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,” and more. One of those women, who was kind enough to answer our questions, was writer, and director Haley Noelle Cummings. Lets see what she said about being a “Woman in Horror”…
-PH: When did you first become a horror fan?
-Haley: I’ve been a horror fan as far back as I can remember. It’s hard to pin point what really brought me into the genre. I started off with Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and eventually found myself scouring the video store shelves for all the horror films I needed to see. I fell in love with Japanese horror films very early. Those heavily influenced my tastes.
-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?
-Haley: I’d say it happened naturally. I’d always really liked telling stories, so I just started writing them down. It started out as short stories and eventually grew into screenplays, always with a horror twist. My stories always end up back in the horror genre. It just feels like home.
-PH: What does having a “Women in Horror” month mean to you?
-Haley: For me, having a Women in Horror month is about putting a spotlight on work that often goes unnoticed. Growing up, I was told that horror was a men’s thing. My passion for it was discouraged. There are still times when I feel this stigma. Women have always been a part of horror though, and by bringing attention to that, we can continue to foster passion in women who have their own horror stories to tell.
-PH: How do you think the role of women in horror has changed over the years?
-Haley: The increase in visibility for women in horror has been such an amazing thing to see over the years. The month of celebration has really become a movement that spans across every day of the year. I’m far more likely to run into someone who knows a woman in horror now than I ever was growing up, whether it be a director, a writer, an actress, or an artist of any kind. I’m happy to know that horror loving kids like me will have all these voices to hear from.
-PH: What do you think the future holds for women in horror?
-Haley: In the future, I hope we get to a point where women in horror are just as well known as other creators in the genre are. I think we’re on our way there. We’re on the right track. It’s just going to take some more time. I’m looking forward to it.
-PH: If you could serve a role in horror that you’ve never done, what would it be?
-Haley: I would love to try my hand at horror photography or paint on canvas. It would be interesting to see what type of creations I could cook up.
-PH: Who is your favorite final girl, and favorite female villain?
-Haley: My answer to questions like this is always changing. We’re getting so many great characters to choose from now. My all time favorite final girl is probably Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott from Scream. As for female villain, I’m currently loving the Mother Superior played by Helena Bereen from Aislinn Clarke’s The Devil’s Doorway.
-PH: Being that this is PromoteHorror.com, please feel free to plug your current/next horror project.
-Haley: My latest short film Return to Sender is currently being sent around to festivals. The trailer for this film and for my previous films can be found on my Vimeo.
We would like to thank Haley Noelle Cummings for taking the time to answer our questions, but more importantly for her contribution to horror!