Horror movies are beloved for the shocks and thrills they deliver on screen, but sometimes they are more interesting for what happened behind the scenes. A collection of curses, accidents and fun facts of all kinds are attached to some of the best known, and some of the least known, horror movies of all time.
Several well-known horror films have seen such tragedy and mystery surrounding their cast members that you might say they are cursed. Others seem to be surrounded by oddities and supernatural influence but thankfully not tragedy. The "Poltergeist" trilogy is one such group of films, with lead actors in all three movies (Dunn, O'Rourke and Beck) who were killed or died within six years of its release date. "Rosemary's Baby" was released in 1968 and soon after saw the death of its composer and producer, followed by the murder of the director Roman Polanski's wife, baby and friends by Charles Manson and his followers. The curse associated with "The Omen" ranges from aircraft being hit by lightning to special effects consultant John Richardson crashing his car and killing his assistant in the process, on Friday the 13th in 1976, then exiting the car and reading a nearby road sign that read "Onmen, 66.6KM". The lead actor Gregory Peck's son went on to commit suicide, and a plane used in filming was converted to passenger use and then crashed, killing all on board.
On Set and On Screen
During the 2005 "Amityville Horror" remake, Ryan Reynolds could not stop himself from waking at the same time as his character each night, and a dead body was found floating at the house where filming took place. Actors from the "Blair Witch Project" (1999) appeared as deceased on the film's IMDb page. Frames of the 1998 film "Ring" were inserted into the 2002 film "The Ring" for use as a subliminal tool. "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) was filmed in black and white to save money, and the zombies were played by extras who were compensated with $1 and an "I was a zombie in Night of the Living Dead" t-shirt. The blood used in the film was actually chocolate syrup, and the total budget was $114,000.
A surprisingly high number of horror films base their story lines on actual events. The list includes such classics as "The Amityville Horror" (1979 and its 2005 remake), "The Exorcist" (1973), "Psycho" (1960), "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974 and its 2003 remake) and "The Hills Have Eyes" (1977). A slew of lesser films and TV horror movies are also based on fact, including "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" (2005), "The Mothman Prophecies" (2002), the "Dead Ringers" (1988), "The Entity" (1982), "The Haunting in Connecticut" (2009) and "The Strangers" (2008).
Nine actors have played the role of Jason from the "Friday the 13th" franchise, while eight have played "Halloween's" Michael. "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) was the first American horror film to star a black man in a leading role. Duane Jones played Ben, the main character.
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