CASSANDRA PETERSON: “WHOLE, NEW ENERGY”

There is certainly something to be said for the horror genre, according to Elvira.

For 40 years now, Cassandra Peterson has been known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and she is very optimistic about the direction horror is going in today. “I actually think it’s getting better,” she stated in an interview with SFX Magazine.

In contrast to the highly one-dimensional slashers of the ’90s, the sultry actress preferred the current trend toward psychological thrillers. “The was a period in the ’90s and early 2000s where it got more CGI-based and so explicit, so gory,” she explained. “I don’t mind blood and gore–I love it–but it was leaving nothing to your imagination.”

According to Peterson, the genre is returning to “where people are making horror films that are more psychological thrillers–more in your own imagination. Not showing every single thing.”

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According to her, “there’s some great stuff out there,” as well as the expanded role of women in society. “The greatest part is that there are more women involved in horror as writers, directors, stars,” she remarked. “That part infuses a whole, new energy into the horror genre.”

Among the more recent horror movies, what are Peterson’s favorites? In particular, the actor cited Midsommar, The Witch, and Get Out, saying they are “more like the ghost stories I heard as a kid around the campfire. They’re real. They’re more fun while still being incredibly scary.”

In the early ’80s, Peterson developed her career-defining Elvira persona hosting Elvira’s Movie Macabre, a weekly B-movie presentation for a Los Angeles radio station. Her performance led to the role of Elvira in Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, released in 1988. As a result of her exposure, she became a cult icon and developed a brand that includes tons of collectibles and costumes.

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