From the moment I saw Paris, je t’aime, with art-house segments directed by the Coen Brothers, Gus van Sant, and Alfonso Cuarón, amongst others, I’ve wondered what the horror movie version could possibly be like. Okay, no, I didn’t ever really do that, but regardless, I was happy to see that such a version was being developed.
Paris I’ll Kill You is, indeed, the horror aficionado’s response to Paris, je t’aime, employing various horror directors to direct a multitude of stories that take a look at the seedy underbelly of the romance capitol of the world. With a movie like this, the quality always comes down to the directors chosen to participate. Now, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, we know who those directors are.
Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), Xavier Gens (Hitman), Vincenzo Natali (Splice), and Ryuhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train) have joined the directors list, along with lesser-known directors Christopher Smith (Creep), directing duo Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (A L’Interieur), and music video auteur, Joern Heitman.
Am I the only person utterly underwhelmed by this list? In full disclosure, I’ve never seen half of these directors’ work in the genre of horror, but the ones I have seen aren’t exactly blowing me out of the water. Sure, Xavier Gens' Hitman gave me nightmares, but not because it was a great horror movie—rather, it was just really, really bad. (To be fair, his Frontier(s) was pretty good.) Splice was fine, and so was Natali’s earlier, better film, Cube, but I can't help but think...where are the heavy-hitters here? Or is Joe Dante the only one?
Not that he isn’t a good director—who doesn’t love The Howling, Gremlins, and The Burbs?—he’s just not number one on my list of horror directors. Alas, with Paris I’ll Kill You, he appears to be the main attraction. This is the sort of movie that requires a plethora of semi-legendary horror directors, in my opinion. Sure, Dante can be on that list, but where are the John Carpenters, the Stuart Gordons, the Dario Argentos, the Wes Cravens, and the George Romeros? Where are the horror directors that stack up to the likes of the Coen Brothers, Gus van Sant, and Alfonso Cuarón? At first glance, this film feels like squandered potential, but perhaps I’m jumping the gun.
Check out Joe Dante's trailer for The Howling below to get a sense of how he might direct his segment:
I sincerely hope Paris I'll Kill You succeeds creatively, because the concept is one I’m immediately interested in. Not just because it’s a horror anthology, but also because it’s a horror anthology making fun of an artsy romance anthology—which, admittedly, was very good in its own right.
Apparently, the producers are pitching Paris I’ll Kill You as the first of a “horror city” franchise, not unlike Paris, je t’aime. Perhaps if the first is a success, sequels will attract bigger horror talent—both in terms of actors and directors.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter