As a horror fan myself
Manhattan Beach, CA (Vocus) April 3, 2010
Best-horror-movies.com since its inception in 2006 has consistently grown in popularity, recently reaching over one million page views per month and taking its rightful place in the top two websites of its kind.
Best-horror-movies.com Founder and Editor-in-Chief Don Sumner attributes the success to the fact that his site is different, that it is designed to give horror movie fans what they truly want. “As a horror fan myself,” says Sumner, “I was always disheartened by what I call the ‘horror intelligentsia’ - mainstream reviewers and film academics that pick on horror. Rather than regurgitate their point of view on the genre, I wanted to create a content-driven website where horror enthusiasts could read about what other horror enthusiasts thought, and eventually interact with each other via blogs, forums and chat rooms.”
Little did Sumner know at the time this platform and subsequent user activity would quickly have Best-horror-movies.com generating a record amount of traffic and would render him USA Today’s ‘expert on horror movie locales’.
Not bad for a website that’s only been around four years.
So how did Best-horror-movies.com come to be? “I had a day job like everybody else,” says Sumner, “only I had this other passion...” Like many of us, his passion was something that was enjoyed recreationally, at night and on weekends. Then one day as Sumner sat in his kitchen drinking a cup of coffee, he began thinking about his love of horror. With an anchored belief that we all possess the ability to make a living doing exactly what we love if we put effort into it, Sumner decided to practice what he preached. The question was how would he make money watching horror movies?
That day the idea for Best-horror-movies.com was born. Sumner knew there must be many others that shared his love of horror. So off to the computer he went, to search horror movie fan sites. What he found was that although there were several active sites full of information about horror movies, there were none that really engaged him and made him feel like he was at home. In other words, Sumner envisioned a site not only appealing to viewers looking for information and trivia, but one that would host a ‘community’ where fans could share their ideas, their feelings, their love of horror with one another. He thought back to his days at The Claremont Colleges where he enjoyed 12-15 person discussion classes versus the big university 300-500 person lecture halls. As a horror fan eighteen years later, Sumner still wanted to discuss, not to be lectured to. Best-horror-movies.com, he decided, would fulfill that need for people.
Because fulfilling a need is the cornerstone of any business.
Best-horror-movies.com started out as a few pages with lists of great horror films that Sumner encouraged readers to submit reviews for. He also wrote his own reviews. Fans began to take interest, and his interaction with them soon revealed their desire for a blog. ‘Horror Movie Questions’ would be the first, and remains the most popular on the site today. Readers submit questions about horror movies, and other readers answer them. A sample of this might start out:
“I saw a film in the 80’s where a woman is terrorized by a miniature clown, and I can’t remember the name of it…”
After four years and thousands of questions later, Best-horror-movies.com by giving readers what they want has also accumulated the largest database of most asked-about horror films which may eventually make for a very interesting book.
Speaking of books, on the heels of the success of Best-horror-movies.com, Sumner was recently asked to author a book about horror movies. Due out in August 2010, Horror Movie Freak explores what it takes to be just that…a horror movie freak. Naturally, before starting the book, Sumner went right to the Best-horror-movies.com fan base and asked them what films they wanted to see featured. “From there,” remembers Sumner, “we realized the importance of including every sub genre of horror; for example one chapter’s dedicated to remakes and re-imaging. Other sub genres include classics, Asian horror, zombies, homicidal slashers, vampires, monsters, ghost stories and more. In short, we wanted to give horror fans a sort of road map, letting them know which films the horror community considers an essential part of the journey in becoming a horror movie freak.” Other topics include Rules of Survival in a Horror Movie, What Makes a Horror Movie Great, Ten Movies To Watch Leading Up to Halloween and a Beginner’s Shelf to name a few.
In addition to Best-horror-movies.com fans, Sumner enrolled other experts in the horror industry – reviewers, filmmakers, actors and writers to give their input. The result is one of the best horror reference guides in history. With over 250 color illustrations, Horror Movie Freak also includes a DVD of George A. Romero’s 1968 original zombie movie masterpiece Night of the Living Dead with a special introduction by Don Sumner. Preorders of Horror Movie Freak are available now at Amazon.com. For further information, visit http://www.horrormoviefreak.com.
Sumner’s passion however, remains Best-horror-movies.com website which he is constantly tweaking to adapt to readers’ needs and interests. His monthly eNewsletter is fast becoming one of the must-reads of horror fans everywhere. And if the past four years is any indication as to the future of the site, horror movie freaks can always look forward to ‘being at home’ at Best-horror-movies.com.