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Interview: FEAR CLINIC Star Fiona Dourif Talks Working with Robert Englund, Horror, and More

The new film Fear Clinic, based on the FEARnet webseries of the same name, stars genre veteran Robert Englund as Dr. Andover, a “fear doctor” who runs the clinic and uses his Fear Chamber to animate the fears of his patients in the form of terrifying hallucinations. Curse of Chucky‘s Fiona Dourif stars as one of Dr. Andover’s relapsing patients. Nerdist spoke with Dourif before the premiere at the Screamfest Film Festival in Los Angeles California about the horror genre, working with Englund and what scared her about Fear Clinic.

Dourif has been a working actress for a while now having made appearances on HBO’s hit series True Blood and she had a small part in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. Dourif also joined her father, actor Brad Dourif who is best known for voicing Chucky in the Child’s Play franchise, in the most recent installment, Curse of Chucky. For someone who has grown up surrounded by the horror genre, I ask the actress if she was actually a fan of scary movies. Dourif revealed that there was one movie in particular that scared her away from the genre for a while. She told us, “I stopped watching horror movies after I watched Candyman when I was – I don’t know, fifteen or something. I remember my sister rented it,  Candyman, and it really, really scared me. And so it was only after I found myself in a horror film that I really went back and kind of rediscovered the genre. And I think a well-made horror movie is it. It sticks with you, and I definitely have become a fan of the genre.”

Why does Dourif, now a part of the horror legacy in her own right, think that people like being scared? “I think it’s fun,” she says. “I think it’s fun to have something – the fear is all-encompassing in a way that I think is really fun. And also I think that it shocks me, almost. The big joke is to go to a horror movie with a date, because the movie – it’s such a big stimulus. I think it has something to do with that. I think if a horror movie is really scary, you’ll think about it for weeks, and there’s something kind of fun about that – about our art, really.”


Did Dourif know Englund before she co-starred with him in Fear Clinic? “No, I didn’t. I of course knew of him – I was a fan. I mean, he’s an icon. So I was really excited to work with him. I had also heard that he is the coolest, from a bunch of people, and it’s true. He’s honestly one of the most gentle, lovely people I’ve ever worked with.”

In addition to working with the terrifying and iconic Englund, what about this project attracted the actress to it? Dourif revealed, “I liked the concept of ‘there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.’ I think the movie is basically about that. It feels like a big allegory for that, maybe. I actually think that’s true, that we kind of create our own hell. And also I think that the stimulus for it all, like the mass shooting is something that is kind of appropriate for our time, in a way.”

Fear Clinic, written and directed by Robert Hall, and starring Robert Englund, Fiona Dourif, Thomas Dekker and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, premieres at Screamfest Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, October 22. It is expected to have a wide release from Anchor Bay Entertainment in early 2015.

Images: Anchor Bay Entertainment 

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