Christopher Nolan explains why 'Oppenheimer' can be seen as a 'horror movie'

Christopher Nolan explains why ‘Oppenheimer’ can be seen as a ‘horror movie’

Christopher Nolan says he can understand why some might see his next film Oppenheimerabout the race to create the atomic bomb during WWII and the man who spearheaded the effort in the United States, as a “horror movie.”

In Wiredthe latest cover storythe Oscar-winning director, screenwriter and producer discusses the importance of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the Manhattan Project, which saw him take the lead in the research and development of nuclear weapons during the Holocaust.

At one point, between discussing how artificial intelligence and nuclear advances are different, the ethics of Silicon Valley, and why Oppenheimer is “the most important man who ever lived,” Nolan recalls a conversation that he had with a fellow director about the tone of his film.

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“It’s an intense experience, because it’s an intense story. I showed it to a director recently, and he said it’s kind of a horror movie. I don’t disagree. It’s interesting that you’ve used the word nihilism before, because I don’t think I’ve been able to put my finger on it. But when I started finishing the film, I started to feel this color which is not there in my other films, just darkness. It’s there. The film fights against that.”

Talking about the film’s most difficult subject matter, the director noted that with the first screenings he has seen “some people leave the film absolutely devastated”.

“They can’t talk. I mean, there is an element of fear that is present in the story and in the foundation,” she continued. “But the love for the characters, the love for the relationships, is as strong as ever.”

In terms of how it fits into his body of work, Nolan agrees with the interviewer’s assessment that all of his previous work has resulted in Oppenheimer, as with all of his films, “try to build on what I’ve learned before.” It’s a story that “has been with me for years,” she explained, before adding that the film captures the “most dramatic moment in history.”

“I was relieved to be done, actually,” he said of how the film’s process and subject matter affected him emotionally. “But I really enjoy watching the movie. I think you will understand when you see the film. It’s a complicated set of feelings to be entertained by awful things, you know? And this is where the dimension of horror comes into play.