Coen Brothers Horror Movie In The Works

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2013 at 9:45 am,

So by now we’ve seen the Coen Brothers be great at writing/directing just about every genre and sub-genre of movie possible, be it comedy (Burn After Reading), romantic comedy (Intolerable Cruelty), mystery/thriller (Blood Simple), arthouse (Barton Fink), crime drama (Miller’s Crossing), period piece (The Hudsucker Proxy), Noir (The Big Lebowski), or Western (True Grit).  Often they’ve blended several of these genre/sub-genres into films that are their own rare breed of beast (Raising Arizona, No Country for Old Men).

Pretty much all that’s left for the Coen Brothers to conquer are the sci-fi and horror genres – and they recently let it be known that they are indeed looking to tackle one of those unexplored terrains soon.

While speaking with Empire, Ethan Coen claimed (when prompted by a question) that he and his brother Joel might be breaking into the horror genre:

“Funny you should ask, yes, we’re working on a couple of scripts now, one of which it would be fair to call a full-on horror movie. Frances McDormand is the monster.”

At the risk of stating the obvious, you probably shouldn’t take Ethan’s claim about McDormand (his brother’s wife) being the monster literally – but the Empire interviewer seemed to walk away from the session with the impression that the “full-on horror movie” script was indeed a reality.

frances mcdormand blood simple Coen Brothers Coen Brothers Horror Movie In The Works

McDormand in ‘Blood Simple’.

Now, do I think the Coen Brothers should go poking into the horror genre? Absolutely. Let’s lay cards on the table: these guys are two of the best filmmakers there are and their track record is staggering in terms of its hit-to-miss ratio. Not only that, the Coen Brothers do more than make good films in a variety of genres: they set new standards in the genres they work in, and new standards for storytelling through film in general.

These are two guys I would love to see tackle every genre of film – definitely sci-fi and horror. A lot of “Nu Gen” film fanatics will sight the hair-raising silences of No Country for Old Men as their evidence that the Coens can handle tension, suspense and violence; an aging cinephille like myself is probably going to fall back on Blood Simple as THE authoritative proof that the Coens can – and always have – had the goods to be horror movie gods.

Coen Brothers Blood Simple Coen Brothers Horror Movie In The Works

A Chilling scene from ‘Blood Simple’.

I hope this script they’re working on floats to the top of their “to do” pile, I truly do. I would love to see an intelligent horror flick again – one that relies on context and suggestion to scare me more so than buckets of blood or juvenile exercises in taboo (Human Centipede, looking at you pal). I would love to see a horror flick that had some allegory or symbolism at work in it – you know, stories that ye goode olde horror writers used to tell – smart horror – far and away from the Charnel house of Platinum Dune remakes and/or shockandawe indie horror flicks we’ve been getting the last few years.

A Coen Brothers horror film – who wouldn’t want that? If you actually see a downside to this, we’d love to hear why in the comments.

Source: Empire

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  1. I wouldn’t count True Grit as their western, its been done before, re-imaging, or not, its been done before. I’d LOVE to see an original western from them, that’d be great. A full on horror film from these masters would be sweet.

    • I would definitely call it their Western, mostly because they didn’t remake the first film. Instead they returned to the book.

      • Whether it was based more on the book or not, the film was already made before, hard to grasp that i guess for some.

        • It wasn’t based “more” on the book — they didn’t incorporate the former movie at all. It was simply based on the book — but that’s OK, I understand that some have difficulty with many concepts 😉

          • Wow, original much there with the comebacks?

    • I also wouldnt count No Country For Old Men as “their own rare breed of beast” Considering its a reasonably straight adaptation of a book.

  2. Neat, I wonder what specific kind of horror it would be? Ghosts? Maybe some old-school Stoker-style vampires?

    The sky’s the limit for these two!

  3. Coens are me favorite! I would love to see them do a horror pic! I wonder if they would ever go the sci-fi route? With all their nods to Kubrick I could see them doing something along the lines of 2001.

    • I know I’m against remakes, but they would do a killer version on A Clockwork Orange.

      • That would be interesting. They would probably do it closer to the book as well to

      • WOW A clockwork orange in this day an age would be the phenomenal if done correctly. Not sure about you guys but I haven’t had a genuine scare from hollywood in ages and I’m not talking about a jump scene I mean the nervousness of staring down the hallway while your in bed type of anxiety. If anyone is capable of doing that I give my nod to the brothers. While I hope they opt for something original, I truly got chills thinking about A clockwork orange.

