- Paul Thomas Anderson:
Anderson may not seem like an ideal candidate to be a horror director. But it’s his three latest films that make him so promising.
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In There Will Be Blood, we see how ambition and greed can drive people to lunacy. Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Daniel Plainview is easily one of the most unnerving performances in modern cinema.
In The Master, we get an inside view of bizarre cult beliefs and behaviors. Apparently, it's not always so bad.
Inherent Vice might be a somewhat lighthearted crime drama, but it's still plenty gritty and has definite Hitchcockian vibe.
If Anderson directed a horror film, it would be a game changer. Given that he’s been exploring the darkest reaches of human behavior since 2007, he’d be plenty prepared.
- Christopher Nolan:
Nolan is no slouch when it comes to handling dark themes. After all, this is the guy who made the Batman franchise darker than ever before.
Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight is among the most unhinged performances to ever be committed to film. And let’s not forget Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow or Tom Hardy’s menacing Bane. Of course, we’ve the actors to thank for that, but it’s no coincidence that they all worked with Nolan.
With films like Inception and Interstellar under his belt as well, we can be sure a Nolan horror picture would be mind-bending, visually stunning, and would have some killer performances.
- The Wachowskis:
What’s more horrifying than living in a computer-generated simulation? Maybe living in a field of amniotic tubes policed by billions of mechanical squids….
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We can thank the Wachowskis’ brilliant Matrix Trilogy for considering this.
If there’s one thing the Wachowskis have down, it’s earth shattering science fiction. And with their new Netflix series Sense8, they appear to have mastered the use of parallel plotlines and non-linear story telling.
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They’re also getting increasingly better at directing strong female leads. Mila Kunis in Jupiter Ascending and Bae Doona in Sense8 are total badasses— as if Trinity wasn’t cool enough.
If they wanted to, they could totally top Ridley Scott’s Alien.
- Alex Garland:
One could argue Garland’s directorial debut Ex Machina is already a horror film. It’s certainly a psychological sci-fi thriller and it gets pretty freaking creepy—watching a sentient robot tare its own limbs off can be surprisingly terrifying when you empathize with it.
But knowing Garland’s history as a screenwriter, I’m sure this is just the beginning of what he’s capable of in the scare department.
As a screenwriter, Garland wrote for the now classic 28 Days Later and the criminally underrated sci-fi thriller Sunshine. That’s right, you can blame this guy for bringing zombie films back with a vengeance in the 2000’s.
If anyone needs to direct something truly horrifying, it’s Garland.
- Wes Anderson:
No doubt, this is a curve ball. While the indie auteur Wes Anderson has made some great films, none have been even remotely scary. Nevertheless, there are plenty of good reasons for him to direct a horror film.
Hipsters and film critics alike revere this guy for everything he touches. He’s a visionary. He’s quirky, wildly imaginative, and always has interesting characters.
But he’s also becoming predictable and needs to experiment.
What if he applied his unique visual style towards a scary project? It would be unlike any horror film we’ve ever seen. At very least, he could make a horror-comedy. It would be the perfect excuse to work with Bill Murray again.
I’d bet he could rival Tim Burton.