Fear and Filmmaking: The Horror Films of Actor Aaron Poole

Image courtesy of Dan Abramovici

You’re on the Horror Obsessive site for a reason, right? Like myself, you probably spend a great deal of time checking out as many scary movies as you can. In the ’80s and ’90s, many of us selected our films from the treasure-trove of the local video rental store. Nowadays, with the internet changing the face of the entertainment industry, we find ourselves streaming our movies more and more, with services like Netflix and Amazon Prime delivering the well-known and the not-so-well-known horror gems from filmmakers in the genre. Wherever these films are available, us ardent fans will find them. I scour every corner of the market because I have such a passion for it—so when I come across an actor who has excelled in the roles of several horror films, I sit up and take notice.

Actor Aaron Poole by Dan Abramovici
Image courtesy of Dan Abramovici

In recent years, Canadian actor Aaron Poole has been making a mark in the film world, especially in his starring roles of three great scary movies: The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh, The Void, and The Conspiracy.

Who Is Aaron Poole?

Aaron Poole is an actor clearly determined in his craft. His first taste of acting came after his mother sent him to a musical theatre camp when he turned just 13 years old. He didn’t end up involved in singing or dancing when he attended but instead ended up in acting roles, where the seeds of the craft were first planted. Several years later, Poole’s 12th-grade teacher further inspired him to take acting seriously, and thus began a lifelong journey into the creative field that would later shape his life.

Landing his first role in a motion picture in 2007 (This Beautiful City), Poole went on to star in several films and television series, including Flashpoint and Strange Empire. However, it was when his trio of horror films was released—starting with The Conspiracy (2012), The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2013) followed by The Void (2016)—that I became familiar with Poole’s career, and I was thoroughly impressed.

A Theory, a Death and a Hospital

To be clear: Poole doesn’t only act in horror films (indeed, he has worked well in many other genres) but when he does, it’s impressive. If you haven’t already seen some of the horror titles that he has starred in, you might want to learn more about the features listed below….

The Conspiracy

The Conspiracy is amongst the very best of the found-footage films that are out there, in my opinion. The movie follows two men who are making a documentary about people who believe in conspiracy theories. Poole’s character is a sceptic, yet frightening events soon make a believer out of him. The film is dark, taut, creepy and atmospheric, with an outstanding performance from the two lead actors.

I’ll say this without flinching: although I rate The Blair Witch Project as one of my favourite movies, The Conspiracy beats it, hands down. I could risk overselling this independent, found-footage horror, but it’s worth it if it gets the underground classic a new generation of fans.

Promo poster for The Conspiracy
Promotional poster for The Conspiracy

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh

Promo poster for The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh
Promotional poster for the 2012 horror film The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh

What would you do if your mother passed away, leaving you to sort through her possessions after her death…only for creepy things to happen as you stayed in her property? Would you leave immediately, or face your demons? This film is a different take on the haunted house genre, and I love it. What especially stands out to me is the intense atmosphere; it never lets you go for the entire duration of the movie. Remarkably, Poole is the only main character in the entire film, leaving the weight of the story itself to be carried by his performance alone. His portrayal and the authenticity of his acting absorb the attention of the audience. It’s a wonderful, creepy gem.

This film excels in its originality. I think at least a few fans will agree that horror can occasionally let itself down with the repeat of common tropes and recycled themes. The same cannot be said of The Last Will and Testament, where the entire story, script, and setting feel entirely unique—a credit to the writer, director, and actors involved.

Horror aside, the film is richly emotional and touching. Poole’s central character really pulls the viewer in, and you cannot help but feel you are “inside his mind” during the film. It’s one hell of a journey—and one worth taking.

The Void

The Void, Promo poster
The Void movie poster

This sci-fi/horror gem does for hospitals what Blair Witch does for camping…you get the idea, right? Exploring the themes of aliens and other realms, we follow Poole’s character as he finds someone who is very hurt, near some local woods. Heading straight for a nearby hospital with the injured man, the nightmarish fun starts.

The film shows the characters as they fight for survival whilst in the hospital overnight. The Void has already gained somewhat of a sci-fi underground cult following, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, I believe Netflix is currently featuring it.

The Void was a crowdfunded project, but it does a lot on its limited budget. Tense, dark, and nail-biting (without cheesy jump scares) it more than does its job in delivering true horror. Online reviews see many fans feel it has a Lovecraftian feel to it and if you decide to give it a go, you’ll see why.

For those who love a vintage feel, there’s a lot to love. There’s something decidedly old-school about the film—it certainly has a retro style with its ’80s score. For many of the audiences who have enjoyed it, The Void is surely set to become a future cult classic.

More to Come?

In a film world saturated with constant remakes and ongoing film series, taking a deeper look at the work of independent artists, actors and directors can often lead to a rewarding experience for viewers. Actor Aaron Poole has, over recent years, set his hand to not only acting but also directing and writing. His skill, the authentic portrayal of his roles, and the interesting projects he chooses to work on make him one of the most appealing and inspiring film stars on the rise. While not strictly a horror artist, he has certainly made his mark on the genre through the horror titles he has been affiliated with and involved in.

If you check out the above films and, like me, decide to continue following the trail of actor Aaron Poole, you’ll be glad to know he has more projects in the creative pipeline.

His debut short film Oracle was unveiled at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival. The actor also starred in The Empty Man which was released through Fox/Disney. “I’m always willing to do the good ones [horror films]” Poole said in an interview with myself for Made in Shoreditch online magazine—and thankful we are for that.

You can check out Aaron Poole’s work and find out more information on Aaron Poole’s IMDb page.

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Written by Fiona Dodwell

I'm a freelance writer and horror author.
I've produced content for Music-News, Made In Shoreditch Magazine, Medium, Theatre News and several record companies.

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