would end up accidentally shooting myself, so certainly not that. I kind of feel like Buffy’s scythe from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is the perfect monster killing weapon. Axe on one end, wood stake on the other, dead monsters everywhere!
List five of your favorite horror films.
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN
DAMIEN: OMEN II
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER
DAY OF THE DEAD
But check back with me in a week and I bet it’ll be different. There’s just too many good ones out there!
What was the first horror movie you ever saw, and what was your reaction?
I’m not sure. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t allowed to watch horror movies, so seeing my first one didn’t stick with me as a big memory.
The earliest horror movie memory I have though is watching AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON with my mom and some other people. It was on LaserDisc, which I thought was super cool and we were sitting in the basement of my mom’s friend’s house on Long Island. When David started to transform, my mom freaked and ran out of the room. We went to see JAWS 3-D the next day. It wasn’t as good.
Describe one of your favorite Halloween costumes that you’ve worn.
I did a lame. Broke, college kid Halloween costume of Cassidy, the Irish vampire from the comic PREACHER because I already had all the pieces of his rather lax costume. I do a terrible fake Irish accent, but when everyone is drunk, people are way easier to fool. I played the whole night in character, acting as if I was just in town and didn’t realize it was Halloween, going from party to party and drinking way too much.
Name one horror celebrity, dead or alive, you would love to meet, and tell us why.
Elvira. When we were kids, my brother met Elvira at a mall in Chicago and even though it’s been thirty years, I’m still super jealous about it. She’s ten kinds of awesome.
Please recommend a recent horror film that you saw and really enjoyed?
I know it came out a bit ago and Rebekah listed it on one of her Netflix lists, but I still feel like DARK WAS THE NIGHT is not getting the love it deserves. Great acting, solid story and very well filmed.
Also, since the guys behind THE BATTERY have started a Kickstarter for their new film, TEX MONTANA WILL SURVIVE! I’m going to beg everyone to help them out! I’ve never met Jeremy Gardner or Adam Cronheim, I just loved THE BATTERY and want to see these guys have all the success in the world. I also love the way they are using Kickstarter for the project.