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.