My favorite Horror Movie Directors

Not necessarily in any particular order.
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1.
Alfred Hitchcock
Director, Psycho
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892)...
“ The Lodger, The Lady Vanishes, Rope, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Frenzy ” - bkv1969
 
2.
John Carpenter
Writer, Halloween
John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky University and then USC film school in Los Angeles...
“ Halloween, They Live, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog, The Thing, Christine, Starman, In the Mouth of Madness ” - bkv1969
 
3.
Wes Craven
Director, Scream
Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision. Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on the Left, which he wrote...
“ The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, Deadly Blessing, Swamp Thing, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes II, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Shocker, The People Under the Stairs, Scream 1, 2, 3 & 4, Cursed, Red Eye ” - bkv1969
 
4.
Tod Browning
Director, Dracula
Belonging to a well-situated family, Charles Browning fell in love at the age of 16 with a dancer of a circus. Following her began his itinerary of being clown, jockey and director of a variety theater which ended when he met D.W. Griffith and became an actor. He made his debut in Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages...
“ The Unknown, Dracula, Freaks, Mark of the Vampire, The Devil-Doll ” - bkv1969
 
5.
George A. Romero
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; however, by all indications, he was very successful. The helmer of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 in New York City, New York, to a Cuban father and a Lithuanian-American mother. He grew up in NY, until attending the renowned Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...
“ Night of the Living Dead, The Crazies, Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow, Day Of The Dead, Monkey Shines, The Dark Half, Land of the Dead ” - bkv1969
 
6.
Tobe Hooper
Before becoming a filmmaker, Tobe Hooper, a native of Austin, Texas, spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. In 1974, he organized a small cast that was made up of college teachers and students, and then he and Kim Henkel made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This film changed the horror film industry...
“ The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Eaten Alive, Salem's Lot, Poltergeist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, The Mangler, Night Terrors, Toolbox Murders ” - bkv1969
 
7.
Roger Corman
Producer, Death Race
Roger William Corman was born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan. Initially following in his father's footsteps, Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but while in school, he began to lose interest in the profession and developed a growing passion for film. Upon graduation, he worked a total of three days as an engineer at US Electrical Motors...
“ Day the World Ended, It Conquered the World, Swamp Women, Not of This Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Undead, A Bucket of Blood, The Wasp Woman, House Of Usher, The Little Shop of Horrors, Creature from the Haunted Sea, Pit and the Pendulum, Premature Burial, The Intruder, Tales of Terror, The Raven, The Terror, The Haunted Palace, X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, The Masque of the Red Death, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Frankenstein Unbound ” - bkv1969
 
8.
Terence Fisher
Terence Fisher was born in Maida Vale, England, in 1904. Raised by his grandmother in a strict Christian Scientist environment, Fisher left school while still in his teens to join the Merchant Marine. By his own account he soon discovered that a life at sea was not for him, so he left the service and tried his hand at a succession of jobs ashore...
“ Three's Company, The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, The Revenge of Frankenstein, The Hound of the BaskervillesThe Man Who Could Cheat Death, The Mummy, The Brides of Dracula, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Phantom Of The Opera, The Gorgon, The Earth Dies Screaming, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Island Of Terror, Frankenstein Created Woman, Island Of The Burning Damned, The Devil Rides Out, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell ” - bkv1969
 
9.
David Cronenberg
Director, The Fly
David Cronenberg, also known as the King of Venereal Horror or the Baron of Blood, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1943. His father was a journalist, and his mother was a piano player. After showing an inclination for literature at an early age (he wrote and published eerie short stories, thus following his father's path) and for music (playing classical guitar until he was 12)...
“ They Came from Within, Rabid, The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Crash, eXistenZ ” - bkv1969
 
10.
Dario Argento
Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940, in Rome, Italy, the first-born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for filmmaking from his close-knit family from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other family members...
“ The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Cat o' Nine Tails, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebre, Phenomena, Opera, Two Evil Eyes, Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome, The Phantom of the Opera, Sleepless, The Card Player, Mother of Tears, Giallo ” - bkv1969
 
11.
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would produce better academic performance...
“ The Killing, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket ” - bkv1969
 
12.
James Whale
Director, Frankenstein
James Whale, who grew up poor in an English mining town, learned to put on plays in a World War I German POW camp. Postwar theatre work took him to the London stage, then Broadway, then a contract with Paramount, as dialog director for Howard Hughes' Hell's Angels. He began his contribution to the horror film genre with his move to Universal...
“ Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, Remember Last Night? ” - bkv1969
 
13.
Mario Bava
Cinematographer, A Bay of Blood
Italian director Mario Bava was born on July 31, 1914 in the coastal northern Italian town of San Remo. His father, Eugenio Bava (1886-1966), was a cinematographer in the early days of the Italian film industry. Bava was trained as a painter, and when he eventually followed his father into film photography...
“ Black Sunday, The Evil Eye, Black Sabbath, The Whip and the Body, Blood and Black Lace, Planet of the Vampires, Kill Baby Kill, Island Of Terror, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Twitch of the Death Nerve, Baron Blood, Lisa and the Devil, Beyond the Door II ” - bkv1969
 
14.
Robert Wise
Robert Earl Wise was born on September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, the youngest of three sons of Olive R. (Longenecker) and Earl Waldo Wise, a meat packer. His parents were both of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. At age nineteen, the avid moviegoer came into the film business through an odd job at RKO Radio Pictures...
“ The Curse of the Cat People, The Body Snatcher, A Game Of Death, The House on Telegraph Hill, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Haunting, The Andromeda Strain, Audrey Rose ” - bkv1969
 
