Nothing wrong with being a horror actor…
Most of us (horror fans) have seen our share of spine-chilling black and white horror movies, and we all know some great old names forever tied to horror film. Those great actors, those familiar faces, they are the icons of horror.
From Klaus Kinski who delivered some of the creepiest performances ever with his Count Dracula (Nosferaty the Vampyre), Dr. Gunther (Crawlspace), and Blackmann in (Primal Impulse), to Boris Karloff who gave us his most powerful works as The Monster (Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein), Byron Orlok (Targets), and Ardeth Bey (The Mummy), we’ve had, and always will have some of the greatest actors in our beloved genre. But the times when Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee gave us their best as the famous toothy, bloodsucking Count, have passed and became legendary. Those times when Vincent Price shook the earth with his performances as Prince Prospero (The Masque of the Red Death) and Roderick Usher (House of Usher) are long behind us, and today we don’t really have any specific actors we could claim.
Just so we’re clear, I don’t mean the likes of Jack Nicholson, who did everything, and sometimes dabbled in horror (The Shinning, Wolf, Little Shop of Horrors). I mean those actors who chose horror genre as their main field of work. Sure, they all try to be as versatile as possible, but sometimes a genre picks them out, and they just can’t seem to shake it off. There are some actors that we mostly see in comedies, some we mostly see in action movies, and some in horror movies. It’s rarely because they chose to solely do those exact genres. Whether it’s their voice, body measurements, facial features, is of no importance. There is always some reason for the particular genre to choose them, out of thousands of other talented actors.
If we set aside those who play the monsters in big franchises (Robert Englund, Doug Bradley), and the terrific veterans we are all familiar with (Bill Moseley, Ken Foree), then who are the younger actors you most frequently see in horror movies? I know most of you are thinking “Bill Skarsgard” right now, and I couldn’t agree more, but aside from ‘IT’ and ‘Hemlock Grove’, there really isn’t much to talk about when it comes to his involvement in horror. He’s on a good track though.
Anyway, when I think horror actors of somewhat younger generations, the first name that pops up in my mind is Noah Segan. Some of you probably instantly thought of him as Kid Blue in ‘Looper’, which is just fine, if you’re a millennial who watched twenty movies so far. Others, who know what I’m talking about are reading this right now, thinking: “Ahhh, the wolf-eyes guy!” It’s like when you can’t remember the name right away and you think of Kim Kardashian as “the one with a big butt”. It comes naturally, because it’s someone’s most identifying feature.
Anyway, I remember that the first time I saw Noah Segan, it was back in 2008 in Marcel Sarmiento’s ‘Deadgirl’. We all know Sarmiento’s ‘The ABCs of Death’ (2012), Totem (2017), but most of you probably know him for his 2015’s masterpiece ‘The Invitation’. ‘Deadgirl’ was his debut in horror genre, and it was moderately good. It had an original idea, and a fine crew of actors. Segan played the twisted, “I-lost-my-morality-compass” JT, and he pulled it off like he was born to do it. Just so we’re clear, he seems to be a very nice and decent human being, so no puns. During the movie he gets killed, and I must say, I was kinda feeling sorry for him. I don’t know why, but that face of his probably had something to do with it. Anyway, he won best villain and best actor awards for his performance in ‘Deadgiirl’, so it’s absolutely worth watching.
In 2009 he played the lead in Chad Ferrin’s, ‘Someone’s Knocking at the Door’. This shock-exploitation horror movie is probably one the most bizarre trips I took as a horror fan, and I’m not sure if I’m more repulsed with it, or terrified by it, but Segan’s stellar performance made it worth wile. Ferrin’s ‘The Ghouls’ (2003) and Parasites (2016), are a proof that he knows his talents and knows how to use them, and picking Segan for the role of Justin, was no exeption.
One of my favorite works of Noah Segan is definitely in 2015’s ‘Follow’. In this Owen Egerton’s psychological horror thriller, Segan gave us the best of his acting mastery. Never was slow spiraling into madness so tangible as with the performance he gave as Quinn. In this heavy and agonizing story, he managed to shine and show what the power of good acting actually means, as he made the viewers suffer every scene with him.
In the end, I will give some homework to those of you who are unfamiliar with Noah Segan’s prolific and exquisite work in horror films: ‘Deadgirl’ (2008), ‘Someone’s Knocking at the Door’ (2009), Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever’ (2009), ‘Chain Letter’ (2009), ‘All About Evil’ (2010), ‘Undocumented’ (2010), ‘The Frozen’ (2012), ‘Starry Eyes’ (2014), ‘Some Kind of Hate’ (2015), ‘Tales of Halloween’ (2015), ‘The Mind’s Eye’ (2015), ‘Follow’ (2016), and ‘Camera Obscura’ (2017). Some of his roles in these movies were minor, some were the leading ones, but his contribution to horror genre remains indisputable. Deliberately, or not, Noah Segan is becoming a horror icon.