Hitting on an idea so obvious that even Saturday Night Live has touched on it—and providing a nice bit of synergy with our own ongoing Horrors Week—director Wes Anderson has said he’d like to try his hand at a scary movie. Talking to author Donna Tartt at this year’s Rome Film Festival, Anderson said he’s intrigued by the self-imposed limitations such a genre exercise would entail:
“Horror is an area where if a filmmaker really wants to use all the tricks, the techniques to affect your emotions…. With the kind of movies I do, you’re supposed to say is this part supposed to be funny, or is this part supposed to be sad? Well, you say, I don’t know. I’m not sure. This is the way we wanted it. When you make a horror or a thriller, you say you’re supposed to be scared here. You’re supposed to be relieved here. Here we’re explaining something so you know the next part so you’ll be more scared then. I like the idea of the requirements and the obligations of working in a genre like that.”
Viewers got a hint of what “Wes Anderson horror” might look like with the director’s last film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which featured an extended sequence where Jeff Goldblum is pursued through a darkened museum by a murderous Willem Dafoe. (The segment might qualify as the first time an Anderson movie has ever inspired nightmares in viewers, or at least ones that weren’t centered on getting lost in a vintage record shop full of elaborately constructed dollhouses.)
During the same conversation, Anderson also talked about doing a Christmas movie, citing surprisingly mercenary motivations for the choice: “The good thing with a Christmas movie—if you make a great Christmas song or movie or book, as Dickens showed us, you can make a huge fortune, because they come back every year. As long as you have a piece of the action, then it’s a perennial.” (The idea of a crassly commerce-minded Wes Anderson may or may not inspire a very particular, artisitically motivated kind of horror.)
In any case, all this Christmas/horror talk—and now we’ve gotten ourselves all excited for Wes Anderson’s stop-motion, gorily bespoke Jack Frost—is still in the far future; for now, the Rushmore director is contenting himself with something far more down-to-earth, like a movie about some talking dogs.