Justin Long’s his bright, cheerful personality makes him perfect for comedy films, but his career has led him to star in several horror films as well. The actor has starred in more than sixty films, most of which have been light dramas to full-blown comedies. His first acting credit is Galaxy Quest, a 1990s cult classic that nominated Long for a Saturn Award. Beyond that, he appeared in dozens of movies that allowed Long to showcase his comedic chops, including several Kevin Smith movies. From Zack and Miri make a pornto the iconic dodgeball, Long has left a lasting mark on the movies that make audiences laugh. But we must not forget that his first leading role was in Jeepers Creepersa horror film that was so successful that it spawned a series of sequels, and since then it has appeared in several films that all fall into the horror category.
Long began his comedy career in college, as a member of a sketch comedy group called Laughingstock. Then, after breaking into Galaxy QuestLong began starring in some of the most famous comedies of the past twenty years. In idiocracy he played the unintelligible Dr. Lexus, the mushy stoner vibe that Long always seems to have on standby. In 2006’s AcceptedForming his own college, Long is a suitable lead for an underrated comedy ensemble. Later in his career, Long pops up in light-relief cameos, from funny people to the horrible Movie 43and he even lent his voice to Alvin Sevilla in not one but two Alvin and the Squirrels movies. Suffice it to say, it’s a career dominated by innocent, often funny movies. Perhaps that’s why Long has also laced his resume with some really dark and horrifying material.
Includes a short cameo in Jeepers Creepers 2Long has appeared in a handful of horror films. So much so that his horror movie catalog is starting to catch up with his comedic output; at least in quality if not quantity. The charismatic actor often brings an initial lightness and sarcastic humor to each performance, before plunging into a fear that he translates shockingly well on film. While it’s always a welcome surprise to see a comedic actor in a horror movie, Danny McBride says in Alien: Covenant or Elizabeth Banks in the movie Brightburn, it’s usually a one-off. The novelty makes it intriguing. Justin Long has gone beyond this and proved he can do both horror and comedy, turning it from a novelty to a successful addition to his repertoire. So here are all his horror movies, ranked from worst to best.
yoga snakes is a bad movie, but it’s not really Long’s fault. An unfunny low in Smith’s eclectic career, the second film in Kevin Smith’s bizarre True North trilogy features a ridiculous storyline about two yoga-obsessed teens and their dealings with Canadian Nazis. Starring Lily-Rose Depp and Smith’s own daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, it was universally panned upon release. To his credit, Long provides one of the more humorous scenes as yoga guru, Yogi Bayer. His turn as the pretentious guru, while a bit on the nose, a pose called the ‘pretentious frog’ is disarming and fun. Though it’s pitched as a horror comedy, it barely contains any real horror, and Long doesn’t have much of a chance to dive into the darkness he does so well. Yoga Hosers is a low entry into his horror career.
Not exactly a horror, and not really a comedy either. It makes this list because it has ghosts in the title and vaguely follows the story of amateur ghost hunters, who turn out not to be hunting scary horror movie ghosts at all. A complete misfire filled with actors who have all done a better job in much better movies. Long plays an annoying and obnoxious security guard who is invited to the ‘Ghost Team’ by Jon Heder’s Louis, who claims to have discovered a haunted house. What follows is a cash grab exercise in checking off stereotype characters and story beats. Again, Long’s horror career will not be judged by this entry.
After.Life is the first entry entirely in the horror/thriller genre where Long leaves the comedy at the door. He plays Paul Coleman, Anna Taylor’s boyfriend who may or may not be dead. She is played by the brilliant Christina Ricci who channels some serious Addams Family vibes. This is the central mystery and failing point of an admirable attempt to mediate between life and death. Anna has woken up in a funeral home, on an embalming table, as she is being prepared for the funeral by an enigmatic undertaker who is honestly played by Liam Neeson. The film’s premise is let down by a refusal to reveal whether Anna is really dead, or made to think she is. The audience wonders what they’ve invested in and what the movie is actually trying to say. Despite this, director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo manages to build an eerie atmosphere of fear and Long does a good job as the grieving lover, who finds himself in a chilling situation at the end credits. An ongoing theme that reappears in the next better horror movies he’s been in.
