Actress Alex Essoe has made quite a name for herself in horror circles over recent years, with her dazzling lead role in 2014’s Starry Eyes followed up with the likes of crowdpleasers Tales of Halloween and The Neighbor.
With Tales of Halloween hitting DVD on October 24 in the UK, we caught up with Essoe to talk about the film, her career – and her favourite horror films…..

 
Q. Tales of Halloween is a real treasure-trove for genre fans – a great blend of laughs and scares and packed full of well-known horror faces. Your segment alone features the likes of Lin Shaye and Barbara Crampton – how much fun was it to work on?
It was such a blast, I love Lin Shaye and Barbara Crampton, I grew up watching their stuff and I adore them. I also got to work with Stuart Gordon (Dolls is one of my all-time favorites), Mick Garris and the absolutely stunning Lisa Marie. It was really a dream come true, I had to pinch myself.

Q. Although the film is in essence a feature, obviously it’s a series of short tales linked together – how much were you aware of the other segments being filmed? What did you make of them when you eventually saw them?
I wasn’t super aware of the content of the other films, but I wanted it that way. I don’t even really watch trailers for movies, especially if I’m excited to see them. I’m glad I did because seeing everything together was far more gratifying. I like to see movies the way they’re meant to be seen, the way the filmmaker intends them to be seen.
 
Q. An obvious question I know, but is Halloween a big deal in your household?
Oh yes, the compound where I grew uptook all the holidays to 11 and Halloween was no different. I’ll still have 4 or 5 costumes picked out every year.
 
Q. The Neighbor made its UK debut at London’s recent Frightfest festival – it’s fair to say that has a different tone to Tales of Halloween!
Yes, I’d say so! Tales is very much a love letter to Halloween specifically, while The Neighbor is very much an action/suspense project. I love action stuff, I hope to do more.
 
grimgrinningghost_still2-low-res-1200x500
 
Q. Rewinding to 2014, and one of our films of the year was Starry Eyes – in our review we described your performance as ‘a dazzling mix of vulnerability, coy sexiness, desperation, madness and, as the film progresses, murderous intent’. Two years on, what are your memories of that film?
Honestly, the entire process of making Starry Eyes is burned in my memory. Working on that film was like walking on air. Some highlights were my Dad visiting set the day I filmed that first audition freak-out, working with Patrick Healy because he’s so brilliant (and hilarious) and, of course, the mealworm… ugh…
 
Q. It also had a real 80s vibe with the soundtrack and that really seems to be the ‘in thing’ at the moment with the likes of Stranger Things…..
Yeah it totally did, Jonathan Snipes nailed it with that soundtrack. I think that style is in right now because it comes from a real golden age of sci-fi and horror, plus everything gets recycled at one point or another, ususally because it was so very awesome the first time around.
 
Q. If imdb is to be believed, you have something like 10 movies either in production or awaiting release – what can you tell us about the likes of The Maestro?
The Maestrois essentially a bio-pic of composers Jerry Herst and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, the former being a student of the latter. I don’t want to give too much away but I play Cyd Charisse which was a dream, I’ve never done a period film before!
 
Q. Finally, how much of a horror fan are you? Any hidden gems you’d like to recommend for our readers to watch at Halloween – in addition to Tales of Halloween of course!
Absolutely! Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010), Eyes of Fire (1983), Demons (1985, one of my favorite of Bava’s), The Beyond and House by the Cemetery (both 1981, two of my favorites by Fulci). 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.