Hesta Prynn doesn’t front.
She channels true hip hop spirit a la the Wu-Tang Clan, while carrying dreamy hooks just as well as Portishead’s Beth Gibbons. The New York artist conjures a myriad of sounds in her music that often border on ethereal but always brandish a raw undeniable spunk. If M.I.A. could rhyme like Nas, she’d be halfway as good as Hesta Prynn as. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Miss Prynn has a sexy swagger and a stunning live show. Emerging from Northern State solo, Hesta Prynn has her sights set on the top.
However, she’s also a massive horror movie fan. Being a true student of the genre, Hesta Prynn shared a diverse and deadly list of favorite flicks with Bloody Disgusting’s Rick Florino (www.bookofdolor.com) in this exclusive feature. Hesta Prynn’s Favorite Horror Movies:
I loved Hostel. I thought it was a really amazing and important film. I’m a huge fan of the movie. Hostel was my gateway into newer horror movies. I rented it on NetFlix, and I started reading the reviews after. In America, the general critical sentiment was that it was torture porn or whatever but in Europe, someone in France said it’s the most insightful commentary on American capitalism [Laughs]. Eli Roth used elements of old movies that I like. Nothing at all happens in the first hour of the movie. In a modern way, when it happens, it’s so shocking and over-the-top. It feels like it’s not in the same movie, but it is! Putting together the old and the new styles of the genre was really creative.
The Exorcist is my favorite movie, and Jaws might be my second favorite—if I had to put them in order. The soundtrack to Jaws is amazing as well as the fact that you never really see him. It’s because they couldn’t make the shark work, and it was basically a happy accident. The fin became so iconic. It’s really about the fear of the dark and the fear of the unknown.
I saw Alien when I was a really young; I think I was about 6-years-old. My friend’s dad had it and we watched it. The part where they go off the ship and find the eggs scared me in a good way. It was so scary and crazy that it was exciting. Alien was essentially my early gateway into horror. I didn’t remember the movie very well, but I already remembered that scene.
I’ve always been a fan of movies. I went to Tish at NYU, and I studied acting and film. After The Exorcist was re-released in 1998, I really immersed myself in horror. I’d never seen The Exorcist before. I went with some friends to the movie theater. I was so blown away by it. I’d seen Max von Sydow in all of Ingmar Bergman’s films because I studied Bergman in college. I didn’t know he was in The Exorcist and I’d just seen him in all of these crazy Swedish films. I loved everything about the movie, and I bought the special edition DVD immediately. It’s an amazing DVD. There are so many behind-the-scenes feature. I was a teenager when the movie was re-released, and I saw these feminist overtones in it. Regan’s just a girl and they don’t know what’s happening to her. That’s what it’s like when you’re a girl growing up. I became obsessed with the movie, and I started watching it every single day. I learned everything about it. When William Friedkin was casting Father Merrin, he said, “Who is the greatest actor in the world? That’s who we need to hire.” They decided Max von Sydow was the greatest actor in the world—fair enough. He was around 40 though, and Father Merrin’s an old man. The studio wondered why he didn’t hire an old man, but Friedkin wouldn’t do the movie without Sydow. So they got Sydow and put all of this makeup on him. Jason Miller who played Father Karras was a playwright, and he’d never acted before. William Friedkin saw his play Championship Season, and he was like, “Whoever wrote this play has to play this role! I don’t care if he’s an actor.” That was Jason Miller’s first role. Friedkin hired this guy who did the sounds for all of these South African movies. For the part where Regan’s head spins around, he took his wallet out of his pocket and flipped his credit cards, and that’s the sound of her turning her head. They hired an old Broadway actress to do the voice. It was a great first horror movie to love because it’s such a masterpiece. When I started reading about how Friedkin made it, he took so much pride in crafting it. I know The Exorcist by heart. I love the scene where the inspector comes to the house to ask what’s going on and if the little girl killed the film director. The shot slowly moves in as he gets to his point and the mother knows what she’s talking about. It freezes, and they have this conversation without having the conversation then he’s like, “Maybe not…” and the camera pulls back. The mom knows what did it happen. The scene is so interesting. It’s so simple but awesome and it makes you respond.
Rosemary’s Baby is also one of my favorite movies. I read the book, and it was so great. I actually read all of Ira Levine’s books in high school. Most of his books are like horror movies—Sliver is great. It’s about voyeurism. I love Rosemary’s Baby partially because it’s so New York. The music is amazing. “Fur Elise” was the first song that when I played it on piano I was like, “Oh wow, I’m a piano player now.” [Laughs] Polanski used that over and over again. All of his movies are about alienation, and the main character never really knows what’s going on. It’s intriguing. I love the Dakota in the film, and the acting is amazing. In the book, Levine describes what Rosemary sees when she looks in the cradle. In the movie, I love the way Mia Farrow just freaks out though! Because they didn’t have the effects we have now, actors really had to access those emotions.
I really liked Wolf Creek a lot. It’s totally gross and disgusting [Laughs]. It’s not psychologically terrifying in the same way that some of the older suspenseful movies are. It doesn’t get in your head; it’s just gross. It’s unsettling. Of the new films, I loved Wolf Creek. It was creative in terms of torture. The head-on-a-stick really stayed with me! I liked the idea of someone hunting people down in such a hardcore way. In period, that’s awesome!
The Last House on the Left (2009)
I thought Last House on the Left was great! I didn’t expect it to be good because remakes are always such shit, but it was jarring. That rape scene is fucked up!
The Tenant is an early Polanski movie. He’s actually in it, and he becomes obsessed with this woman named Simone. He basically turns into her. It’s fucked up and really disturbing.
Repulsion was great too!
Them (ils) is a French movie that I really liked. It’s very scary! When I watched it, I wondered if The Strangers was somehow based on it. The movie is about an attractive, successful French couple. They go to the guy’s country house, and he’s going to propose to her. They don’t have a fight like they do in The Strangers. In Them, the couple goes to bed and somebody starts fucking with them. It’s actually a true story. It gets really fucked up and upsetting.
Persona isn’t a proper horror movie; it’s more of a psychological horror movie. It’s about two women who kind of become the same woman. The film has one of the best montages ever.
The Wicker Man
The original Wicker Man disturbed me a lot. When they burn him in the big Wicker Man… wow…
I couldn’t watch The Shining for a really long time. I love that film!
Creepshow stuck with me too!