Horror Favourites – Jeff Ryan

The Horror Collective’s influencer’s revenge horror-comedy MEAN SPIRITED is out now written and directed by Jeff Ryan, and co-written by Joe Adams (The AV Club) and we grabbed Jeff to give us a run down of his five favorite frightening films.

Mean Spirited has a fantastic cast including Michelle Veintimilla (Gotham, ABC’s Big Sky and The Baker and the Beauty, Neville Archambault (13 CAMERAS, THE BLOCK ISLAND SOUND), Will Madden (BEAST BEAST), Daniel Rashid (BEAST BEAST), Will Martin (YOUTHMIN), Maria DeCotis (EUPHONIA), and Charlie Pollock (The Good Wife).

Mixing traditional and social media style footage, Mean Spirited had its world premiere at Frightfest and American premiere at Screamfest. Director Jeff Ryan told Collider “We are excited to entertain and scare our audience, and we hope they’ll smash that like button, leave a comment below and subscribe. Remember, someone’s soul is on the line…”

Co-writer and producer Joe Adams added: “Falling out with friends is an experience most people know all too well. Mean Spirited shines a light on such heartache with a fun, fresh angle on the cabin-in-the-woods genre. In the age of social media, our movie explores the skewed lines between what’s real and what’s a show for the camera.”

MEAN SPIRITED is Ryan’s solo directorial debut. His previous film, Mass Hysteria (2020), another horror-comedy about the Salem Witch Trials, was released by The Horror Collective and acquired by Shudder. His first feature YouthMin: A Mockumentary about a narcissistic youth pastor is now streaming on Peacock. He’s slated to shoot later this year his fourth film, Mooch, a crime-comedy, the true story of Ryan’s childhood moochiness.

Below Jeff Ryan runs through his top five horror movies in order:

An American Werewolf in London
“One of my favorite movies ever. I saw a man at Frightfest wearing a “Slaughtered Pig” T-Shirt, and I nearly stole it off his back. The transformation scene alone is one of the greatest cinematic moments I’ve seen on film.”

The Thing
“I love Halloween, but in my opinion, this is Carpenter’s best. I admit that I am a sucker for Kurt Russell films, but the more I watch this film, the more I love it. I hope there will be a renaissance of practical monster films like this because it just works. Digital effects are fantastic, but nothing competes with this THING.”

The Fog
“I am a big comfort watcher of horror films, and this film puts its thumb in my mouth. I believe Carpenter’s music is something I long for in modern horror films, and I believe a movie is working at its best when every piece of the puzzle fits. When tone across all departments is consistent, you’ve made a great film. This is that for me.”

The Exorcist
“A film that was taboo for the culture I grew up in, but it is a film that is deeply misunderstood. This film is SO much more than a basic possession film. This is a film about faith, humanity, and confronting our own demons in the midst of a demon. I saw this film when I was 12 years old, and the girl’s voice terrorized my dreams for many years.”

The Silence of the Lambs
“This film would be my number one, but I fear the world would revoke my movie-making license (not a thing) for it being more of a thriller than a traditional horror film. Regardless, I believe this is a perfect film. I watch it at least twice a month, and I quote it on a daily basis — much to my wife’s dismay. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster deliver some of the most captivating on-screen performances, and Demme’s use of the straight-to-camera close-ups makes your skin crawl in all the right puns.

I also want to mention a few favorites that cycle into my top five because they’re fantastic, and I’d feel ashamed if I didn’t mention them. I personally rewatch these on a regular basis: The Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Aliens, Evil Dead II, and Drag Me to Hell.”

MEAN SPIRITED is out now.


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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