Watcher’s Maika Monroe Talks Becoming A Modern Scream Queen Amidst The Recent Horror Revival

When it comes to horror movies, the genre just wouldn’t be the same without its scream queens and final girls. You have your all-time greats like Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Neve Campbell, but in recent years with the horror revival, we’ve met a new generation of actresses who frequent the genre, including Maika Monroe. She’s, of course, best known for her 2015 breakout role in It Follows, and the actress she continues a streak within the genre for Watcher, she is discussing her journey in being considered a modern scream queen.

CinemaBlend spoke to Maika Monroe and new director Chloe Okuno about the upcoming horror movie Watcher. During our discussion, Monroe shared why her career has been so horror-focused with these words: 

It really wasn't intentional. I mean, I remember booking The Guest, I literally was stuck in New York. I had no money. I couldn't even afford to get a flight back to LA and got a call and my agent and was like, ‘You booked this movie’. And I was like, ‘Amazing!’ I loved the script, and I remember doing the audition with Adam [Wingard] and being like, ‘Oh my God, fingers crossed. We’ll see what happens,’ and ended up booking that. And then, while I was filming The Guest, I was sent this script called It Follows. And I was like, okay, this is really weird. I don't know about this, but I auditioned and then met David [Robert Mitchell]. And I was like, okay, this actually seems quite cool filmed that. And then, those two movies came out and were very successful.

It's crazy how these things happen, isn’t it? Maika Monroe was just 20 years old when she was booked for The Guest in 2013, which was her fourth film to date following small roles in movies like The Bling Ring and Labor Day. Monroe continued: 

I think, especially with It Follows, I think it was like, It Follows and The Witch kind of came out at similar times and then Babadook. And there was this sort of shift in the horror genre that was happening. And I think David was a huge part of that and a lot of these up-and-coming directors making very elegant horror films that were so interesting and such interesting characters and not these typical hot girls running around and getting stabbed and blood everywhere. There was something to it. And, and so anyways, yeah, I've been sent, obviously probably with the success of It Follows and The Guest, a lot of genre films, but they're really amazing, with amazing characters. And honestly, I think the horror genre is one of the most challenging as an actor and really pushes me. And so, yeah, to answer your question, not intentional. But I grew up loving horror, so I don't know, here we are.

Although Maika Monroe can’t claim that the trajectory of her career was intentional, the actress really loves making horror movies. The actress, now 29, happened upon this horror revival that has led to an uptick in successful and beloved movies from the genre. After starring in The Guest and It Follows, the latter of which has one of the scariest modern horror movie villains, Monroe has recently starred in Greta and Flashback as well. 

Watcher premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to positive reviews overall. The movie centers on Monroe’s Julia, an American who just moved to Bucharest with her boyfriend. While already isolated in a new country, Julia begins to feel constantly watched and followed by one of her neighbors. What unfolds is a super creepy, slow-burn horror film from new filmmaker Chloe Okuno about the fear women particularly often have when walking home alone at night or with the windows open in their homes. 

Watcher hits theaters this Friday, June 3, and will become available to stream on Shudder at a later date. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.