The art of the scare: Horror movie buff teaches you how to spook people
Anthony Buziak played Michael Myers at a Saskatoon haunted house
You could just call him a Michael Myers for hire.
Anthony Buziak's love of all things horror has taken him a lot of places. As the co-host of the Saskatoon-based podcast The Terror Table, he's interviewed horror filmmakers and watched hundreds of horror movies.
"Some people go rock climbing or jump out of planes for fun. And for me, it's just getting the bejesus scared out of me," he told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
That all came in handy when the tables turned and he started scaring people in real life this year.
Buziak took on the role of Michael Myers — the infamous murderer in the Halloween movie franchise — in a local haunted house.
Different types of scares
Before even putting on the mask, Buziak knew there are two big ways of scaring people.
There's the jump scare, which he calls the "fast food" of horror, and then there's the tension scare, which creeps up on you and lingers long after it's over.
It took Buziak a while to realize that those types of scares transfer into real life and appeal to different demographics. Young people — those 35 years old or younger — respond well to a jump scare, he said, whereas the older crowd tends to take in their surroundings much more quickly and need a little more work.
"It's kind of what they were raised with. You'll find … as the years have went on, the idea of crafting tension has kind of gone out the window," he said.
So standing in the haunted house, wearing a mechanic's dark-blue jumpsuit and a mask with a wig attached to it, and clutching his weapon, Buziak would listen closely to figure out the ages of the people approaching.
He was in a room with a lot of stuff that he was supposed to hide behind, and would figure out where to position himself.
If his visitors were younger, he'd run, scream or stomp at them to scare them.
The older crowds responded better when he stood slightly behind something, Buziak said, where he could still be partially seen. He would wait until they'd looked around, but weren't looking directly at him, before making his move for maximum effect.
He has one other tip for anyone looking to deliver a fright on Halloween.
"Never fully give away what you are or what you're doing. There's a little bit of that sense of what the brain makes up that they're not seeing," he said.
While Buziak's turn at the haunted house is now over, he's not hanging up his mask yet. A friend of his has a child who loves the Halloween movies so he plans to stop by dressed up as Michael Myers.
A horror movie for every personality
Best Halloween-themed movie: Trick 'r Treat
- "It's a collection of [stories] and it goes through all these different versions of things that happen on Halloween."
Best old-fashioned scare: The Thing
- "If you look at lists online it's usually up there, [No.] 1 or 2, for the best ever. And I find it's just crafted perfectly."
Best movie for horror movie haters: Scream
- "It kind of rides that line … as comedy as well as making fun of horror movies, but having a couple of horror movie elements to it. So a lot of people I know that don't even like horror movies watched that and they do get enjoyment out of it."
Best funny/campy horror: What We Do in the Shadows
- "It's about a bunch of vampires living together and kind of their struggles in living a day-to-day life. It's really entertaining."
Best monster movie: Dog Soldiers
- "A group of marines are doing a training exercise … and it turns out that they're actually getting hunted by werewolves, so they get locked in a cabin and they have to kind of survive the night."
Best Netflix pick: Train to Busan
- "It's a South Korean film.… They're huge, those directors know what they're doing. But yeah, this zombie outbreak happens and the train's automated, so it's going along and a zombie ends up getting on the train and they're locking themselves in each individual cart — but the zombies are coming in."
Worst horror movie: Halloween: Resurrection
- "I recently watched all the Halloweens and it just destroys all of the lore and everything that was unique and interesting about Halloween."
With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.