Any film director that didn’t start off making horror films or have roots in horror rarely jumps into the genre. Why is that? The answer could be a multitude of reasons, but quite possibly the primary reason is because horror is not exactly their cup of tea so to speak. But we can dream, can’t we? I’ve compiled a list of three directors that I would love to see delve into the horror genre. Even though some of these directors might have had horror elements in some of their films, none have directed a straight-up horror film.
Nolan is easily one of the hottest directors currently making films, but also one of the best filmmakers we’ve ever seen, whose movies have grossed more than $4 billion worldwide. Nolan is known for his sci-fi, action, mind-bending thrillers, but when first starting, he directed more realistic and rigid films. Nolan's films like Memento and Insomnia showcased his ability to base stories and movies on real life and plausible events, but at the same time, he infused them with rigidity that often times doesn’t necessarily scare the audience, but can make us feel uncomfortable.
A Nolan horror movie would definitely include that element of his early storytelling, but the main reason I have Nolan at number 1 is due the possible scale of his horror film. Can you imagine a sci-fi, thriller-esque horror film, a horror film with incredible action set pieces, a mind-bending story and plot? It would be something very unique. It could be a film gratifying to the eyes and ears.
Nolan’s horror film would not necessarily rely on jump scares either, but instead include instances and aspects of life itself that frightens the audience, which in the end, is what makes a horror movie great. Not because of the jump scares and loud music, but because we can relate to what’s happening and it scares us.
Something else that Nolan can do with the horror genre is expand its fan base. Nolan is one of the most well-known directors whose films always do well. And at the current moment, we are in a horror renaissance. However, horror is still not for everyone. Upon Nolan doing a horror film, he can bring the genre to a plethora of folks who haven’t really been interested in horror.
A Tarantino horror movie. Let that sink in. Of the three directors, I believe a Tarantino horror film could be something really fun and innovative. Tarantino is known for his non-linear storytelling, which is seldom used in horror filmmaking. But one of the positives of using non-linear storytelling is that it can put us on edge. Our minds would be preoccupied with trying to piece things together and follow along, so when something sinister comes around, it could frighten us more so.
Tarantino has expressed interest in directing a horror film. But seeing as he keeps stating that he’ll only direct 10 films, only time will tell if he will end up directing a horror film. Even though Tarantino hasn’t directed a horror film, he wrote wrote From Dusk till Dawn. But of course, all of Tarantino’s films have incorporated the use of violence and blood. And what’s one of the things horror films are most known for? Blood and violence. Oftentimes, the violence within horror films and the amount of blood used are over excessive and with no real purpose. However, in Tarantino films, violence has more of a beauty to it, if that makes sense. It could be plentiful, but it fits the story and the characters.
Another aspect of Tarantino films that could be quite unique in horror films is the dialogue. Like Sorkin, Tarantino’s dialogue is an essential element. Horror films rarely rely heavily on dialogue. Two examples of films that did pay attention to dialogue more are Scream and Get Out. In particular, we think of the opening scene of Scream that we all love and enjoy. As for Tarantino films, a scene that mixes dialogue with tension and suspense well is the opening scene from Inglourious Basterds. It is a perfect example of a scene in which no loud music was used, and no jump scares or anything of that sort were incorporated, but it still leaves a lasting effect. The scene is quite simple, but the dialogue is what drives the scene and leaves us feeling fearful and nervous for our main characters. Imagine a scene like that, but with more sinister matters and elements of a horror movie.
An Anderson horror film would certainly be the quirkiest and possibly funniest horror film of the three directors. Anderson is known for his eccentric and fast-paced films. In addition to directing live-action, Anderson has also made two stop motion animated pictures: Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs. Anderson is perhaps the only director in which one look at just one frame of his films will automatically tell you that he is the one who directed it.
Anderson films are known for their colorful palettes and sets, costumes, and characters. Anderson’s characters are quite quirky, yet human, and we not only relate to them but enjoy their presence on screen. Something that a plethora of horror films lack is not just relatable characters, but interesting ones. Anderson will definitely make sure to give us fascinating characters as well as individual stories for those characters. This can bode well for the horror film as we’re more connected with the characters, thus if something bad were to happen, we’ll be more emotionally invested.
In addition to the cool characters, the locations and settings within Anderson pictures are also distinctive and beautiful. Now, beautiful settings are not something new to horror films. However, an Anderson horror film may not necessarily be as dark visually as horror films usually are. Instead, they might be more colorful and include centralized framing. Anderson is perhaps one of the only directors who uses centralized framing within his films and to great effect. It’s not only visually dazzling, but it allows one to play around with the mise en scène, or with what’s within the frame.
As for the story, Anderson will definitely make the horror film quite eccentric and filled with quirkiness as well as humor. Anderson’s films heavily rely on different types of humor and sometimes, a humorous moment within horror films shows the human qualities of characters because we usually use humor to cope with tense moments. It can also help distract us and then hit us with something frightening right after. So humor could work really well.
Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson are only three directors out of the abundance of possibilities that can not only make a great horror film but make a different and unique horror film. Even in the age of the horror renaissance, sometimes we’re left feeling that horror films are all the same. However, Nolan, Tarantino and Anderson won’t be thinking about a sequel or trilogy. They’ll focus their attention on giving us a great and unique film that incorporates the elements and traits that they are most known for.
Something I do want to acknowledge is honorable mentions. Directors like Martin Scorsese, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and J.J. Abrams could make quite unique and special horror films. Steven Spielberg, even though some of his films incorporate those horror elements, such as Jaws, if making a darker, more sinister horror film could create something quite amazing.
Nolan, Tarantino and Anderson would push the horror genre to new heights and places that we never thought would be possible, which would also increase horror’s fan base and bring in new audience members. For audience members like you and I, who are already fans of horror, it would be an absolute joy to watch a horror film by any of the aforementioned directors.
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