M. Night Shyamalan credits Taylor Swift as inspiration for upcoming horror movie

Kayla Harrington
Josh Hartnett in Trap

M. Night Shyamalan credited Taylor Swift as one of his biggest inspirations for the upcoming horror movie, Trap.

Some of the best horror movies of all time were directed by M. Night Shyamalan, as his commitment to surprising plot twists and original concepts set his films apart.

And his new film, Trap, is a testament to these ideas as it centers around a father who takes his daughter to a popular pop concert only to discover its a police sting operation to catch a serial killer.

The setting of a concert put on by a world-famous singer actually mirrors real-world events. The director told Empire Magazine his initial pitch for Trap boiled down to, “What if The Silence Of The Lambs happened at a Taylor Swift concert?”

Swift’s Eras Tour was the biggest concert of 2023, grossing over $1 billion. The three-and-a-half-hour show culminated her 11 studio albums and is considered one of the hottest concert tickets of 2024.

Shyamalan’s inspiration wasn’t just taken from Swift; he also took notes from a similar situation in the 1980s.

Operation Flagship was a joint sting done by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., in 1985.

The set-up was used to lure known fugitives to the Washington Convention Center, with the promise of two free tickets for the Washington Redskins home game against the Cincinnati Bengals and the chance to win tickets to Super Bowl XX.

Because of this scheme, over 101 fugitives were arrested, and Operation Flagship became known as the largest and most successful mass arrest by U.S. law enforcement.

“It was hilarious,” Shyamalan said. “The cops were literally cheerleaders and mascots. These guys were dancing as they came in. And they were all caught. It was so twisted and funny.”

The combination of all these influences produced a completely original film, and the director stressed the importance of originality.

“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,” Shyamalan explained. “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.”

Trap premieres in theaters on August 9. In the meantime, check out all the new movies coming out this month and the films arriving on streaming in July.