Where in the Horror are they Now? Angela Bettis!

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THEN: Do you remember the first time you saw MAY (2002)? I’ll never forget that twisted flick. Directed by Lucky McKee (THE WOMAN, ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE), this disturbed tale of obsession got under most horror fans skin. You can certainly credit some of that to the impressive cast the filmmaker gathered together. Among the on-screen talent was James Duval, Anna Faris and Jeremy Sisto, but it was a lead performance from Angela Bettis that cemented this film in genre fans minds. It was a star making performance that interchanged the psychotic villain into a lonely and vulnerable girl. Her work here was extraordinary, and not surprisingly, she found a ton of roles after having a deadly desire for a friend.

Angela’s career may have really taken off after MAY, but that’s not where it began. The actress' first feature was the independent drama SPARROW in 1993. However, the acting bug didn’t really take over full time for her until later in the Nineties. In 1998 she was featured in the series Legacy and in 1998 she was Touched by an Angel. The following year, you could find her on an episode of Sliders, and then she joined Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie for GIRL, INTERRUPTED. Next up for Angela was a drama called THE LAST BEST SUNDAY, but thankfully the year 2000 brought her into the genre with the supernatural thriller BLESS THIS CHILD. Sadly this particularly anemic thriller didn’t really cast a spell on audiences nor critics. But this was only the beginning for Ms. Bettis.

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After  that, she starred in a series of independent films including FALLING and PERFUME in 2001 and COASTLINES in 2002. Yet it was that particular year that gave Angela horror credibility. It wasn’t just MAY. That same year she also starred in the television remake of Carrie. As a massive fan of the original feature from director Brian DePalma, I wasn’t a huge fan of the small screen version. However, I was taken with her performance here, it was quite a stunning display. Like she did in MAY, she offered that perfect blend of innocence and evil. And frankly, this was probably better than the recent remake directed by Kimberly Peirce. For me, that last flick had the weakest portrayal of Carrie to date. It was impossible to really believe in Chloë Grace Moretz as the awkward teenager. Although nobody can touch the incredible work by Sissy Spacek in the original Stephen King adaptation.

Bettis next foray into horror was the underrated remake of TOOLBOX MURDERS. The Tobe Hooper directed feature written by Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch was a pleasant surprise. It is also the rare non-Rob Zombie flick featuring Sheri Moon Zombie. And for Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, you also had the incomparable Drusilla, the lovely Juliet Landau in the mix. After her foray into fear, Bettis returned to independent features including LAST DAYS OF AMERICA and THE CIRCLE in 2005. You could also find her making an appearance on an episode of the spooky anthology series Masters of Horror in 2006. The actress continued to share an exciting working relationship with her MAY director.

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Also in 2006, Bettis took on the role of director and cast Lucky in the feature ROMAN. Also starring Kristen Bell and TOOLBOX MURDERS writer Gierasch, it was intriguing to see this kind of change in relationship between Lucky and Angela. And not surprisingly, she did offer support as the “Voice in the Woods” for Lucky’s next feature starring Agnes Bruckner called THE WOODS. In 2007, Bettis took on the serial killer flick SCAR directed by Jed Weintrob. And of course, she followed that up with a few more art house flicks like WHEN IS TOMORROW (2007) and the 2008 short Blue Like You. She finished off that year with a horror feature called WICKED LAKE about a couple of psycho dudes who take on more than they can chew when they mess with four strange young women.

In 2010, Bettis starred in the short film My Alien Mother, she appeared in two episodes of Dexter and the intriguingly titled ALL MY FRIENDS ARE FUNERAL SINGERS. Finally, she finished off the decade with the comedy DRONES. And then, in 2011, she and Lucky once again worked together on the frighteningly brutal flick THE WOMAN. While Bettis is terrific here, it was Pollyanna McIntosh that went to hell and back as The Woman in question. Some viewers were turned off by this intense feature, but I for one found it quite fascinating. It’s a pleasure watching a working relationship like Lucky and Angela as it has grown throughout the years.

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NOW: Angela Bettis has found an impressive career working in small budget features and horror flicks. For the past couple of years she continues to mix things up by appearing in a variety of projects. In 2013 she joined Criminal Minds for an episode as well as a two episode appearance on Skins.  When it comes to the scares you could find her as Lidia in Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales in the segment called “Shockwaves.” Instead of just appearing on one or two episodes, you could find this talented lady as a regular on the short lived series Dig in 2015 and the musical fantasy LEGS that same year. Hell, she even showed up in the star-studded Terrence Malick offering SONG TO SONG - not a favorite of mine unfortunately.

According to her IMDb page, she has a drama in post called OUR LITTLE SECRET. Aside from being an enormously talented actor, her occasional work as a director is a huge bonus. As mentioned, she had Roman in 2006, but she also helmed a segment in the 2012 anthology THE ABC’S OF DEATH. Personally, I look forward to seeing what is next for Angela, and especially what she and Lucky McKee can cook up once again. One place you won’t find Ms. Bettis on is Twitter. When it comes to social media you can find her on Facebook, but it appears to be a more personal thing as opposed to a fan page. And speaking of fandom, I am one, and I have a feeling that this amazing talent isn’t finished scaring audiences.

Extra Tidbit: Since we are talking Carrie White? Which take on Carrie is your favorite??
Source: AITH



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