Harry Potter: Alfonso Cuarón Says Prisoner of Azkaban Was ‘Definitely’ a Horror Movie

Alfonso Cuarón believes his entry in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was “definitely” a horror movie.

In a recent interview with Total Film magazine, per Games Radar, Cuarón said 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban “definitely” qualifies as a horror flick.

“When I read the book, there were two elements that I liked,” Cuarón explained. “There was the horror film element, but also the noir aspect of it. In a way, when I was doing it, the model was more of the German cinema at the end of the silent era, and the transition into the talkies, like Fritz Lang to Murnau. You can see that some of Fritz Lang’s films are kind of noir, but, at the same time, they have kind of horror elements to them. And, more importantly, particularly with Fritz Lang, through the genre, he was trying to convey – or just to project – the anxieties of his time. I think that what J.K. Rowling did with Potter, it was a reference of our times, of human behavior.”

While Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban received a PG rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for “frightening moments, creature violence, and mild language,” the film embraces a darker tone compared to the first two films in the franchise, 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The movie contains a number of intense scenes featuring Dementors (along with a werewolf), which are ghostly-looking creatures with the ability to consume their victims’ souls.

More Harry Potter is in the works from Warner Bros.

Following three Fantastic Beasts movies, Warner Bros. is now moving forward with a Harry Potter television series that will retell the story originally depicted in Rowling’s seven novels. The series will reportedly be a “more faithful retelling” that will adapt one novel per season.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakan is currently streaming on Max and Peacock.

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