‘Antlers: Dark Creature’: Terror as a metaphor for the “fears and worries that Americans experience every day”

We spoke with Scott Cooper, director of the film starring Keri Russell. The film opens in theaters this Friday, November 19.

Beyond the scares and fear it generates in the viewer, the horror genre acquires a new meaning when it is used as a metaphor for our world. Antlers: Dark creature is an example of it. “I am telling a story about the dark fears and worries that Americans experience every day.”, count to SensaCine director and screenwriter Scott Cooper. “It’s generational trauma, abuse, addiction, the climate crisis, our way of treating Native Americans … Things that are in this great soup called America right now.”

Antlers: Dark creature comes this friday, November 19th, to the Spanish cinemas. The story, set in an isolated town in the state of Oregon (United States) known as Cispus Falls, has as protagonist a teacher and her brother, the ‘sheriff’, who are involved in the dangerous secret kept by a mysterious student. Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons give life to the protagonists of the film.

As a supernatural being, Cooper has decided to use the wendigo, a evil spirit from First Nations tribal folklore -native populance. “He’s an incredibly fascinating creature and I … Native American issues and causes are something I am passionate about. They mean a lot to me. It’s my second film on Native American themes, “explains the director.

To successfully introduce the wendigo into his film, Cooper enlisted the help of Grace Dillon, a professor at Portland State University and, as the director points out, “the most important authority on this creature in North America.” He also spoke with Chris Eyre, director of Smoke Signals and a member of the Cheyene and Arapaho tribes.

As Cooper explains:

The wendigo manifests itself in many ways. First and foremost: it is a spirit. And I wanted it to be the spirit of lonely places […] This wendigo serves as a banner for the things we don’t want to face or face. The wendigo is the pain and misery that lives in all of us that, over time, comes before us. It’s something you can’t escape

Specifically, the filmmaker says that, in Antlers: Dark creature, the wendigo serves as metaphor of “the destruction of our natural resources” and also of “the desecration of our bodies”.

Guillermo del Toro, “the great master in the creation of monsters”

“I would not have made the movie without Guillermo del Toro,” acknowledges Cooper. The Mexican director of titles like The shape of water and The Pan’s Labyrinth it is synonymous with fantastic cinema, horror, monsters and creatures from other worlds. On Antlers: Dark creature, Del Toro acts as producer. “I love him like a brother”Cooper adds.

As the director explains:

He is not only a top-notch director, but also a top-notch producer and partner. And, since there was a wendigo, a creature at the center of the film, he is the great master at creating monsters and creatures. I have learned a lot from him

Finally, Cooper has highlighted the support that Del Toro provided for this film: “He was always very generous with his time and ideas. It was one of the best collaborations I have ever had.”.

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