Spider-Man film-maker Sam Raimi forced himself to overcome his fear of horror movies so he could carve out a successful Hollywood career.

The director debuted with the low-budget, cult film The Evil Dead, because he thought making "cheap horror movies" would provide him with the opportunity to break into the industry.

Raimi was convinced the fright genre was the right place to start after he first watched subtle 1963 classic THE HAUNTING.

He says, "Ironically, when I first tried to break into the film business, I didn't like horror movies because they scared me.

"But my partner and I decided that we could raise $100,000 if we agreed to make cheap horror movies for drive-ins.

"So I had to go back and study them, to learn how to make them, and it was films like The Haunting that really made me appreciate the craft.

"You look at it and you see that it's made with such a degree of professional artistry, and such stunning attention to detail. It really gets under your skin."

17/12/2004 17:34