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Where in the Horror are they Now? Michelle Trachtenberg!

12.21.2015by: JimmyO

MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG

THEN: This holiday season I am happy to return to some of my favorite yuletide classics. For me personally, I have to put both DIE HARD and BLACK CHRISTMAS on my must watch list. Well what about the BLACK CHRISTMAS remake you might ask? And to that I answer, not even if I was forced to. However, there are certain things about this terrible remake that work and that is the cast. One of the fine actresses involved was on my radar long before this unnecessary flick. In fact, the only reason I watched this at all was because of the lovely stars of this flick and this includes Michelle Trachtenberg. There is something downright spunky about this gorgeous actress, and she seemed to be a perfect choice for the final Where in the Horror are they Now of 2015.

Let’s start with what is still one of my all-time favorite shows. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is awesome on every level. Still, when Michelle was first introduced as the kid sister - who was actually some sort of magical key to other dimensions - some audiences tired of her quickly. Not me. I liked Ms. Trachtenberg because she was just like the younger sibling that drives you crazy but you still care desperately about. Sure she made a bunch of dumb, teenage mistakes, yet there was something wonderful about little “Dawn.” The relationship between Buffy, Dawn and their mother Joyce still holds up as a great example of creating a family audiences can care about. Maybe Dawn was a pain in the ass, but she gave the show an extra spark by giving Buffy something more to fight for.

When Michelle joined the cast of Buffy in 2000, it wasn’t her first time on-camera. Before that she had a slew of credits including the lead in HARRIET THE SPY in 1996, and the role of Penny in INSPECTOR GADGET in 1999. She was also a part of the cast of The Adventures of Pete & Pete for fourteen episodes. Yet it was Buffy that placed her in the hearts of Joss Whedon and genre fans alike. So what does she do after slaying vamps with big sis? She appears opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the critically acclaimed feature from Gregg Araki called MYSTERIOUS SKIN in 2004. After that she starred in four episodes of the critically lauded series Six Feet Under. And then, taking a break from the serious, that same year she was featured in the teen comedy EURO TRIP.

In 2006, after appearing in a cheesy teen flick called ICE PRINCESS in 2005, she returned to do a little bit of horror. And yes, that brings us back to the awful remake that is BLACK CHRISTMAS. As much as I disliked this film, it is shocking to me the level of talent that was involved. Aside from Michelle, you had Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, Katie Cassidy and even Andrea Martin (who also appeared in the original). Often times remakes try to hard to differentiate themselves from the original, or they play too close to what the first offered. The big problem with this flick is that it answered too many questions about the killer. Can something be too different and too similar at the same time? This one sure feels like it. Where the first succeeds is the mystery behind the stranger and that is non-existent here. Again, at least you had an awesome cast to help get you through.

Here is the gift and curse when it comes to television. If you find yourself involved with a successful series, you can usually find other work on the small screen, but it can be difficult to make it into features. So over the next few years, Michelle has appeared in a number of television shows, including voiceover work for The Super Hero Squad Show, as well as appearances on Mercy, Weeds and Love Bites. That said, she hasn’t completely disappeared from feature films. In 2009 she starred in 17 AGAIN with Zac Efron as well as AGAINST THE CURRENT with Joseph Fiennes. In 2010 she was featured in Kevin Smith’s much-maligned flick COP OUT. And a couple of years later, she appeared in the comedy TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT with a bunch of cool actors including Anna Faris, Dan Fogler and Teresa Palmer.

Recently audiences could find her working on Gossip Girl from 2008 to 2012. She was also part of the very popular Seth Green series Robot Chicken for five episodes. Then in 2013, you could find the actress working with Katee Sackhoff in SEXY EVIL GENIUS and in 2014, she once again co-starred with Katie Cassidy in THE SCRIBBLER. It’s funny how little Dawn has grown up and become a pretty darn talented - and quite stunning - actress, but how I would love to see her back on a series like Buffy. Or perhaps a horror flick that is much better than that dreadful holiday remake.

NOW: So what has Michelle been up to? It looks as though 2015 wasn’t a terrible year for her. She was featured in an episode of the series Sleepy Hollow. She dealt with an anonymous Christmas gift in a TV-movie appropriately entitled The Christmas Gift. And finally, she voiced one of the characters on the series SuperMansion playing the ‘Blood Moon.’ While not all of these are super high profile, it is good to see she works regularly. However, as a fan, I’d love to see her return to something equally as awesome as Joss Whedon’s classic series. And yes, it would be terrific to see her take on the horror genre again.

The good news is that she has a couple of upcoming features in the works that may appease horror fans. EVIL NATURE is billed on IMDB as a “comedy, horror” and stars Trachtenberg along with fellow Buffyverse star Seth Green, as well as Faye Dunaway, Dan Fogler and Chris Marquette - well, frankly I’m curious. She also has a comedy drama called BLANK NATION with Haley Joel Osment and SISTER CITES co-starring Amy Smart that are currently in various stages of production. As a fan, I look forward to what Michelle has coming up, and if you’d like to follow this lovely actress, you can check out her official Twitter page here, Facebook here, and then make your way to her Instagram page. And in case your Christmas isn’t merry enough, you could always have yourself a Buffy marathon to bring in the New Year. Cheers to Michelle, and happy holidays to all!

Extra Tidbit: Which is your favorite Dawn episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Source: AITH

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