Exclusive: Alex Wolff’s ten favorite horror films of the last decade
After rising through the film and TV world with side characters in everything from coming-of-age drama Coming Through the Rye to romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, but he would find his breakout in the horror world with 2018’s Hereditary. While chatting with the 22-year-old star for his latest role in the drama Castle in the Ground, ComingSoon.net explored the current state of the horror genre with Wolff and looked back at his ten favorite films from the past decade. Click here to rent or own Castle in the Ground on Digital HD!
A grieving teenager (Wolff) befriends his charismatic but troubled next-door neighbor (Poots), only to become ensnared in a world of addiction and violence as the opioid epidemic takes hold of their small town.
The movie also stars Keir Gilchrist (It Follows), and Tom Cullen (Weekend). Castle in the Ground was written and directed by Joey Klein (The Other Half). Castle in the Ground is available for purchase on digital platforms and VOD now!
Though audiences may be looking for brighter films during these crazy times, Wolff thinks now is a better time for viewers to dive into films that “are high stakes,” namely the horror genre, as it can “kind of pull your energy towards the movie rather than necessarily escape entertainment,” as it can be “more cathartic than just something light.” Wolff is also a self-described horror fan, revealing he loves to “watch all horror movies”
“I think it’s just sometimes you watch something that’s light, and you find yourself in your mind wandering or something,” Wolff described. “It may be like licking your lips or whatever, you know, it feels good for a moment, but I just feel like it’s like eating candy or something. It rots your teeth quicker, if you kind of do just, you know, bottom shelf entertainment. I think you need stuff that’s going to challenge you and take your focus because I think it takes you further away from what’s going on in the world. And I think that’s smart. And yeah, it kind of helps you work through it.”
Wolff: I loved The Visit and I loved Split, loved both of those movies.
Wolff: I really loved The Witch and Midsommar.
Wolff: I loved a movie called Goodnight Mommy, I was really blown away by that movie.
Wolff: I loved It a LOT.
As Above, So Below
Wolff: There’s a movie called As Above, So Below that was kind of slept on and people just didn’t really take it seriously, but I thought it was fantastic. I thought it was a really great movie.
Wolff: I loved Unfriended.
Wolff: Oh Mandy, of course! Sorry [chuckles], I just want to make sure Mandy makes that list.
In looking at the choices on his list, Wolff finds his love for the film stems from the fact “they’re movies where I connect with the people” and that the horror genre is a world in which filmmakers “can kind of do the most with” developing their story and characters.
“Some people, it’s kind of easier to just make a drama where people are kind of observing human behavior,” Wolff described. “In some circumstances, it’s easier to do that than to make a movie that gets a shriek out of you or gets a laugh out of you. I think sometimes making really funny comedies, making really scary horror movies, both of those things require an effect from the audience, and I think that’s hard sometimes, nearly impossible, occasionally. And also making it kind of good, high art is really hard.”
The horror genre has seen an ebb and flow of films focusing no jump scare shocks as well as those that strictly focus on delivering an interesting story with complex characters, but Wolff feels that rather than take one side or another, “there’s room for both” and that it’s better when both are utilized.
“I get bored of watching just everybody kind of imitating a Polanski style of like, because often times those are kind of occasionally austere and kind of faux serious or faux intellectual,” Wolff explained. “But I mean, I think that there’s a way to do both, I think, in horror movies that there’s a way. Like Goodnight Mommy has jump scares, Hereditary has jump scares. I think that’s not like a dirty word. And I think only now recently have we started to take seriously the horror genre, so we should then start embracing that one of the parts of the horror movie is jump scares, and scaring the shit out of people. It doesn’t make a movie less good because it has an awesome slasher scare or something like that, you know?”