Are Horror Films Good for Child Actors?

Zombie Attack!

Is starring in horror films good for the career of actors?
Especially Child actors?

Here are some reasons why we feel Horror Films are good for actors, even child actors.

1. Horror Films are Good for Actors to Network

In the Backstage article “Why Horror Films Are a Good Career Decision for Actors” by Joanne Baron, it states:

“Actors, writers, and directors, whether starting their careers on a shoestring budget or enjoying an established career with a big budget, have used this genre (Horror) both to launch and revitalize their careers” (1)

Horror projects can give the actor a great chance to network. They can be put together for a light budget. They generally have a good return. Because of that, Horror Films has helped launch many actors.

Joanne Baron later states:
“Up-and-coming filmmakers often first start their careers writing and directing blood and gore horror movies as well like Sam Raimi with “Evil Dead.” Movies like these can be made on a very low budget and make a great impact. The extraordinary low-budget “Blair Witch Project” became a sensation and launched the careers of the unknown actors involved.” (1)

Horror films can leave a mark that an audience will remember. For a starting actor this is a good thing.

2. Acting in Horror gives an actor a change to be something different.

Jodelle Ferland from the Movie Silent Hill

Stated that Acting in horror roles allowed me to challenge herself in a way that she couldn’t while shooting other films.

“I got to be characters that are nothing like me. I’m not a demon child, I’m not dead. When I got to play a ghost or an evil character, that was always my favorite thing because that was so different from me. What kid gets to act like that? Not many.”

3. The Skills of Horror are used in other Genres

Even thought the characters are different and facing unique challenges they will have to be believable.

In the American Movie Co article on “Acting for the Horror Genre”, they state:

Serious horror films require just as much preparation for a role as other genres. It’s imperative that the audience believes in the world of the film. The believability of your character is an integral portion of that believable world.” (2)

The Scream

There needs to be a focus on being believable when it comes to Horror acting.
For the actor, one of the things that seem to be very hard to master is the scream.

In “Acting for the Horror Genre”, they state:

Believe it or not, many actors have a terrible time screaming convincingly. Acting in horror films almost always requires some sort of noise of distress at some point or another…usually it comes in the form of a scream. ” (2)

Screams are used in many other genres. Like in ACTION films, screams are used as they run from bad guys, even in many Disney films screams are common.

Fear, Panic, and screams are used in more than just Horror films even for kids. For example, the iconic scream Drew Barrymore used in E.T is just one of many examples of fear and shock being used in a non-horror film.

Horror Films are Good for Actors to Highlight Emotional Skills

Horror films are a great base of work for the emotional skill level of an actor’s ability.
Many Horror Films contain fear, sadness, love, anger.
These are all great emotions that the actor must master.

Actor Photo:
Wyatt Hunton