We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

How Attack on Titan influenced Alex Garland’s new horror movie

Filmmaker Alex Garland discusses how his upcoming horror movie Men actually draws inspiration from the Attack on Titan anime series

Jessie Buckley in Men

Alex Garland is one of the most exciting filmmakers around right now, and his upcoming horror movie, Men, is garnering lots of positivity and praise from critics ahead of its release. Now, according to the director himself, his new A24 movie apparently draws inspiration from the popular anime series Attack on Titan.

Men stars Jessie Buckley, Rory Kinnear, and Paapa Essiedu, and is the third movie to be directed by Garland, after the brilliant sci-fi movies Ex Machina and Annihilation. This is his second collaboration with the independent film studio A24, and marks his first real foray into the world of full-on horror, despite utilising horror tropes in his previous work.

In an roundtable attended by Bloody Disgusting, Garland mentioned some surprising influences for his new folk horror movie, including the animated series Attack on Titan. In fact, he actually rewrote an entire sequence for his movie after watching some of the TV series with his daughter. Garland was apparently struck by the inventiveness and creativity of the anime show and this got him thinking about his own process.

“I got slapped right in the face, creatively, by watching this show Attack on Titan with my daughter, which was taking human forms and making, in some ways, quite subtle changes,” Garland explained. “[It] leaned towards ridiculousness, because I think actual ridiculousness is quite an important part of this film; a funny kind of patheticness, silliness in some respects, that sits alongside the horror and the strangeness,” he added.

“When I saw Attack on Titan, I could see how inventive and creative it was, and it made me think really hard. I spent that Christmas doing loads of sketches of forms, which became that sequence [in Men],” Garland concluded.

During the discussion, Garland also cites classic horror movies like Evil Dead and The Wicker Man as inspirations for his new project. However, he insists that while there will inevitably be traces of other people’s work in anything he does, he will always try “to avoid making movies about other movies.”