Why Are Fans Calling Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ “best horror film” of 2023?

Published 07/23/2023, 9:30 AM EDT

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Amidst the theatrical carnival, cinephiles were treated to an unparalleled cinematic spectacle on July 21st. Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, Oppenheimer. It illuminated the silver screen with its grandeur and brilliance. Nolan, the master of his craft, effortlessly delved into the very essence of filmmaking. His mastery reached new heights as he skillfully transported the audience to the heart of the narrative, almost making them feel the tremors of the devastating nuclear explosion.

Oppenheimer is officially classified as a biographical thriller. However, its mastery in captivating the audience’s senses with spine-tingling suspense and exhilaration has led to an unexpected yet intriguing label: the best horror film of the year.

From biographical drama to horror: Oppenheimer the best horror?

From the Manhattan Project to Los Alamos, and culminating into the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Nolan skillfully weaves a tapestry of Oppenheimer’s life in all its extraordinary complexity. Nolan’s brilliance lies in unraveling this veil of secrecy, shedding light on the man and the labyrinthine journey that forged one of the most powerful weapons in human history. As the story unfolds, a profound sense of moral ambiguity arises, confronting the audience with the weighty consequences of choices made in the pursuit of power. As the lines between hero and villain blur, it makes it a convergence of history and horror.

In a singularly haunting and spine-chilling scene, Cillian Murphy’s pale blue eyes become a portal to the tormented soul of Oppenheimer. The camera lingers on his face as he tries to mask his pride amidst the massive, jubilant crowd, concealing the inner turmoil that gnaws at him. But as the scene unfolds, the facade crumbles, and we witness Oppenheimer journeying down the treacherous path of guilt and remorse, haunted by the dark sin he has committed. With mesmerizing cinematic brilliance, the visuals merge with his thoughts, projecting the devastating destruction his creation will bring. Harrowing images of shattered lives dance before his eyes, and the weight of his actions suffocates him like a nightmare.

Undoubtedly, the movie ignited a sense of horror. However, being a classic Nolan film, it does require some mental acuity to fully grasp the intricacies of its ending.

The two revelations that shaped the movie

“Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds”. The movie’s gripping conclusion unveils two revelations that catch the audience’s attention. The focus shifts to Lewis Strauss, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. He secretly engineered hearings that result in Oppenheimer’s removal of security clearances from the Atomic Energy Commission’s General Advisory Council. The critical moment that triggers this outcome is Oppenheimer’s audacious remarks during a nuclear hearing. They provoked scornful responses from those in positions of authority.

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In a mesmerizing twist, the movie transports us to a poignant conversation between Einstein and Oppenheimer. This was initially misinterpreted by Strauss. At its core, the discussion revolved around Oppenheimer’s past revelation of Einstein’s findings. The essence of this revelation warned that the detonation of an atomic bomb could trigger a perilous chain reaction, potentially engulfing the world in a cataclysmic blaze of destruction. It delves into Einstein and Oppenheimer’s inventions and regrets.

Did you also find the movie connected to horror more than being a biographical drama? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.



Riva Khan

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Riva Khan is an entertainment reporter at NetflixJunkie. Given her love for the language and writing, she has honed her narrative skills from a young age. She loves her latest tea in Hollywood and keeps an eye on the news.