Hayden Panettiere: 'Modern audiences are hard to scare'

April 13th, 2011

Hayden Panettiere thinks today's cinema audiences are "harder to scare".

The 21-year-old actress is thrilled to be cast in horror movie 'Scream 4' but thinks it had to turn up the fear factor to live up to the last film in the franchise which was released 11 years ago.

She said: "It's a sequel, but at the same time it's a re-boot, and it's a combination. It's cleverly remembering where it comes from. It really uses the cliches to our benefit and has grown with the audience. As generations go on, they just get smarter and harder to scare."

Yet the pretty blonde had no problem screaming for the camera because she knows exactly what it feels like to be terrified, having once locked herself in her bathroom when she thought an intruder was breaking into her house.

She recounted: "That's got to be the most terrified I've ever been in my life. The fear, especially as a female in a house by yourself, was horrible. There happened to be a blackout in the area that I was living in, at that time, so my alarm was going off, but nobody was coming. You go into this survival instinct mode, when you feel like your life is in jeopardy.

"I found myself in the bathroom with my taser, which I have 10 of, my panic button and my cell phone. That desperation and that not knowing who was going to come or what would happen or what you would have to do is terrifying."

However, Hayden admits her scary experience turned out to be nothing and she had to explain to police officers who she was before they mistook her for the phantom intruder.

She told Collider.com: "I overreacted a little bit. I wound up crawling out my window to find five or six guns with the laser beams pointed at me. I was like, 'Don't shoot me, please! It's me! It's me! It's my house!'

"They did eventually come, but they almost shot me. I'm not joking."