Horror breakouts

by Norman Wilner | Last Updated 1 year ago

Maika Monroe’s double whammy in It Follows and The Guest puts her in some pretty terrific company. Here are a few other actors who made memorable appearances in horror movies – even if the movies themselves didn’t always deserve them.

Jamie Lee Curtis

in Halloween (1978)

The daughter of Hollywood royalty Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Curtis quickly established her own identity as the steely Final Girl of John Carpenter’s seminal slasher film. She’d reprise the role in 1981’s Halloween II, 1998’s Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection, but the first movie is the only one anybody needs to see.

Kevin Bacon

in Friday The 13th (1980)

I’ve always wanted to believe producer/director Sean S. Cunningham cast Bacon as a dickish camp counsellor because he’d seen the actor as the obnoxious Chip Diller in National Lampoon’s Animal House and couldn’t wait to kill him.

Johnny Depp

in A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

Depp’s teensy but charming role as doomed boyfriend Glen was his first big-screen part. He remained admirably loyal to the franchise, even contributing a very goofy cameo to Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.

Jennifer Aniston

in Leprechaun (1993)

Yup, that’s her. Fortunately, Friends came along a year later and prevented her from making any of the sequels.

Paul Rudd

in Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)

Playing the troubled Tommy Doyle, last seen as a four-year-old in the original Halloween, Rudd’s supposed to be sinister and menacing. He can’t sell it, but it’s kind of adorable to watch him try.

Naomi Watts

in Children Of The Corn: The Gathering (1996)

That’s future Oscar nominee Watts as a medical student who comes home to her Nebraskan hamlet just in time for all the children to go crazy and start killing the grown-ups. Just think of this as her audition for The Ring, which let her star in a real horror movie.

Amber Heard

in All The Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)

About half an hour after its TIFF Midnight Madness premiere, Jonathan Levine’s savvy slasher movie had been picked up by the Weinstein Company and unknown lead Heard – whose biggest previous credit was playing the young Charlize Theron in North Country – was a force to be reckoned with. If Mandy Lane hadn’t spent the next seven years stuck in distribution hell, people might even have understood why.

Michael Fassbender

in Eden Lake (2008)

The future Magneto plays the unlucky boyfriend of Kelly Reilly in James Watkins’s gruesome thriller about a couple whose vacation in the country goes terribly wrong. And dammit, he’s charming even when he’s been beaten to a bloody pulp.

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