Dominic Monaghan Divulges What Draws Him to Horror

From starring in the cult hit TV series Lost to the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, actor Dominic Monaghan has achieved things many of his peers only dream of. This week, Monaghan can add another jewel to his impressive crown, as he's been named the official ambassador of this year's Screamfest Film Festival.

In the years since his breakout hits, the actor has gone on to star in genre films like I Sell the Dead, Pet and Detention, which are slightly more off the radar than his previous roles.

"I think horror movies have a special place in the industry, because they tend to be one of the areas that gives great new opportunities to burgeoning writers, burgeoning filmmakers, actors that maybe haven't had an opportunity before," Monaghan told PopCulture.com about what he loves about genre movies. "It's a place where people can cut their teeth. And we have to remember that these are the people that might be the new Duncan Jones, that might be the new Edgar Wright, that might be the new Rian Johnson, or Peter Jackson."

Monaghan knows this from experience, as Lord of the Rings director Jackson began his career with films like Dead Alive and Bad Taste, which are both filled with gore.

"I mean, Peter Jackson started his career in horror movies, in schlocky B-movie horror movies," Monaghan noted. "Because that's where he learned to be such a master technician, you know? So, the horror movie genre is a place where these people that, in the next 5-10 years, will be the new Christopher Nolan, will be the new Peter Jackson."

Despite his many accomplishments, given Hollywood's current obsession with remakes and reboots, the actor confessed he'd love to help bring a set of '80s fantasy films to life.

"I know that they were talking about, not necessarily a sequel, but a re-imagining of the world of Labyrinth, which I was really interested to kind of follow along with, because that was something that was a big influence for me when I was a kid," Monaghan admits. "I think the world of the Dark Crystal is really rich, filled with incredible creatures and characters, and some great back stories. And you know, they could make a really fantastic live-action version of The Dark Crystal nowadays with the special effects that we have at our disposal."

These films might have been geared towards younger audiences, but their surrealism strongly impacted its viewers.

"Dark Crystal was terrifying when I was a kid," Monaghan admitted. "You know, when they drained the essence of these little gelflings, I mean that's terrifying. You're like, 'Oh it's not sucking the blood out of these creatures but sucking the life force out.' When I was eight, nine, ten years old, that was f*cking terrifying. But also, it made you hate the Skeksis so much and you wanted the heroes to win the battle of good against evil. You know? So those are profoundly effective movies when I was a child."

Screamfest Film Festival kicks off tonight in Los Angeles. You can get more information by heading to their website.