Hello, readers! Welcome back for the next installment of our monthly feature here at Daily Dead—Deadly Dialogue: A Conversation on Cinema—where we’ll be catching up with notable folks from the horror and sci-fi genres, both in front of and behind the camera, to discuss the films that inspired them to become the artists they are today.

With the recent release of Krampus, the timing seemed perfect to chat with filmmaker Michael Dougherty about the movies that originally inspired him to direct, and how he’s trying to revive that feeling in modern cinema.

I wouldn't say it's just one film that made me want to direct movies. It's really just a body of films. It's a lot of movies from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s and I think that was a really amazing decade for cinema. Not that our decade doesn't have great movies, but for me, those were the movies I was raised on that really blew my mind.  

Like I mentioned before, the Amblin films were more fresh and original and we weren't caught up in this whole remake, sequel, prequel, reboot craze that we are in right now. Back then, remakes and sequels were more of an exception; they were a rare event. There was a heavier emphasis on new and original things, but also pushing the boundaries of what was appropriate for ratings, and also just more imagination.

And I think we've been missing that. The movies I watched were willing to scare you because they knew that it was good for you to have a little dose of fear. They knew that you were stronger than adults wanted to give you credit for, so they’d push kids. My life was very similar to The Goonies, where we got on our bikes and we disappeared for the day. You came home at night for dinner, and the parents weren't monitoring you via cellphones, and the world wasn't so kid-safe. I feel like we're missing out by not scaring our kids a little bit with movies or TV shows like that anymore.

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.