Before Eternals or House of Gucci, Salma Hayek appeared in a quartet of horror films from The Faculty to From Dusk Till Dawn, but which one is the best?
Screen veteran Salma Hayek recently returned to cinemas with House of Gucci and Eternal, but it’s been a while since there was a Salma Hayek horror movie. Despite starting out as an action heroine, Salma Hayek has not made as many horror films as some readers might guess. The veteran star has appeared in a number of sci-fi endeavors, but over the decades of his career, Hayek has only appeared in four horror films.
Hayek’s first horror film came shortly after her starring role in Desperate and reunited with the film’s director, Robert Rodriguez. After 1996’s vampire western From Dusk To Dawn, Hayek ruled the genre for two years before Rodriguez tempted her back to the dark side of the 1998s The faculty. Written by Scream franchise co-creator Kevin Williamson that sci-fi thriller from 1998 gave Hayek a minor role. She had a major role in her next thriller, 2009’s Freak show, before her last horror film to date, the 2015s Tale of Tales, referred her to a minor role again.
But while Hayek may not share Kevin Bacon’s love of horror, some of her excursions in the genre have been critically acclaimed. That said, some of Salma Hayek’s later horror films were not so lucky with reviewers. The flaw in Hayek’s latest horror film may even have played into her decision to move away from the genre. Here, Salma Hayek’s horror film is ranked from worst to best.
Published in 2009, Freak show was a big-budget adaptation of Darren Shan’s YA bestseller. Unfortunately for Hayek and the talented cast, Freak show was one of the smaller ones Harry Potter knock-offs, no scares, minimal edge, and a foul cast John C. Reilly wasted in a predictable plot. Hayek is funny as the bearded lady Madame Truska, but like Dead end‘s Ana De Armas, the star is unable to raise the material on his own.
Tale of Tales
While the 2015s Tales of Tales in itself is as uneven as most anthology endeavors, the inventive fusion of horror, fantasy and adventure shining beneath Hayek’s eerie story and Vincent Cassel’s prominent segment. A collection of European folk tales rethought by director Matteo Garrone, Tales of Tales meanders at times, but the central story of Hayek’s mad queen eating a dragon’s heart in hopes of getting pregnant with an heir is arresting and surreal. Tale of Tales can not keep this level of artistry through its long playing time, but at its best, it’s the best horror film Guillermo Del Toro has ever made.
Underrated since release, director Robert Rodriguez The faculty is a Kevin Williamson screenwriting effort that aimed to do for body-snatching sci-fi what Scream made for teen slashers. The self-conscious humor is not quite as sharp this time, but the cast is uniformly superb. Hayek played only a small role against the type as the gloomy school nurse, but she goes into the solid lineup and has just as much fun as the campy co-stars Robert Patrick, Famke Janssen and Jon Stewart.
From morning to evening
1996’s hunting movie / vampire western From morning to evening is a wild genre hybrid that by all rights should not have worked. Originally a tense kidnapping thriller, From morning to evening pulls a midway switch when the anti-heroes punch a hole in a bar infested with vampires. In contrast to Midnight Mass‘Stephen King-influenced vampire story, in this fast-paced, more silly action, bloodsuckers suddenly appear and without explanation, but the film is still an explosion, though it does not make much sense. From morning to evening also gave Salma Hayek one of her most iconic roles to date, making it the star’s best thriller and one of director Robert Rodriguez’s best films.
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