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The Untold Truth Of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri



Film history buffs are probably already aware of the cult classic “Don’t Look Now” and its influence on psychological horror films. The 1973 British film follows the breakdown of a couple who have recently lost their young daughter in an accident; grief becomes the catalyst for the unexplained events of the film. “Don’t Look Now,” starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, famously uses a red motif to signal the strange and disturbing throughout.

Another film that seems to have a lot of red in it? The correct answer is, obviously, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Mildred’s bandana is red, the billboards are a glaring blood red, and for eagle-eyed viewers, dozens of other items pop with that same color: swing sets, telephones, even a character called “Red.”

But using the color red isn’t the only reference to the classic film. Mama Dixon is actually watching “Don’t Look Now” on TV, her son on the couch next to her. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” is a film with many central themes, but its focus on the ways that trauma and grief change us is key. Tying “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” to a famed horror flick with the same message brings home the darker, more emotional aspects of the film.

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