To get it out of the way, while Steven Spielberg helped script Poltergeist, the movie was directed by Tobe Hooper. Good. Now, Spielberg himself is arguably the great living director working today. While he is currently making the rounds for his sensational, autobiographical The Fabelmans (not horror, but remarkably good stuff nonetheless), it’s worth remembering his roots in genre fare.
From Poltergeist to Duel to, of course, Jaws, Spielberg has always been both an ardent fan and auteur of scary cinema. Even his nineties and early aughts blockbusters such as Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds are, in more ways than one, horror movies. Sure, 2005 had The Amityville Haunting and Boogeyman, but nothing was as scary as Spielberg’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’s seminal science fiction classic.
In recent years, Spielberg shifted away from the genre, principally focusing on prestige pictures and larger blockbusters, though his penchant for scary cinema has remained. Recently, Steven Spielberg helped develop the “deliciously scary third act” of Juan Antonio Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Yet, in a recent acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award at the Berlin Film Festival, Spielberg was quoted as saying, “I feel a little alarmed to be told I’ve lived a lifetime because I’m not finished. I want to keep working. I want to keep learning and discovering and scaring the sh** out of myself and sometimes the sh** out of you.” He later added, “I gotta get back to some of those earlier scary movies but that’s another story for later on.”
Watch the speech below (Spielberg takes the stage at the one hour and 48 minute mark)
What do you think? Could this be Steven Spielberg hinting at a return to the genre? While it remains unlikely, there’s no one I’d rather see back in the genre than him. What’s your favorite genre movie of his? Let me know over on Twitter @ChadisCollins.