Skip to main content

Russo Bros Wanted to Shoot 'Infinity War' in Cleveland

Five horrific questions with 'Horror Hotel's' Kristina Michelle

Kristina Michelle on the set of 'Dying to Meet You'
Kristina Michelle’s Horror Hotel is the scariest thing since the Bates Motel. But don’t say Michelle and Norman Bates have anything in common.

"The television show is a great extra platform to be able to do that,” Michelle says. “And I just love talking about horror and movies in general, so there's that.”
Michelle and Hitchcock, however? Well, now you’re talking.

The producer and actress is best known as the ghoulish host of Horror Hotel, an amalgamation of various hosted horror and movie shows featured on the online Reel TV Network. The show was created by Ray Szuch.

Szuch and Michelle co-founded The International Horror Hotel film festival. The festival’s mission is to highlight independent horror filmmakers.

Hey, that’s exactly what we’re looking for!

Five horrific questions with Kristina Michelle

Kristina Michelle as Lamia in 'Horror Hotel'
MMM: What’s makes a horror movie scary?

Kristina Michelle (KM): Everything has to be balanced right. Every aspect of the film has to come together properly to make a horror movie scary. Too many horror films focus on cheap scares, which I think lessens the overall effect. You have to have great characters and a great story, and all of your visuals and music should also build the tension as well.  

Story-wise, my personal preference is a more human element. Everyone can enjoy a good creature feature or disaster movie, but there will always be a greater sense of realism when your monster is human.

MMM: What’s the scariest movie you’ve seen?

KM: I don't know about scariest, but there are a number of horror movies that definitely stand out, are some of my favorites, and I remember watching for the very first time: The Descent, High Tension, Rose Red, The Exorcist, Freaks, House of 1000 Corpses... I could go on and on. I guess you could say I've got pretty eclectic tastes, so it's always hard to pick just one.

MMM: Who is your horror inspiration?

KM: I would have to say horror writers in general. Without the gothic and horror novelists going back to the 18th and 19th centuries, we would never have horror movies. Early horror directors simply brought those visions to life, letting them play out in a new and different medium. Even today, without a great story and writer, your film is lost. It's nothing.

MMM: Why do we like to be scared?

Producer and actress Kristina Michelle
KM: Adrenaline, plain and simple. It's why we ride roller coasters, skydive, play extreme sports. Watching horror movies can certainly be an emotional roller coaster, all within our comfort zones. Fear is an adrenaline rush, and it's amazing to come out the other side unscathed. It can be very cathartic. Scary movies also draw you out of your own reality and give you an escape, letting you live through horrors and challenges different from your own.

MMM: What movie would you like to turn into a horror movie? And how would you do it?

KM: I honestly wouldn't want to turn a non-horror movie into a horror movie, simply because the industry is so overrun with remakes and retellings that it's becoming all we see. Again going back to the writers, there are so many phenomenal horror novels out there that are just waiting to be brought to the screen. "Heart-Shaped Box" by Joe Hill springs to mind, and I think Kim Harrison's "The Hollows" series would make an excellent fantasy/horror TV series.


Popular posts from this blog

Russo Bros Wanted to Shoot 'Infinity War' in Cleveland

Imagine Medina standing in for the rolling hills of Wakanda or the steps of the Sanctum Sanctorum leading down to E. 9th. With a little more infrastructure, it may have happened.

Cleveland natives and Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo said as much recently during a Q&A after a screening of the film at the Cleveland Cinematheque, adding that they would have loved to bring Infinity War to Cleveland. One of the reasons the brothers couldn’t is because it lacks a modern sound stage suitably for a film its size.

The Russos shot much of Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Cleveland. If the right sound stage was available, they would have kept the film in Northeast Ohio longer.

The directors said the availability of state-of-the-art sound stages was one of the main reasons why nearly 40 feature films are shooting in Georgia. Georgia's Pinewood Atlanta Studios is the second largest purpose-built studio in North America, featuring 18 sound stages rang…

'Walking Dead' star Emily Kinney joins 'Anhedonia' cast

Emily Kinney, perhaps best known for her role as Beth Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead, is joining Anhedonia, the new indie feature from Cleveland’s Eric Swinderman and Carmen DeFranco.

Kinney got her start on stage, with roles in Spring Awakening and August: Osage County, before transitioning to guest roles on television and a star turn as Emily on Showtime’s The Big C.

Her breakout role would come as Beth Greene, Maggie Greene’s little sister, on The Walking Dead. Kinney became a fan favorite during a series of dramatic episodes in the series’ fourth season when Kinney’s Greene bonded with fellow survivor Daryl Dixon, played by Norman Reedus.

Anhedonia co-stars Breckin Meyer and Giselle Eisenberg.

"To have the opportunity to work with such an amazing actress like Emily is beyond exciting,” says Swinderman. “It's also very exciting for the city and people of northeast Ohio to have three huge TV stars coming to town to work on such a wonderful project.”

Anhedonia tells the tal…

Profile: Filmmaker Alex P. Michaels is Just Getting Started

Back before the turn of the last century, Cleveland filmmaker Alex P. Michaels was on the verge of seeing his name on the small screen, credited as the writer and creator of a made-for-television movie titled What Angels Fear.

He was 32 years old at the time, working temp jobs so he could make time to screenwrite. One of those stories was Angels. Michaels entered the script into Procter& Gamble’s Dreambuilder competition for African-American playwrights. He won.

The Dreambuilder program was created in 1997 to give African-American voices and points of view a place on mainstream television in a production that would appeal to all viewers.

“Jim Friedman, a white producer in Cincinnati, created the program for black writers to get their scripts produced,” says Michaels. Friedman is an Emmy-winning director. “In addition to buying the scripts, Jim and his company produced the stories and aired them on television. What Angels Fear won four Emmys. Jim won as director, both lead actors,…