Director Wes Anderson is one of those talents that tends to split audiences. His movies have a certain flavor that appeals to many but turns off others. From Bottle Rocket to The Grand Budapest Hotel, his films are filled stunning imagery and quirky characters. He’s almost become a trope unto himself, which can be poked fun at like any other. Because of this it's more than a little surprising that the director has considered working in two of the most un-Wes Anderson genres imaginable, a horror film or a Christmas movie.
Indiewire has Anderson’s comments from the Rome Film Festival, where he revealed his interest in the two types of film. His desire to make a horror movie makes some sense for a director interested in challenging himself and trying different things. He said:
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.
The emotions of the audience are one of the things that Anderson seems to enjoy playing with the most. His films don’t easily fit in a box. Individuals watching the same scene can have very different reactions because his movies don't really tell you how to feel about them, something Anderson strives for. To change direction so severely and focus on horror, a genre whose entire purpose to control your emotions, would be a major break from "the Wes Anderson movie" that we're all so familiar with. Although, for some of us, Rushmore kind of was a horror movie.
On the other hand, his interest in making a Christmas movie is less about stretching his abilities as a director, and a little more about stretching his bank account. He added:
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.
Cynicism notwithstanding, he’s not wrong about that. Part of the reason we get inundated with new Christmas movies by the truckload every season is because anything that becomes part of pop culture will last for decades and make their creators millions. Anderson’s films are usually well received by critics, but they’re rarely box office blockbusters. A little recurring revenue wouldn’t be a bad thing. A Christmas movie could still be about driving audience emotion, however, just in the opposite direction from horror. This idea might actually be brilliant, or it could just be the worst idea ever.
Would you see a horror movie or a holiday film directed by Wes Anderson? While both ideas mostly confuse us we’d probably check them both out just for morbid curiosity’s sake.