Ruined is hosted by comedians and best friends Alison Leiby (who is very scared of horror movies) and Halle Kiefer (who loves them). Each Ruined episode features Halle giving the play-by-play of a popular, classic, and/or extremely trashy horror movie to Alison, with the pair adding their own hilarious commentary, offering their personal insights and, at the end, weighing in on whether scaredy-cats can actually watch the movie scream-free or if they are right to skip the scares and head right to the online synopsis.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Alison and Halle about their podcast, the inspiration behind it, when episodes air, the material we can expect from them, their goals, and more!
PopHorror – Hello ladies. It’s great to talk with you both! So, since one of you loves horror films and the other doesn’t, I must ask what was the first horror film you remember ever watching and how did that impact your love/hate for them?
H: The first film I remember really chilling me to the bone was The Poltergeist, which I saw at a friend’s sleepover birthday party in fifth grade. That being said, my home, like most families’ in the ‘90s, was a real Stephen King household, so I have to assume it was the 1990 adaptation of It, which, okay, is technically a miniseries, but come on now. I don’t recall ever not loving horror movies and books; it was a way to enjoy the thrill of fear from the safety of your childhood bedroom.
A: Pretty much everything scares me. Even the witch with the apple in Snow White made me cry when I was little. Because of that, I don’t watch many scary movies at all, I’m more terrified by clips or posters. I remember seeing the cardboard cut-out for the movie Fire In The Sky at Blockbuster as a child and then having nightmares for years.
PopHorror – I love how different you both are in your taste of films. Also, Halle, I grew up the same way – I was born in 1987. =) What inspired you to create this podcast?
H: Since Alison cannot stand horror, I inadvertently cultivated a friendship where I could immediately tell her every detail of every horror movie I saw since I knew she wasn’t planning on seeing it and wouldn’t mind hearing spoilers. After doing this for years and years, we decided it would make for a good podcast, both for comedy’s sake and as a public service for Alison’s fellow scaredy-cats.
PopHorror – I love it! Can you tell the readers what the podcast will entail?
A: Each episode focuses on one horror movie, ranging from a beloved classic to a sexy thriller and everything in between. We chat a bit about the concept up top and I, without seeing anything but the trailer, try and guess what might happen. Then Halle methodically and hilariously walks me and the audience through what happens in the movie and reveals all of the gory details and surprising twists. We have a few segments along the way and then wrap up each episode with some fun, movie-specific games and a very thought out ranking of the film on our scientific “spooky scale.”
PopHorror – Sounds like so much fun! How often will an episode air?
A: Episodes come out once a week on Tuesdays. We did a bonus episode on Halloween, of course. There are so many movies for us to cover, hopefully, we’ll start dropping new ones even more often.
PopHorror – I plan on catching up soon! What is the goal of the podcast?
H: Right now, given everything going on in the world, we mainly want to give horror fans, both those who love scary movies and those who feel viscerally terrified when they attempt to watch them, some spooky fun, to take the edge off the truly horrifying year we’ve had.
A: We want to make something for everyone, no matter if you’re a horror aficionado or lurk in the Wikipedia pages of movies you’ll never see. This podcast came from Halle’s depth of knowledge and my morbid curiosity, but we just want to like, have fun and talk about movies like we’re at a slumber party.
PopHorror – We do need something like this more than ever especially us horror fans! Do you think you’ll ever have guests on your podcast or just gonna stick with the duo?
H: We’re actually in the process of discussing how we would have guests on Ruined, given the format of the show. When and if we do, we will absolutely still have our regular movie episodes, just with (hopefully!) new voices sometimes joining the conversation.
PopHorror – That would be neat. What is your favorite episode thus far?
A: I would say that’s like picking a favorite child, but I don’t have children and I don’t have siblings, so I can’t really imagine what that means. This is harder. I think for me it’s The Babadook because it’s a movie I have heard referenced so many times as being super scary and really good. I know I’ll never, ever see it, but I feel like Halle’s description was scary enough that I have a sense, but also funny enough that I won’t be awake thinking about it for the rest of my life.
H: I truly love them all, but our last two, The Purge: Election Year and Children of the Corn, are my favorite children. Though, in all honesty, I’ll probably change my mind when next week’s episode drops.
PopHorror – I plan to listen to them all but I’ll make sure I definitely listen to those! Can listeners suggest films for you to review/talk about?
A: Absolutely! Listeners can email us with recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t know anything, so I’m thrilled and scared of every suggestion!
H: Please! We want to hear what you’re just too afraid to watch!
PopHorror – Wonderful! What is your ultimate goal for the podcast?
H: We have some interesting ideas percolating for the future, but our number one goal is fostering a community of horror lovers and total wienies to entertain, because, honestly, even if no one was listening, we would still be doing this into the void.
A: Right, this podcast happens either way, if it’s out there in the world or just as a conversation between the two of us on gchat. But we want to just keep making something fun that people can enjoy. And I selfishly just want to cover as many movies as possible so I can finally understand any and every cultural reference to horror movies I refuse to see.
PopHorror – Either way, it sounds like a fun way to pass the time! Where can people listen to it?
A: At home, at the gym, in the car, while cutting someone off in traffic, really anywhere! Okay but seriously, wherever you listen to podcasts, we’re there. Apple, Spotify, whatever floats your spooky boat. And you can follow us on social for updates and more fun stuff on Instagram (@ruinedpodcast) and Twitter (@ruinedpodcast).