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M. Night Shyamalan Calls ‘Trap’ a Cross Between Taylor Swift Concert and ‘Silence of the Lambs’

M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night ShyamalanErik Voake/Getty Images for ADCOLOR

Outside of her surprise songs, most people don’t go to a Taylor Swift concert looking for a twist ending — but most people aren’t M. Night Shyamalan.

While promoting his latest thriller, Trap, Shyamalan, 53, revealed the film’s intriguing mix of influences. The writer and director shared in an interview with Empire published on Monday, July 1 that his pitch for the movie was, “What if The Silence of the Lambs happened at a Taylor Swift concert?”

The film stars Josh Hartnett as Cooper, a father who takes his daughter Riley (Ariel Donoghue) to a concert by a Swift-like pop star, the fictional Lady Raven (played by the director’s own daughter, Saleka Shyamalan). However, the concert turns out to be a sting operation aimed at capturing a notorious serial killer known as “The Butcher.” Hartnett’s character has to hide in plain sight to avoid paying the price for his evildoing.

The premise draws inspiration from the real-life 1985 Operation Flagship, where fugitives were tricked into attending a fake event with promises of free NFL tickets and a chance to win a Super Bowl trip. The sting operation, executed with police officers posing as cheerleaders and mascots, ended with over 100 fugitives apprehended.

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“It was hilarious,” Shyamalan told the outlet. “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.”

Shyamalan calls the film a “very scary and Hitchcockian” experience. The film features an actual concert, which Shyamalan directed.

Josh Hartnett as Cooper and Ariel Donoghue as Riley in Warner Bros. Pictures’ crime drama thriller 'Trap.'
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

“I directed an entire concert!” the Sixth Sense director shared. “And it wasn’t just a thing in the background. It’s equally important. There is no pretend concert going on.”

Much like Shyamalan and his suspenseful twists, Swift, 34, keeps her fans guessing with each stop she makes on her Eras Tour —  her twists are more delightful than frightening.

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Most recently, the pop star delighted fans with her surprise song selection during the acoustic portion of her show.

At her final Amsterdam concert on Saturday, July 6, Swift performed “Mary’s Song (Oh My My),” a track from her self-titled debut album that she hadn’t played live in 16 years. Intriguingly, the song features the number 87, which is the jersey number of her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce.

Trap, which also stars Hayley Mills and Alison Pill, will hit theaters on Friday, August 2.

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