Mick Garris and Lin Shaye

Attendees of the 2019 Midsummer Scream were able to see many of their favorite horror actors and filmmakers in the flesh. Mick Garris not only wrote and directed numerous beloved films including Hocus Pocus, Critters 2, Sleepwalkers, and Nightmare Cinema, but he also is the host of Fangoria’s Post Mortem with Mick Garris. Between his body of work and his obvious passion for the horror genre, Garris is definitely a fan favorite. 

This year at Midsummer Scream Garris did a live recording of Post Mortem with special guest Lin Shaye. Shaye is also a favorite amongst horror fans. Her body of work includes the Insidious films, Critters and Critters 2, and many many more. Getting to watch these two chat on the Midsummer Scream couch was like getting to be a fly on the wall while two old friends reminisced about their lives, careers, and mutual love of horror.

Shaye has been a guest on the podcast before, but this was the first time the pair had some one-on-one time.  Garris begins by asking about Shaye’s early life start in the acting world. She grew up in a home with parents who were always supportive of her interest in the art. Starting at an early age, she acted out her own little performances and school plays. Her first film was Hester Street in 1975.  Shaye goes on to tell a very hilarious story about her character in that film and how the role changed from filming to the first time seeing the film on the big screen. Garris and Shaye also discussed the awkwardness of going from stage acting to screen acting and the differences between the two formats.

After that role and with the connections Shaye made from working in theater, she was able to pick up small roles when she first started her film career. This led to further connections in the industry. Much of Shaye’s most notable characters came from her work in the horror and comedy genres.  What’s more, Shaye has a tendency to work with directors multiple times, which Garris pointed out is a great sign. Shaye’s break into the horror world began with A Nightmare on Elm Street with the help of her brother, Bob Shaye (director, producer, and creator of New Line Cinemas). Naturally, this led to remembering the great Wes Craven as Shaye described her time working with him.

As if the horror fan community isn’t great enough, Shaye talked about how the horror film community is the same amongst filmmakers, writers, producers, actors, and everyone in-between. Garris noted that you can find horror conventions around the world, yet you don’t see that for any other specific genre. The fans and makers are very passionate and conventions like Midsummer Scream are a testament to that. 

Speaking about conventions led to a very emotional moment when Shaye got choked up at the thought of the recent shootings. The show was recorded the day after the Ohio mass shooting and those who attended Midsummer Scream likely noticed the heightened security compared to the security on day one as a result. Garris made a point of saying his show isn’t meant to be political, but it’s impossible to not be impacted by such events. Yet Shaye and Garris find comfort in the horror community and how they are some of the kindest people out there.

According to Garris, horror is meant to get a visceral response. Another genre that goes after a visceral response is comedy. Shaye has had much success in the comedic world as well, especially from the Farrelly brother films. Her first job with them she got with the help of her brother. Shaye started with Dumb and Dumber and then went on to do two more films with the brothers. She was able to share some great stories from these films as well, which definitely got a laugh from the audience.

While talking about Shaye’s career it was impossible not to talk about her recent work with James Wan. She starred in four Insidious films, the last one being entirely about her character. The audience learned how Shaye met Wan and began working with him as well as more about her character and how horror fans wanted to see more of her character. In the future fans can see Shaye in the new season of Penny Dreadful as well as a new indie film called Room for Rent, which is available now. 

Garris and Shaye ended the live recording of the podcast by taking audience questions. You can hear the questions, answers, and all the great stories shared by Garris and Shaye by listening to Post Mortem with Mick Garris anywhere you listen to podcasts.

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Molly Henery

Molly has been writing about horror films for various outlets since 2015. In November 2018 Molly earned an MA in professional creative writing, which she plans to use to write her own horror fiction and horror film screenplays. When she's not writing, Molly enjoys spending time with her husband and numerous fur babies. Be sure to follow her on Twitter (@BloggingBanshee) and Instagram (@blogging.banshee).
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