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 Rebekah McKendry, Editor-in-Chief for Blumhouse.com!
BLUMHOUSE.com: How long have you been a horror fan, and what attracted you to the genre?
Rebekah McKendry: Ive been a horror fan for as long as I can remember! Even when I was really young, I was still always enthralled by scary media like SCOOBY DOO, ADDAMS FAMILY, EERIE INDIANA, and TALES FROM THE CRYPT. I would beg my Mom to let me watch her tapes of the old TWILIGHT ZONE and OUTER LIMITS episodes. It has always been a part of who I am. Being scared is like a roller coaster for me. It’s a safe thrill that is exciting and reinvigorates me. And many horror movies still scare me, and that’s why I love them! I try my damnedest to not become jaded because I never want to lose the thrill!
BH: What is your role at Blumhouse Productions? Can you tell us a little about your job?
RM: I’m editor-in-chief of Blumhouse.com. I oversee the website, writers, and content. I also do a lot of work with our clients, advertisers, studios and filmmakers. After years working in the horror industry, I still wake up excited that I get to work in the genre that I treasure so much. Ultimately, I hope to encourage people to support the horror genre and find the same inspiration, creativity, art, and strength in it that I have.
BH: What is your career background, training, school, etc?
RM: My undergrad degrees are in Film, Theatre and Dance. I then received a Master’s in Media Education and a second Master’s degree focused on Film Theory, specifically on horror movies (yes, you can do that!). And my PhD (which is still in process) is in Film with a focus on “Horror and Exploitation Cinema”. I love to study horror film history!
Prior to Blumhouse, I worked for over a decade at FANGORIA ENTERTAINMENT. I started out as a research intern for the radio show and eventually worked my way up through various departments. The FANGORIA staff is still like my family!
Additionally, I co-host a weekly podcast called KILLER POV on GEEK NATION with horror cohorts Elric Kane and Rob Galluzzo (also from Blumhouse). And on weekends, I like to make horror films and music videos!
BH: What/who is your favorite monster and why?
RM: Jaws, definitely, even though I hate referring to a shark as a monster. I was never scared of any of the classic monsters or even the contemporary ones from my childhood like Freddy or Chuckie. But the movie JAWS really affected me as a kid. I would even get freaked out in my parents’ swimming pool. I still can’t swim in the ocean without thinking about JAWS.
And on a purely badass level- I’m a massive fan of the PREDATOR and ALIEN franchises.
BH: What is your weapon of choice?
RM: Gun. I don’t like to get close.
BH: List five of your favorite horror films.
RM: My tastes change rapidly depending on trends, my age, and what historically horror cycles I’m currently obsessed with. But I’ve always been enthralled with the Grindhouse/ exploitation films of the 70s. Plus, I credit SUSPIRIRA with making me realize that I wanted to be part of horror film industry, not just as much as a part of the audience.
My current top 5 horror movies:
SUSPIRIA, MS 45, VIDEODROME, THE WICKER MAN (original), and BRAIN DAMAGE
I also have a diehard love of aquatic horrors. So films like LEVIATHAN, DEEP RISING, LAKE PLACID, and most shark movies definitely get a big nod as well.
BH: What was the first horror movie you ever saw, and what was your reaction?
RM: ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL scared the bejeezus out of me the first time I saw it at age 3, but I guess that doesn’t count. I remember seeing SCANNERS way too young, like 4 maybe. I had no clue what was going on and was terrified that a guy could blow up someone else’s head merely by thinking about it. Yet, I was so intrigued that I wanted to watch the head explosion scene over and over. I also recall sitting in school and trying to see if I had that same power. To date, I have yet to master my inner “head explosion” ability.
BH: Describe one of your favorite Halloween costumes that you’ve worn.
RM: It’s always hard to come up with a Halloween costumes when you are pregnant, but that’s when I get creative. With my first daughter, I made it look like the baby had punched its arms out of my stomach and was reading a tiny FANGORIA Magazine. Since I’m pregnant again now, this Halloween I got a shirt that made it look like I was infected with an alien and also wore a military jacket covered in NOSTROMO patches (the ship from ALIENS). If you gotta be big and uncomfortable for nine months, you might as well have some fun with it!
BH: Name one horror celebrity, dead or alive, you would love to meet, and tell us why.
RM: William Castle! I love to study horror film marketing, and he was the king of it! I often find the posters and marketing campaigns behind the movies to be just as fun as the movies themselves. Castle knew the genre had a lot more to offer than just scares. It’s all a spectacle!
BH: Please recommend a recent horror film that you saw and really enjoyed?
RM: Some recent horror flicks I loved- THE WITCH, BONE TOMAHAWK, DEATHGASM, THE GIFT, THE FINAL GIRLS, and I thought the new GOOSEBUMPS movie was amazing!