Shyamalan Reveals 'Trap' Merges 'Silence of the Lambs' with Taylor Swift Vibes

Shyamalan's latest blends unique storytelling with a musical twist

by Zain ul Abedin
Shyamalan Reveals 'Trap' Merges 'Silence of the Lambs' with Taylor Swift Vibes
© Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The latest work from M. Night Shyamalan, "Trap," has Josh Hartnett taking on the lead role. It's a film unlike any other, designed to straddle genres from thriller through concert must-see plots and characters. From August 9, it will be seen in theatres nationwide, after which attendees can expect an extraordinary cinematic experience that links intense suspense with live music.

With the Empire magazine reporter, Shyamalan, a director nominated for an Oscar, talked about "Trap." He presented an intriguing question for thought: "What if The Silence of the Lambs occurred at a Taylor Swift concert?" This question lays the theme for a film that uses psychological suspense amidst a pop-concert atmosphere to instil drama.

In "Trap", a father, played by Hartnett, and his teenage daughter, played by Ariel Donoghue, are both involved. Lady Raven is performing in concert. She is a character that Shyamalan has styled after his own daughter, the artist Saleka Shyamalan.

They are completely in the dark about it: this is all no more than a front for a covert police operation aimed at capturing a notorious serial killer.

Operation Flagship Influence

Shyamalan explained how the film was inspired by the Central Intelligence Agency's bizarre but true "Operation Flagship" in 1985.

This idea came from the US Marshals and Washington Metropolitan Police alike: they organized a sting operation. It lured over a hundred fugitives to their surrender with free NFL tickets. On the other hand, with both first-hand experience and a personal touch, Saleka's blossoming music career served as a wellspring for added depth to the film.

"I directed an entire concert," said Shyamalan. It was a scene when his commitment to authentic storytelling burst forth: "And it wasn’t just a thing in the background. It’s equally important. There is no pretend concert going on.

I love the idea of cinema as windows within windows. One of the reasons to come see the movie at the movie theater is because there’s literally a real concert that you can see nowhere except in that movie." In his work Shyamalan always keeps it fresh.

"I really do believe in the original movie." He also said, "I want the industry to move towards more original storytelling. I think audiences would really like it. Look, I know there’s safety in IP. But it’s really important that we come to the movies and see something we’ve never seen before. I’ll keep fighting for that."

Taylor Swift