Natural disasters are terrifying - that loss of control, this feeling that something is just going to randomly end your life for absolutely no reason is terrifying. But, what scares me is the human reaction to it and how people behave when the rules of civility and society are obliterated.
Possession and exorcism is something that's in every religion and every culture. It's a real primal fear: Is the body a vessel for our spirits? What happens if something else takes over it? Where does the spirit go?
I've always been fascinated by the idea that there's no such thing as evil; it's all in your point of view. To one group a suicide bomber is the antichrist and to one he's a hero.
You know, the dirty secret in the Director's Guild is that the average life expectancy of Director's Guild members is 57 years old. The stress level is so high and directors are generally really out of shape, cause they sit in the chair and they eat craft service.
'Eraserhead' is a weird, horrible nightmare, and it doesn't narratively make sense. Stuff's happening, but you honestly feel like you're in a nightmare, and it has such disturbing imagery that it stays with you forever once you've seen it.
The best movies now are called 'thrillers.' Because if you use the word 'horror,' people's associations are straight-to-video crap.
'Beatrice Cenci' was an amazing film. If it were released today it'd win Best Picture. It's so well done, it's so contemporary, and the filmmaking is so smart.
When I was 22, I had this horrible psoriasis outbreak. It was all over my legs, I couldn't walk because my legs were cracked and bleeding. Weird things like that can happen to your body.
'Cabin Fever' was very much inspired by 'The Thing.' It's really a perfect guy's horror movie: There's no love story, it's just straight-up horror. And it's so well-done. It moves at a slow pace, but it's really terrific.
I need to eliminate 'like' from my vocabulary. I begin sentences with, 'That's seriously like... ' I hear myself talking in this Los Angeles high-school student kind of way, and I hate it.
Once I got over the fear of writing female characters, it actually came quite easily and I was really happy with it. I just thought about girls I knew really, really well and I'd just have conversations with them and tried to relay how they talk about certain things.
The one negative to horror is that it's always law of diminishing returns. When you go in the funhouse, the ride is never scary the second time. You will never have that pure experience as when you first watch it.
My phobias worsen as I get older. I'm scared of flying, driving. I'm terrified of sharks. I'm a germaphobe. But I try to face my fears; I do. Well, most of them.
There's a crazy, false notion that audiences are not patient or will not watch a story, that you have to put in a scare every ten minutes. But I always thought that was insane.
I think characters are most terrifying when they're relatable. It's best when your most horrible characters make sense, and are believable. That's when a movie is most terrifying.
Horror is like comedy. Woody Allen's comedy is going to be very different from Ben Stiller's comedy which is going to be different from Adam Sandler's comedy which is going to be different from Judd Apatow's comedy. They're all comedy, but they're all very different types and you can enjoy all of them. Horror is the same way.
I like to take risks and do weird things and stuff that's not normal compared to other Hollywood movies. Not stuff that's totally avant garde and daring, but doing stuff that's in other languages and not using stars and using real people - things that they generally don't do in mainstream films.
There's fear in everything, but we can't just succumb to that. We have to suppress it, so we get used to suppressing fear to make it through the our day. Otherwise, we'd become paralyzed by them.
I think that horror films have a very direct relationship to the time in which they're made. The films that really strike a film with the public are very often reflecting something that everyone, consciously or unconsciously feeling - atomic age, post 9-11, post Iraq war; it's hard to predict what people are going to be afraid of.
As a kid, my idols were Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson, and I get into crazy races with myself. Raimi was 21 when he made movies, and when I didn't get 'Cabin Fever' made that fast I thought I'd failed.