A horror movie classic, Jeepers Creepers not only introduced us to the iconic ‘Creeper’, but also launched Long into the world of horror. The film received a lukewarm reception from critics when it was first released in 2001, but has since developed a cult following of sorts. And the introductory scene, in which the Creeper drives Patricia (Gina Philips) and Darry (Long) off the road in his truck, remains one of the scariest and most threatening moments in modern horror. As the film dies out in the third act, Long gives it all, portraying true terror in the face of an unknowable horror. The ending of him and the movie is one that won’t soon be forgotten.
Tusk is the first in Kevin Smith’s so-called True North Trilogy, the second is yoga snakes and the third called an unmade movie moose jaws. It’s also Smith’s first foray into body horror and the result is an incredibly hard to watch, but surprisingly good film. Justin Long plays Wallace Bryton, the podcast host who finds himself at the mercy of a deranged man named Howard Howe, played brilliantly by the ever-watching Michael Parks. Howe plans to turn Bryton into a walrus and does so step by step, over 100 grueling minutes. It’s terrible, it’s uncomfortable and sometimes a very heavy watch. But within all that lies a twisted comedy, giving Long the chance to play a character who is both snappy and terrifyingly desperate.
House of Darkness
House of Darkness shows Long doing what he does best, and what he has done multiple times in this list; playing a grubby, sarcastic “dude” who gets what his character deserves in often rather gruesome ways. While at Kevin Smith’s Tusk his gross sense of humor sees him sewn into a walrus suit, in House of Darkness his sleazy, fetch routine sees him cross paths with a gothic mansion full of vampires. Director Neil Labute, best known for the unintentional comedy goldmine that is the wicker man, reverses the roles with the scruffy and seedy character ‘nice guy’, in a film that shifts the balance of power firmly in the direction of women, in this case Mina (Kate Bosworth). Hap (Long) has picked her up after a night out, and it’s clear he doesn’t just want to see her home safe; the end result probably sees him wishing he had. A fairly standard storyline is heightened by charismatic performances from both Long and Bosworth, who ensure the film gets its message across.
Creepshow: Night Of The Living Late Show
2019’s horror show revival was a welcome return to the original anthology classic. It reintroduced audiences to the comic book episodes of Creep and the Creepshow, capturing the disturbing yet humorous spirit that made the 1982 film so wildly popular. Among the 36 segments, spanning three seasons and a special, is a wonderfully nostalgic and haunting entry called Night of the living late show. It features Long as an inventor who creates a machine that allows the user to input any movie they want. It gives Simon Sherman (Long) a chance to chat with horror icons Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, which is about as close to horror royalty as you can get. The ending is dastardly cruel and leaves Long’s character, once again, wishing he had been a better person.
The recently released Barbarian is terrifying and unforgiving, putting three characters in truly awful circumstances. A double-booked Air BnB leads Tess Marshall (Georgina Campbell) and Keith Toshko (Bill Skarsgard) to reluctantly share a residence for the night and together make the horrifying discovery of what lies beneath. The owner of the property is the unlikely Aj Gilbride (Long), who faces financial difficulties after being accused of rape. Long is once again perfectly versed in portraying the sleaze and smartness of a character that audiences should enjoy loathing. Long is adept at knocking out that sycophantic charm and evoking the fear, which he does to great effect in this solid monster movie horror.
drag me to hell
drag me to hell Sam Raimi is in top form. The eclectic director feels most at home with puking demons, ghosts, curses and jumpscares. The film follows Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) after she is cursed by an old Roma woman. The torment she must endure in the coming days allows Sam Raimi to stage the Evil Dead ick factor, with vomit, blood and cat sacrifices. While that all sounds awful, the end result is a fun, scary thrill ride that sees Raimi return to the horror comedy genre he created with The Evil Death trilogy. Long is the unfortunate boyfriend of Lohman’s character, given the unsavory task of watching his girlfriend suffer the consequences of disrespecting Mrs. Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver). Justin Long’s The classic look of wide-eyed horror, used throughout his horror career, is never more impressive than seeing Christine literally dragged to hell. The movie is an absolute hit.
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