Although John Goodman is best known as a sitcom comedian thanks to The Conners, cult classics like Arachnophobia prove he can pull off horror roles, too.
Screen Veteran John Goodman is better known for his comedy roles than his work in the horror genre, but the legendary actor has a surprisingly stellar track record when it comes to the spooky side of genre cinema. John Goodman’s name is not closely associated with horror cinema. Horror movies aren’t generally considered the jovial actor’s forte, though a look at his list of roles (especially in recent years) proves he’s sometimes well-suited to the role. horror.
Goodman’s Coen brothers’ darker collaborations prove there’s an edge beneath his goofy comedic persona. Like Tim Curry’s turn as Pennywise in It’s by Stephen King, some of Goodman’s performances used his recognizable status as a comedian to make darker movies even more unnerving. With five horror roles to date and plenty of dark drama on his lengthy screen resume, Goodman has proven more than capable of fulfilling his darker content.
Goodman’s first horror role didn’t stray far from the actor’s comfort zone. Goodman played comic relief in the 1990s Arachnophobia, bringing light sitcom-style humor to his first horror film. However, it wasn’t long before Goodman branched out into more mature horror roles. The Psychological Horror of 1998 Fallen remains one of his darkest parts to date, while 2011’s dark red state saw the actor take on another sinister religious horror role. 2016 10 Cloverfield Lane was a little less hopeless and 2017 Kong: Skull Island was a funnier, cutting-edge brand of horror, proving that Goodman’s works in the genre could run the gamut from sparse, supernatural mystery to full-fledged monster movie mayhem. Here are all of John Goodman’s horror movies, ranked from worst to best.
5. Red State
Released in 2011, director Kevin Smith’s ambitious but flawed debut horror film red state is backed up by impressive performances like Goodman’s taciturn officer and Michael Parks’ unhinged pastor. Smith’s attempts to merge religious satire with horror aren’t as shrewd as Stephen King’s horror stories in the same vein, butt Red status still works as a brutal siege thriller with a career-best center turn from Parks. The pacing is a little too slow and the film barely qualifies as “horror” (a problem that would be vastly improved if Smith stuck to the wild original ending in which the abduction actually happens and the villain turns out to be right). Nevertheless, red state remains a solid first attempt with a typical Goodman big turn as a world-weary cop losing his faith in the face of human evil.
4. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Released in 2016, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a usable movie with a great premise. When Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s heroine wakes up in Goodman’s basement, her stoic captor informs her that the outside world has been invaded by aliens. It begs the question of whether this stern kook is telling the truth or completely insane, and more importantly, whether it’s worth risking your life to find out. The answer isn’t easy to guess, but it’s a little too obvious at the end of this isolated thriller. Scream Queen Winstead is great even if the story drags on and hence the otherwise clever twist becomes obvious. Thankfully, this two-handed matchup from 2016 remains tense and terrifying in large part thanks to Goodman’s center turn as a survivalist who just might be a delusional killer in disguise and Winstead’s solid, dependable performance.
3. Kong: Skull Island
A film tailor-made for viewers who have always loved the early adventure scenes of King Kong but never cared about the tragic love story, Kong: Skull Island is a goofy but pleasantly fun fusion of horror, action, and period adventure. This 2017 hit is the funniest and most action-packed incarnation of the giant ape story in cinematic history, but would have benefited from giving Goodman a bigger role. Luckily for viewers, what Goodman lacks, Kong: Skull Island compensates in memorable monster designs, rivaling Godzilla vs. Kong in terms of unforgettable creatures that manage to be both raw and awesome in equal measure. It may not be a full-fledged horror movie, but Kong: Skull Island certainly includes enough scares to warrant a spot on this list.
Released in 1998, Fallen remains a vastly underrated supernatural psychological thriller that has been mistakenly considered a Se7fr clone on exit. The dark, slow-burning horror-thriller does a lot better than this description suggests, taking its time to hint at supernatural elements while playing up the requisite police procedural parts of its story. Denzel Washington plays a cop horrified to discover the killer he’s tracking is something more than human, and Goodman provides exceptional support as a long-suffering colleague. Without giving anything away, suffice it to say that the film asks more of Goodman and Washington than first appears and that the two actors acclimatize to the changing genre of Fallen with ease, moving from low-key drama to jaw-dropping horror movie set pieces with aplomb.
The 1990 comedy horror Arachnophobia is an underrated monster movie with a likeable lead role in Jeff Daniels, an excellent supporting cast including a hammy Julian Sands, and a memorable central creature in its killer spiders. However, it was Goodman who elevated this one to cult classic status with his hysterical turn as Delbert the Exterminator, a comic relief role that makes it his strongest horror to date. A lot of Arachnophobia has the potential to be seriously scary if it weren’t for Goodman, thanks to its tense and chilling story of a small town besieged by deadly poisonous spider hybrids. However, as Delbert (a character so goofy it’s followed by a sitcom-style musical theme), Goodman arrives early to steal the film from under his co-stars’ noses and makes the most of every absurd line. , rivaling Matthew Lillard. Stu Macher as an unforgettable horror movie goofball.
Admittedly, the presence of such a silly character should harm the effectiveness of Arachnophobia, especially when the movie’s main monster is smaller than a house cat. However, when a character searches desperately for a map to dig up the monster’s lair and Goodman assumes they’re lazily investigating the local real estate market amid a frantic chase, viewers will be too busy laughing to care. worry. Although John GoodmanThe performance of arguably makes it a less scary horror movie, overall, Arachnophobia remains a classic thanks in large part to The Conners considerable comic chops from the actor.
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