Quentin Tarantino has long said that his 10th film would be his final film. But with the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director looking beyond to Star Trek, it’s become less clear what kind of movie this all-important 10th film will be. But Tarantino has an inkling, and it’s in a genre he’s never fully explored before: horror.
Tarantino loves to play with genre, be it crime, westerns, revenge fantasy, drama, or comedy. None of his films could be labeled as one single genre, but for his 10th film, Tarantino teased that he may explore making a horror film. During an interview on his international One Upon a Time in Hollywood press tour (via The Independent), Tarantino teased his interest in horror:
“If I come up with a terrific horror film story, I will do that as my tenth movie. I love horror movies. I would love to do a horror film. And I do actually think that the Spahn Ranch sequence is the closest to a horror sequence, because I do think it’s vaguely terrifying. And I didn’t even quite realize how good we did it, frankly, to tell you the truth, until my editor told me.”
Tarantino is referring to the sequence in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood when Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth ventures into Spahn Ranch after giving a ride to the Manson Family member “Pussycat” (Margaret Qualley). Despite Pussycat’s enthusiastic descriptions of her fellow cult members, Cliff immediately recognizes that something is wrong, and probes into the well-being of ranch owner George Spahn (Bruce Dern), who is being guarded closely by Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme (Dakota Fanning). As the scene progresses, the dread grows more disquieting — much like a scene in a horror film. Tarantino said he didn’t even realize the horror movie visual language he was employing until his editor pointed it out.
“[My editor told me,] ‘The Spahn Ranch sequence is a horror film,’ Oh, really? It’s good? It’s working?’ He goes, ‘No, no, no, Quentin, you don’t understand. It’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with a budget. It’s like Brad Pitt is walking into The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It’s fucking terrifying.’ I go, ‘Wow, I’m glad! Really?!’ Because I hadn’t seen anything. And when I look at it, I think, ‘Yeah, this is sorta like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,’ which is about as good a compliment as you can make.”
Perhaps Tarantino has gotten a taste for horror now, and he wants to direct an entire feature film in the genre. But knowing Tarantino, it won’t be straight-up horror, but his own personal twist on the genre. That could be entertaining to see, and would be an appropriate swan song for a director who has always run parallel to the violent genre.
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