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Tom Holland (born July 11, 1943) is an American screenwriter, actor, and filmmaker best known for his work in the horror film genre, penning the 1983 sequel to the classic Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho,[1] directing the first entry in the long-running Child's Play franchise,[2] and writing and directing the cult vampire film Fright Night.[3] He also directed the Stephen King adaptations The Langoliers[4] and Thinner.[5] He is a two-time Saturn Award recipient.

Tom Holland
Tom Holland director.jpg
Holland in 2008
Born (1943-07-11) July 11, 1943 (age 76)
EducationWorcester Academy
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer, actor, model
Years active1964–present
Notable work
Psycho II
Fright Night
Child's Play

Early lifeEdit

Holland was born July 11, 1943 in Poughkeepsie, New York,[6] to Lee and Tom Holland. He attended Ossining Public High School in Ossining, New York before transferring to Worcester Academy, where he graduated in 1962. After graduating high school, Holland attended Northwestern University for one year before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated in 1970.[7]


Acting careerEdit

Holland trained as an actor at the Actor's Studio under Lee Strasberg. Throughout the 60s and early 70s Holland appeared under the moniker of Tom Fielding in several supporting and guest star roles for both television and film, including A Walk in the Spring Rain alongside Anthony Quinn and Ingrid Bergman.

In December 2009 Holland was cast for Adam Green's Hatchet II,[8] to star alongside Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, and R.A. Mihailoff.[9] He narrated the film alongside Green on San Diego Comic-Con International 2010.[10]


Holland made his screenwriting debut with the 1978 made-for-television film The Initiation of Sarah. He made his feature film writing debut in 1982, adapting the Edward Levy novel The Beast Within into the film of the same name.[11] That same year, he wrote the Class of 1984, an urban thriller film centered on juvenile delinquency and punk subculture. The film proved controversial upon release and was heavily censored in the United Kingdom[12] and outright banned in other countries.[13] It has since become a cult classic.[14][15][16]

Holland was hired by Universal Pictures to write a sequel to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho, which since its initial release had been acclaimed as not only a seminal and iconic horror film,[17][18] but one of the greatest films of all time.[19][20][21] Lead actor Anthony Perkins, who had previously displayed apprehension at appearing in a sequel, agreed to do the film after being impressed by Holland's screenplay.[22] The film, directed by Richard Franklin and co-starring Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, and Dennis Franz, opened at No. 2 at the box office (behind Return of the Jedi) and went on to gross $34 million.[23]

Holland re-teamed with director Franklin the following year on his next film, Cloak & Dagger. Unlike their previous film, Cloak & Dagger was a spy film aimed at a younger audience, and starring Henry Thomas of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial fame in its leading role. Despite positive critical reviews,[24] the film was a financial failure, grossing $9,719,952 off of a 13 million dollar production budget.


Holland's directorial debut came in 1985 with the vampire horror film Fright Night. Holland first conceived of the premise during the writing of Cloak & Dagger,[25] of a horror film fan who learns that his neighbor is a vampire. He chose to direct the film himself after being disappointed with Michael Winner's direction of his screenplay Scream for Help.[26][27] The film was both financial and critical success, earning a rave review from Roger Ebert[28] who wrote "Fright Night is not a distinguished movie, but it has a lot of fun being undistinguished." The film spawned a sequel, and a 2011 remake starring Colin Farrell and Anton Yelchin.

In 1988, Holland directed the film Child's Play, which received positive reviews from Ebert[29] and Leonard Maltin,[30] spawned a long-running franchise consisting of six sequels, and helped elevate its antagonist Chucky to a pop culture icon. He directed three episodes of the horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt, and returned to television films with The Stranger Within. He wrote and directed a 1996 ABC miniseries adaptation of the Stephen King novella The Langoliers, and the following year adapted King's novel Thinner into a film of the same name.

