The 3 Films That Influenced 'Antlers' Director Scott Cooper

Horror films are for people interested in the darkness inside themselves who don’t want to face or confront it directly. Horror provides a comfortable environment in which to escape. Below is a list of horror films that allowed me to escape when I needed it most.

Scott's new film Antlers debuts in theaters nationwide on October 29th.

Adapted from Daphne du Maurier’s short story, this masterpiece is a brilliant and disturbing look at a family defined by tragedy. Shared grief is a topic that courses through my films, and Roeg’s psychological thriller influenced me greatly. The film’s use of the supernatural, in a very grounded world, is incredibly difficult to pull off, but in this film, one never questions it. Roeg’s use of a decaying Venice as yet another character, and his remarkable, ground-breaking editing further cement this, in my opinion, as one of the great horrors films of all time.

Based on William Peter Blatty’s source novel, this film also influenced me. Again, family is at the center of this horror classic, and it, too, deals with the supernatural. For me, it’s not only a horror film, but a supernatural detective story that also deals with the paranormal. Friedkin’s use of terrifying VFX, in a grounded world, is masterful. As a parent, the fact that the film is portrayed so realistically is what makes it so disturbing.

Many ask — is this a horror film? For me, it’s a definitive ‘yes’ as horror cannot be defined by setting or genre. But it’s true, the film is so much more than simply horror. It’s a science-fiction film, a monster movie, and a deeply political look at class: where, in the future, workers are even more disposable than they are now. It’s one of my favorite films and its influence is felt far and wide, and never more so than in my latest film, Antlers. Ridley’s distinct use of darkness, his not revealing the monster until well into the film, and his incredibly strong heroine, Ripley, paved the path for everything that arises in our fictional setting of Cispus Falls. Only no one does it better.

Scott Cooper is an American writer-director and former actor. His directorial career began with the award-winning Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges. He has gone on to write and direct such films as Out of the Furnace and Hostiles, both starring Christian Bale, and Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp