As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, PromoteHorror.com asked women from different professions if they would like to answer some questions about being a “Woman in Horror.” One of the women, who was kind enough to answer our questions, was producer Anna McCarthy. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Anna: My first memory of horror was watching Child’s Play through a crack in the door when my sister had her friends over and not being able to sleep for about a week. I’ve always loved the practical effects of horror movies, especially in my era of the late 80s and 90s, everything always looked so real and I was really interested in how it was done. I probably became a fully fledged fan when Saw happened as the concept was so simple and incredibly effective.
-PH: Was there a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to go from being a fan of horror to a woman who contributes to the genre, or did it just kind of happen naturally?
-Anna: I’ve always had an interest in film, but I was never sure what I wanted to do. I’m certainly no actor despite my stints as ‘dead girl in some awful situation’ in quite a few horror movies now! My interest was definitely in the art behind the camera but I wasn’t sure how you would even make a start on something like that. I met MJ when I was living in Preston and he was just going out and doing it and making these wonderful looking films on whatever he had to hand and I totally caught the bug. I started out by just helping on set whenever I could and found I wanted to do more and more and so I guess the shift did happen quite naturally. I’m in the process of producing my seventh feature film with Mycho and am teaching myself stills photography, SFX makeup and camera skills so that I can do more each time.
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Anna: It means a great deal to me, due to the amazing women I work with all the time in the genre – behind and in front of the camera. I think that horror is a very accepting genre of film, especially within the indie community, and Women in Horror Month highlights this. There’s a genuine appreciation of the need for the female voice within horror movies to make them what they are. As our films are very female driven, it gives us a chance to shout out to those women who have helped to make our films what they are and who have been a joy and a pleasure to work with.
-PH: Is there a woman in horror who you consider a role model?
-Anna: There are a few! But if I had to name one, Debbie Rochon without a doubt. An amazingly versatile actor and an awesome director – I don’t think there is any role she could take on without making it amazing and she can turn her hand to any style in a heartbeat.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed over the years?
-Anna: I think that the role of women in horror has changed the most in terms of what goes on in front of the camera. For a long time, women were the scantily clad machete/knife/claw fodder there to be saved by the nearest bloke. Now we are seeing well rounded female characters who can hold their own against the monsters, or are the monsters themselves. Behind the scenes, things like Women in Horror Month and female driven film festivals have given women the confidence to to get writing, directing and producing their own stories which give a completely fresh take to the genre.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Anna: I hope that it keeps getting better and better! Certainly, I believe it’s one of the most fun and creative genres of film and I hope that the next generation of women are inspired by what’s happening now to get more involved.
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
-Anna: We’ve just had our world premiere of Mask of Thorn at Horror-on-Sea festival in Southend and are gearing that up for a release this year. We’re in production on our eighth feature which I’m not telling you anything about at the moment but keep an eye on www.mycho.co.uk for more news. We also have a Patreon for our short form Mychoverse content that connect into our feature films at https://www.patreon.com/mycho.
(Black and white photo credit goes to Niki Cornish Photography)
We would like to thank Anna McCarthy for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!