Rian Johnson On Why He Has No Plans To Direct A Horror Movie

Rian Johnson has tackled a different genre with each of his movies: crime, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery. But one thing you’re unlikely to see from him is horror. The Knives Out director chatted with The Invitation filmmaker Karyn Kusama as part of the “Coffee Talk” series from Film Independent, and he gave his reasons why horror just doesn’t speak to him…

“To be honest, it’s a genre that, because my family was really religious when I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to see a lot of intense stuff. It’s not a genre I have a grounding in emotionally.  A lot of friends like [Kusama] included are incredible filmmakers who engage with this genre and make movies that just amaze me. It’s not something that, for whatever reason, has drawn me.”

Johnson doesn’t have any particular dislike for horror, though, which I think leaves him still open to the possibility of directing one someday. For many filmmakers, tackling a genre they aren’t familiar with is part of the challenge. For instance, I never would’ve thought to see Martin Scorsese direct a 3D kids’ movie like Hugo, and yet he did and did so successfully. There’s a lot of time left in Johnson’s career, and I bet he circles around to horror, albeit in his own way.


SOURCEFilm Independent
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.


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