FIRST HORROR MOVIE HE REMEMBERS SEEING: TRUTH OR DARE?: A CRITICAL MADNESS (1986)
Elijah Wood was just 5 when he fell in love with scary movies after watching this obscure film about a man who catches his wife in bed with another man and goes insane. ''It's wonderfully terrible and continues to be one of my favorite films,'' he says. Why was a 5-year-old watching a horror movie? ''I, thankfully, have a brother who's seven years older than me.''
FAVORITE PETER JACKSON HORROR MOVIE: DEAD ALIVE (1993)
Given Wood's fondness for both horror and his Lord of the Rings director, it's no surprise that he adores the auteur's older, gory work especially the blood-drenched Dead Alive. ''It's a great classic in the zombie genre,'' he says. While making LOTR, Wood adds, Jackson would ''talk about his interest in returning to the genre. He's got a couple of ideas for films that harken back to his early days.''
MOST EXTREME HORROR MOVIE HE'S STARRED IN: MANIAC (2013)
Wood battled aliens in Robert Rodriguez's 1998 film The Faculty and portrayed a cannibal hitman in the director's 2005 flick Sin City. But easily his most horrific project to date is Maniac, a remake of the 1980 slasher flick in which he plays a killer, and scalper, of women. The film opens limited on June 21 (when it will also be on VOD) and is told from the point of view of Wood's character. ''It was proposed to me as 'You'll play the killer, but you won't ever really be seen except in reflections,' '' says the actor. ''I'm not a huge fan of horror remakes, but I felt this was such a different take. You're effectively living the moment as the killer.''
NEXT HORROR MOVIE HE'S ACTING IN: COOTIES (TBD)
Last year Wood and two partners established a company called SpectreVision, which is producing an array of horror movies, including Toad Road, about a pathway to hell, and a black-and-white vampire Western in Farsi(!) called A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. SpectreVision is also producing the horror comedy Cooties, co-written by Insidious scribe Leigh Whannell and Glee writer Ian Brennan. ''It's about a zombie virus that affects children,'' says Wood, who will appear in the film. ''A group of teachers are stuck in a school with rabid kids. The idea is to take 'cooties' to the next level.''
FAVORITE ALL-TIME HORROR MOVIE: HALLOWEEN (1978)
''It's such an obvious choice, but I recently rewatched the film with my friends and I realized that it makes me feel happy,'' Wood says, laughing. ''It's perfectly executed and it's so damned iconic.''