Martin Scorsese might be primarily known for his unforgettable gangster flicks but over the course of a vast and illustrious career, the filmmaker has ventured into different genres. Since he has always been a fan of horror films, elements from the genre can be seen throughout his work – ranging from his early short films to later cult films like After Hours.
Cinephilia has always been a major part of Scorsese’s journey as a pioneering filmmaker which is why his sensibilities are often influenced by a wide variety of sources. Even the work of his film preservation foundation proves that Scorsese’s love for cinema knows no boundaries and he is often ready to experience vastly differing films from distant corners of the world with an open mind.
In addition to bringing the world’s attention to incredibly important African masterpieces or Italian classics, Scorsese is also a fan of horror films. From Alfred Hitchcock to William Friedkin, he has drawn inspiration from many horror gems and he even cited Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining as one of the greatest horror films ever made.
The director also keeps a track of the recent developments in the landscape of cinema which is why he launched a scathing attack against the dominant industrial complex created by superhero films such as Marvel projects. However, Scorsese has also pointed out that cinema will be alive as long as directors are continuing to innovate.
One such director is Ari Aster whose fantastic 2018 directorial debut Hereditary was so horrifying that it made Scorsese feel uncomfortable. “Right from the start, I was impressed,” Scorsese revealed. “Here was a young filmmaker that obviously knew cinema. The formal control, the precision of the framing and the movement within the frame, the pacing of the action, the sound — it was all there, immediately evident.”
“But as the picture went on, it started to affect me in different ways,” the director elaborated while explaining why Hereditary is one of the finest horror films of the last decade. “It became disturbing to the point of being uncomfortably so, particularly during the remarkable family dinner scene after the sister has been killed.”
Hereditary set the tone for Aster’s future achievements since it proved his undeniable abilities in regards to constructing an atmosphere of unshakeable horror. “Like all memorable horror films, it tunnels deep into something unnameable and unspeakable, and the violence is as emotional as it is physical,” Scorsese declared.