The all-star, celebrity murder-mystery thriller is a genre of the past. Hollywood used to make them often — usually going to an Agatha Christie novel for inspiration. And while Kenneth Branagh brought MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS to theatres in 2017, the last great example of this type of movie was probably CLUE, way back in 1985.
Rian Johnson, though, wants to bring the movie genre back in a big way. His latest film, KNIVES OUT, is a clever whodunit that’s packed with familiar faces, all of whom could be a murderer. And it’s coming across as one of the rowdiest, funniest crowd-pleasers of the calendar year.
"[Rian] Johnson hasn't just churned out a wink-wink spoof of the classical drawing-room mystery... with its ingenious twists and turns, he has crafted an intricate puzzle-box narrative worthy of the genre's brainiest practitioners," writes Justin Chang in his KNIVES OUT review for the Los Angeles Times.
But don’t take the critics’ words for it. We actually interviewed Rian Johnson at the AMC Century City 15 in Los Angeles to get the skinny on the bloody mystery at the heart of KNIVES OUT. He praised his cast, shared his favorite movie theatre snack, and explained exactly why he thinks it’s imperative that you see KNIVES OUT in the theatre.
"This movie is designed to be seen with a crowd," Johnson told AMC. "It's not even about, like, a big-screen spectacle or the sound or anything. It's about seeing it with an audience. Because this movie… it's funny. It's also a whodunit. It's got twists and turns that you won't see coming. And it's so much fun seeing it with a crowd and hearing people kind of, like, gasp and react to what's on screen. It's a completely different experience with a big, big amped up crowd of people."
As controversial as this may sound, Rian Johnson even encourages "talking" in a theatre… only under very specific conditions.
"If it's the right kind of talk," he said with a laugh. "If it's, like, involuntarily shouting, ‘Don't go in there!’ Yeah, I love that to death. If someone's having a conversation about where they're going to dinner after the movie, not so much. … [But] that's the proudest thing in the world, when you can tell an audience is having fun watching a movie, when they're vocally expressing how much they're into it. There’s nothing better than that, man. It’s so good."
Watch our full conversation with KNIVES OUT director Rian Johnson right here:
Then, grab your tickets to KNIVES OUT. The comedy-thriller boasts the all-star cast of Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Toni Colette, Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig. It will be in theatres on November 27.