What would a Wes Anderson horror movie even look like?

Wes Anderson wants to make a horror movie. The director of the ever-so-twee Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums expressed the out-of-left-field interest during the Rome Film Festival, presumably after catching a rerun of a particular Saturday Night Live sketch on Sky Italia.

Anderson explained: “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.”

 

Frankly, I’m not sure what to make of it. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that Anderson is definitely making a horror movie, only that it’s something he’s considered. He also says he’d like to make a Christmas movie, although it seems his motivation is more mercenary than creative: “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.”

But what, exactly, would a Wes Anderson horror movie look like? Sure, the SNL sketch “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders,” featuring Edward Norton as Owen Wilson and Alec Baldwin as the narrator, is quite funny and perfectly captures Anderson’s serio-comic style, but it’s hardly indicative of what Anderson would do in the genre. In fact, the closest he’s come to anything truly dark is the chase through the museum involving Willem Dafoe and Jeff Goldblum in The Grand Budapest Hotel, which could hardly be considered horror.

But Anderson has said that his favourite movie is Rosemary’s Baby, so that’s probably more in the direction he would go. Perhaps he should kill two birds with one stone and make a Christmas horror movie, something with a bespoke little village decked out for the holidays, a stop-motion Santa and lots of perfectly calibrated carnage. And a narrator played by Alex Baldwin.