Dead Rabbit FilmsEdit

He and David Chackler founded the horror film company Dead Rabbit Films.[31] Their first feature film was the remake of Fright Night.[32] Holland is also reportedly scheduled to be writing and directing a feature-length anthology of horror shorts titled Twisted Tales.[33]

Personal lifeEdit

He is the father of American actor Josh Holland.[34][35]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Film Result
1984 Edgar Award Best Motion Picture Psycho II Nominated
1986 Dario Argento Award Best Film Fright Night Won
Critics' Award Special Mention Won
International Fantasy Film Award Best Film Nominated
Saturn Award Best Director Nominated
Best Horror Film Won
Best Writing Won
1990 Best Horror Film Child's Play Nominated
Best Writing
Shared with Don Mancini and John Lafia
1996 Best Television Presentation The Langoliers Nominated



Year Title Director Writer Actor Role Notes
1969 Changes Yes Roommate
Model Shop Yes Gerry
1970 A Walk in the Spring Rain Yes Boy
1972 Josie's Castle Yes Leonard Robbins
1982 The Beast Within Yes
Class of 1984 Yes
1983 Psycho II Yes Yes Deputy Norris
1984 Scream for Help Yes
Cloak & Dagger Yes
1985 Fright Night Yes Yes
1987 Fatal Beauty Yes
1988 Child's Play Yes Yes
1993 The Temp Yes
1996 Thinner Yes Yes
2010 Hatchet II Yes Bob Uncredited
2011 Fright Night Yes Story only
2014 Digging Up the Marrow Yes Himself
2016 You're So Cool Brewster! The Story of Fright Night Yes Himself Documentary film
2017 Rock Paper Dead Yes
2019 In Search of Darkness Yes Himself Documentary film


Year Title Director Producer Writer Actor Role Notes
1964 77 Sunset Strip Yes Al Killian Episode: "Lover's Lane"
Theatre of Stars Yes Vic Burns Episode: "Out on the Outskirts of Town"
1965-1966 A Flame in the Wind Yes Steve Reynolds #2 "American Soap Opera"
1967 Combat! Yes Pfc. Tommy Bishop Episode: "Entombed"
1968 Felony Squad Yes LeRoy Baker Episode: "Epitaph for a Cop"
1969 My Friend Tony Yes Episode: "The Hazing"
The Young Lawyers Yes David Harrison Episode: "Pilot"
Medical Center Yes Jess Yarnaby Episode: "24 Hours"
1978 The Initiation of Sarah Yes TV movie
The Incredible Hulk Yes Steve Silva Episode: "Another Path"
1983 The Winds of War Yes Devilfish Sub Captain Episode: "Into the Maelstrom"
1986 Amazing Stories Yes Episode: "Miscalculation"
1989-1992 Tales from the Crypt Yes Yes Episodes: "Lover Come Hack to Me"
"Four-Sided Triangle"
"King of the Road"
1990 The Stranger Within Yes TV movie
1991 The Owl Yes Yes Yes Yes Mugger TV Pilot, appears uncredited in extended international version
1992 Two-Fisted Tales Yes Segment: "King of the Road"
1994 The Stand Yes Carl Hough TV miniseries
1995 The Langoliers Yes Yes Yes Nick Hopewell's employer
2006 The Initiation of Sarah Yes TV movie
2007 Masters of Horror Yes Episode: "We All Scream for Ice Cream"
2008 Driven Yes Yes Yes Web short
5 or Die Yes Yes Yes Web short
2010 Team Unicorn Yes Grandpa Episode: "A Very Zombie Holiday"
2013 Twisted Tales Yes Yes Yes Web series

Critical receptionEdit

Film Rotten Tomatoes score
The Beast Within (1982) 13%[36]
Class of 1984 (1982) 75%[37]
Psycho II (1983) 59%[38]
Scream for Help (1984) N/A
Cloak & Dagger (1984) 64%[39]
Fright Night (1985) 91%[40]
Fatal Beauty (1987) 23%[41]
Child's Play (1988) 69%[42]
The Temp (1993) 29%[43]
The Langoliers (1995) 50%[44]
Thinner (1996) 16%[45]
Fright Night (2011) 72%[46]
Rock Paper Dead (2017) N/A