  4. If anyone can do a smart and intense, even an actual scary horror flick, I think these guys can. I think they could have the potential to redefine horror.

  5. I’d really like to see them knock a sci-fi flick out of the park. That would be rad.

  6. i would love to see more horror,monster/ sci fi thriller do right and by very good and creative director like this.

  7. like to see alot more films like this.

  8. Barton Fink had some horror elements to it. But still it would be cool to see an all out horror maybe even slasher style pic from The Coens.

    • Some ol wha? Coens are some of the most diverse directors around. The reason why the academy loves them is cause they make bad a$$ films.

      • He said the same ol schtick. hahaha

        I agree though…the Coens know how to bait their films around the Holidays to get last minute buzz for the Academy.

        The Coens have sold out!

        • Sold out? Do you even know the definition of that? Selling out is making art for profits. Which if you ever seen any box office numbers from them you would know what you’re saying.

    • First horror film nominated for Best Picture? Ever hear of this little horror film called “The Exorcist” that WON Best Picture?

      • Now that’s the type of “scary” I want! The Ring had the one chilling moment but The Exorcist had loads of it.

      • Exorcist won best pic? In the words of Walter Sobchak “I did not know that”. Good research Kofi!

      • There is one!

        Any other films?

      • The Exorcist didn’t win best picture. The Sting won that year. Learn to research.

  9. Nice, I hope they go ahead with this. It would be nice to see American film jump ahead of the rest of the world in horror film since it has been dominated by Asia and Europe in the past decade. Films like REC, Inside, Martyrs, and Let The Right One In have come out and what did we come out with? Saw and it’s 6 sequels. I REALLY hope the Coens puts America back on the map in the horror genre.

  10. a coen brothers horror movie would certainly not be like most horror movies. in fact, saying that frances mcdormand is the monster doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch to me. the coens would never do something with ghosts, or curses, or any of that stuff, it would probably be more along the lines of actual human insanity, like the shining. so saying frances mcdormand would play the “monster” seems about right. she is a great actress.

  11. actually i’ve got it figured out. a good idea for a coen horror movie would be a movie about 2 close brother directors working on a new film. the film is hyped by the studio making it as their best movie ever, as they are just coming off of their biggest financial success of their career. they are feeling pressure to make something truly extraordinary and are starting to fight with each other as to what to do for the first time in their careers. one of the brothers is married to a beautiful actress (played by mcdormand) who starts worrying about her husband who has become so possessed with coming up with the greatest movie ever that he loses interest in her. so she ends up having an affair with the other brother, who has been feeling her pain. the husband brother, already going insane because of the pressure of making the movie, finds out about the affair and…well, violent and suspenseful things happen.

  12. Horror films just don’t work in the modern cinema world, when was the last time anyone actually saw a horror film that scared them? Be honest…

    • Silence of the Lambs before that original exorcist. For horror to frighten me it must be plausible.

    • Does Transformers count? Anything with Megan Fox?

    • The Exorcist for me.

    • The last movie that scared me was event horizon. I was also 13 when I saw it in the theater lol.

      • Me too, scared the hell out of me. But Event Horizon was 1997 i Think. Are we gonna conclude there hasnt been any scary films for nearly 15 years? I certainly think so.

    • No Country for Old Men was not a horror film??

      • What…?

  13. Wow! A Coen Brother’s horror movie sounds great. If they did an original Sci-fi movie I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. Just the thought of it makes me happy.

  14. I want a monster with Grit..”

  15. They should make a murder mystery about a bunch of people who are stuck in a room together. Each one thinks they know more than the other. They argue about who’s opinion is correct by using facts that may or may not be true to “prove” their points but in the end each one still likes what they like and their frustration leads them such anger that they end up killing each other.

    IDK, I have done 0 research on the issue but I am pretty sure that every year more movies are made than win academy awards so I wonder why the ones who don’t win aren’t considered sell outs. Or maybe its just pseudo intellectual bs being spewed from a bunch of fools who couldn’t win an academy award even if they could get off their butts long enough to sharpen their pencils let alone write an entire script.