“There is an excitement level about scary movies,” Dominic Monaghan tells ET about his fascination with the genre, and “if you do it right,” he says, “you tend to feel like you are screaming at the TV, trying to get the hero or the heroine to turn around or run away. It is an interactive experience that I enjoy most about it.”
While known for playing Charlie on ABC’s Lostand Merry in The Lord of the Rings film franchise, Monaghan has also starred in a couple of thrillers and horror-comedies, explaining that “the scary-ish movies that I have done up to now, I just based on my response to a good script.”
While he’s yet to star in a true horror film (“If the right script falls onto my lap, then of course”), the actor is putting his fandom of the genre on display as ambassador of Screamfest, which runs Oct. 10 to 19, at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, California.
Known for launching careers and showcasing new horror classics, the festival is best known for discovering Paranormal Activity and hosting the premieres of 30 Days of Night, Let the Right One In, The Grudge and The Human Centipede. This year promises to offer plenty of chills and thrills, with Monaghan himself most looking forward to checking out Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End.
My 5: Nick Offerman’s Favorite Stories by Mark Twain
Ahead of ScreamFest, Monaghan shared his top five horror films with ET:
Directed by Gareth Edwards, Monaghan said the 2010 sci-fi monster film “is more of a thriller, but it does have some scary, jumpy movements. It was brilliantly shot. It has a lot of tension without ever seeing the monster too much, which was a really smart move.”
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
“It is not that scary, but it involves scary types of creatures,” Monaghan said of Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion animated film about a citizen of Halloween Town who stumbles through a portal into Christmas Town. “I love animation and love Tim Burton.”
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street
A slasher classic, Monaghan said the 1984 Wes Craven film is “incredibly fun and a scary roller coaster. And it has the young Johnny Depp, which is always fun.”
2. The Exorcist
“It captures some sort of innate evil and fear in the actual film itself. Just like the star of that film, even when it is not scary, feels terrifying and powerful to me,” Monaghan said of the 1973 supernatural horror film about the demonic possession of a young girl and her mother’s attempt to save her through an exorcism.
1. Let the Right One In
Referring to the 2008 Swedish original, Monaghan said “it is a masterpiece. It is a beautiful story which happens to be scary every so often.” And it’s more than his top horror film, “it’s one of my top 10 movies of all time.”