The 13th Floor

Meet the Staff: 10 Questions With Writer Joseph Maddrey

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 Joseph Maddrey, Writer for!

How long have you been a horror fan, and what attracted you to the genre?

When I was five or six, I asked my dad to rent THE MAKING OF MICHAEL JACKSON’S THRILLER for me.  He came home with that and JAWS.  I watched THRILLER during the day, and it showed me the artifice of horror movies – which psychologically prepared me to watch JAWS alone at night. I can still vividly remember the feeling of “waking up” from JAWS, exhilarated and genuinely surprised to find that I was still sitting in a beat-up gray recliner in the living room of my own home.  That was the first horror film that completely transported me to another world – my “gateway drug” experience.

What is your role at Blumhouse Productions? Can you tell us a little about your job?

Every week or so, gives me an excuse to write about some little obsession I have with a horror film or filmmaker.  Basically, they’re enablers.

What is your career background, training, school, etc?

I graduated from James Madison University with a major in English and a Film Studies minor.  During my senior year, I wrote a thesis that became my first book, NIGHTMARES IN RED, WHITE AND BLUE.  Since then I’ve written six more books, including the authorized biography of Lance Henriksen (NOT BAD FOR A HUMAN) and a deeply personal study of George Romero, Wes Craven and Stephen King (BEYOND FEAR).  I’ve also written several documentary shows about ghosts, aliens, and serial killers.

Steve Niles, Mike Mignola, Lance Henrksen, Bill Sienkiewicz, Joe Maddrey
What/who is your favorite monster and why? 

Ghosts – they are our representatives of the Great Unknown

What is your weapon of choice? 

Knowledge is power.

List five of your favorite horror films.


What was the first horror movie you ever saw, and what was your reaction? 

See Question #1.  Unless you count GHOSTBUSTERS as a horror movie…

Describe one of your favorite Halloween costumes that you’ve worn.

In hindsight, the best Halloween costumes were the ones made by my mother when I was really young – a ghost wearing a bed sheet and one of dad’s neck ties; a vampire wearing a black trash bag and a construction paper mask.  In later years, I gravitated toward the most gruesome masks I could find at Spencer’s… but it just wasn’t the same.

Halloween 1985
Name one horror celebrity, dead or alive, you would love to meet, and tell us why. 

I’ve been lucky enough to meet and interview a lot of my horror genre idols, but Stephen King is still on the list.  I would love to do an extended interview with him about the latter half of his career.  His early work has been thoroughly studied, but the post-1990 stuff not so much.

Please recommend a recent horror film that you saw and really enjoyed?