  1. ^ "TOM HOLLAND and PSYCHO II". Damn Dirty Geeks. 2015-08-10. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  2. ^ Stuart, Gwynedd (2017-10-12). "Director Tom Holland Looks Back at Child's Play Nearly 30 Years Later". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  3. ^ Vanderbilt, Mike. "Tom Holland on his seminal vampire flick Fright Night, which turned 30 this week". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  4. ^ The Langoliers (1995), retrieved 2017-12-05
  5. ^ "VUDU - Watch Movies". Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  6. ^ "Tom Holland Biography". FilmReference. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Vanderbilt, Mike (August 5, 2015). "Tom Holland on his seminal vampire flick Fright Night, which turned 30 this week". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "A.J. Bowen and Tom Holland Join Cast of Hatchet 2".
  9. ^ "'Hatchet 2' Picked Up By Dark Sky Films, Plans to Build Franchise!".
  10. ^ "First Look: Tom Holland in Hatchet II".
  11. ^ "Tom Holland Remaking His Own 'The Beast Within' - Bloody Disgusting". Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  12. ^ "BBFC Rating; Class of 1984".
  13. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  14. ^ "Film Review: Class of 1984 (1982) | HNN". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  15. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2012-01-27). "John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV: The Films of 1982: Class of 1984". John Kenneth Muir's Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  16. ^ "Class of 1984 Movie - The 80s Movies Rewind". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  17. ^ Kermode, Mark (2010-10-22). "Psycho: the best horror film of all time". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  18. ^ "'Psycho': The horror movie that changed the genre". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  19. ^ "The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time by Entertainment Weekly". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  20. ^ "AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  21. ^ "The 100 greatest films of all time". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  22. ^ McCarty, John (1990). The Modern Horror Film. Citadel Press. pp. 67–69. ISBN 0806511648.
  23. ^ "Psycho II (1983) - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  24. ^ "Movie Review - - THE SCREEN: 'DAGGER', SPY GAMES -". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  25. ^ Shock Till You Drop (2013-08-09), Choice Cuts: Tom Holland's Fright Night Tour, retrieved 2017-12-06
  26. ^ "PIRATE COMMENTARIES". Icons of Fright - Horror News | Horror Interviews | Horror Reviews & More!. 2011-10-17. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  27. ^ "FRIGHT NIGHT Reunion Panel From Dallas, TX FEAR FEST 2 moderated by ICONS Robg". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  28. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Fright Night Movie Review & Film Summary (1985) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  29. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Child's Play Movie Review & Film Summary (1988) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 2017-12-06.
  30. ^ Maltin, Leonard; Sader, Luke; Clark, Mike (2008). Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide. Penguin. ISBN 9780452289789.
  31. ^ "Dead Rabit Films – Official". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  32. ^ "Tom Holland and David Chackler Bring Horror Fans Dead Rabbit Films". DreadCentral.
  33. ^ "Tom Holland INCORRECT INFORMATION - HE IS NOT BRYAN'S UNCLE to Unleash His New Brand of Twisted Tales".
  34. ^ "Tom Holland here..." Reddit. Ask Me Anything. 2014. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  35. ^ Hatfull, Jonathan (October 6, 2015). "Tom Holland talks Twisted Tales and the Ten O'Clock People". SciFiNow. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Class of 1984". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  38. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Psycho II". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  39. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Cloak & Dagger". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  40. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Fright Night". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  41. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Fatal Beauty". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  42. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Child's Play". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  43. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of The Temp". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  44. ^ "Stephen King's 'The Langoliers' (1995)".
  45. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Thinner". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  46. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes T-Meter Rating of Fright Night". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-02-16.

External linksEdit