Whilst Quentin Tarantino has never made an outright horror film, he is never too far away from the genre, interweaving aspects of terror and violence into many of his most iconic stories. Including From Dusk Till Dawn, Kill Bill and Death Proof created as part of a double-bill with Robert Rodriguez, Tarantino is a self-confessed lover of horror and has strong opinions as to the very best ever made.
A longtime purveyor of visceral terror, Tarantino told Newsday in 1994: “Violence is just one of many things you can do in movies”. Continuing, the director added, “People ask me, ‘Where does all this violence come from in your movies?’ I say, ‘Where does all this dancing come from in Stanley Donen movies?’ If you ask me how I feel about violence in real life, well, I have a lot of feelings about it. It’s one of the worst aspects of America. In movies, violence is cool. I like it”.
Despite his clear influences in the genre he is yet to fully submerge himself in the delights of horror, with his screenplay for From Dusk Till Dawn representing his closest efforts to in doing so. Starring George Clooney, Danny Trejo, Salma Hayek, Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis, the film sees a group of criminals come under attack by a coven of vampires whilst in a remote roadside bar.
In terms of his favourite horror movie, however, Quentin Tarantino revealed just one of his all-time greats on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert while discussing their favourite film adaptations. When Colbert announces his love for The Thing, Tarantino responds: “I love Howards Hawks’ The Thing and I love John Carpenter’s The Thing…Rob Bottin’s effects in that movie are some of the greatest practical special effects ever put on a movie theatre screen”.
Continuing in his colourful admiration for the film, Tarantino adds: “I think it’s one of the greatest horror movies ever made, if not one of the greatest movies ever made”. Created by the great John Carpenter, The Thing is a tense science fiction classic that follows a research team in a remote facility who become stalked by an alien who can mimic the human form. Starring Kurt Russell, Keith David, T. K. Carter, Donald Moffat and Richard Dysart, the film remains a classic of horror cinema.
Elaborating on just why he loves John Carpenter’s film so much, Quentin Tarantino explains, “I love horror movies, I’m a big horror movie fan. I don’t get scared in horror movies, I respond to suspense…I can jump by a ‘boo’ scare but that’s not really terror. I don’t get scared in movies. The Thing I got scared in”.
Elevated by the extraordinary special effects work of Rob Bottin, as Tarantino explains, “The movie makes the paranoia of that so palpable, so real, it’s almost like another character in the movie, the sheer paranoia of it”.
Watch the exchange, below.