15.
Stuart Gordon
Writer, Re-Animator
Stuart Gordon started his film directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist apprentice prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Unable to get into the film classes, he enrolled in an acting class and ended up majoring in theater...
“ Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dolls, The Pit and the Pendulum, Castle Freak, Dagon, King of the Ants ” - bkv1969
 
16.
Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies, which he made with his friends...
“ Bad Taste, Dead Alive, The Frighteners, King Kong, The Lovely Bones ” - bkv1969
 
17.
Brian De Palma
Director, Scarface
Brian De Palma is one of the well-known directors who spear-headed the new movement in Hollywood during the 1970s. He is known for his many films that go from violent pictures, to Hitchcock-like thrillers. Born on the 11th of September in 1940, De Palma was born in New Jersey in an American-Italian family...
“ Sisters, Phantom of the Paradise, Obsession, The Fury, Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Body Double, Raising Cain, The Black Dahlia ” - bkv1969
 
18.
Joe Dante
Director, Gremlins
Joseph Dante Jr. was born on November 28, 1946 in Morristown, New Jersey, and raised in the nearby borough of Parsippany. His father was a professional golf players and his father wrote some books on the instructions of playing golf some of which included Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf, and Stop that Slice...
“ Piranha, The Howling, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Gremlins, The 'burbs, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, The Hole ” - bkv1969
 
19.
“ Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Doomsday ” - bkv1969
 
20.
William Friedkin
Director, The Exorcist
Friedkin's mother was an operating room nurse. His father was a merchant seaman, semi-pro softball player and ultimately sold clothes in a men's discount chain. Ultimately, his father never earned more than $50/week in his whole life and died indigent. Eventually young Will became infatuated with Orson Welles after seeing Citizen Kane...
“ The Exorcist, Rampage, The Guardian, Jade, The Hunted, Bug ” - bkv1969
 
21.
Matt Reeves
Writer, Let Me In
Born on April 27, 1966, Matthew Reeves is a writer, director and producer, known for his directorial work on Cloverfield (2008), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and War of the Planet of the Apes (2017). Reeves was born in in Rockville Center, New York and was childhood friends with director J.J.Abrams...
“ Cloverfield, Let Me In ” - bkv1969
 
22.
Ridley Scott
Producer, Blade Runner
Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. Following his commercial breakthrough with the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), his best known works are the noir science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), crime drama Thelma & Louise (1991), historical drama and Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator (2000)...
“ Alien, Blade Runner, Hannibal ” - bkv1969
 
23.
Jesús Franco
He was only six years old when he started composing music under the protection of his brother Enrique. After the Spanish Civil War he was able to continue his studies at the Real Conservatorio de Madrid, where he finished piano and harmony. Being a Bachelor of Law and an easy-read novel writer (under the pseudonym David Khume)...
“ The Mistresses of Dr. Jekyll, Attack of the Robots, The Diabolical Dr. Z, Succubus, The Awful Dr. Orloff, Count Dracula, Vampyros Lesbos, A Virgin Among The Living Dead, The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, The Demons, Greta The Mad Butcher, Oasis Of The Zombies, Bloody Moon, Zombie 5 ” - bkv1969
 
24.
Eli Roth
Producer, Grindhouse
Eli Raphael Roth was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Cora (Bialis), a painter, and Sheldon H. Roth, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and clinical professor. His family is Jewish (from Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Poland). He began shooting Super 8 films at the age of eight, after watching Ridley Scott's Alien and vomiting...
“ Cabin Fever, Hostel, Grindhouse, Hostel: Part II, Inglourious Basterds ” - bkv1969
 
25.
“ Season's Greetings, Trick 'r Treat ” - bkv1969
 
26.
Sam Raimi
Writer, Spider-Man 3
Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead. From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making movies with an 8mm camera...
“ The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell ” - bkv1969
 
27.
Sean S. Cunningham
Producer, Friday the 13th
Like William Girdler, Oliver Hellman or even Ed Wood, Sean S. Cunningham had a successful career of starting films cheap and fast. Originally from New York, Cunningham had a vast knowledge of directing films and came to Hollywood. He started about the same time Wes Craven did. Cunningham meets Craven and decided to make a comedy-romance film called Together...
“ Case of the Full Moon Murders, Friday the 13th, A Stranger Is Watching, The New Kids, DeepStar Six, Trapped Ashes ” - bkv1969
 
28.
Lucio Fulci
Lucio Fulci, born in Rome in 1927, remains as controversial in death as he was in life. A gifted craftsman with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of dark humor, Fulci achieved some measure of notoriety for his gore epics of the late 1970s and early 1980s, but respect was long in coming. Abandoning his early career as a med student...
“ Zombie, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, The House by the Cemetery, The New York Ripper, Zombi 3, Demonia ” - bkv1969
 
29.
Rob Zombie
Soundtrack, The Matrix
Robert Bartleh Cummings, more famously known as Rob Zombie, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on January 12, 1965. He is the oldest son of Louise and Robert Cummings, and has a younger brother, Michael David (aka Spider One; b. 1968), who is the lead singer of Powerman 5000. Growing up, Zombie loved horror movies...
“ House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects, Halloween, Halloween II ” - bkv1969
 
30.
Roman Polanski
Director, The Pianist
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began...
“ Repulsion, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary's Baby, The Tenant, Death and the Maiden, The Ninth Gate ” - bkv1969
 
31.
“ Cape Fear, Return from the Ashes, Eye of the Devil, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Happy Birthday to Me, The Evil That Men Do, Messenger of Death ” - bkv1969
 
32.
M. Night Shyamalan
Born in India but raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is the son of two doctors. His passion for filmmaking began when he was given a Super-8 camera at age eight, and even at that young age began to model his career on that of his idol, Steven Spielberg...
“ The Sixth Sense, Signs, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening ” - bkv1969
 
33.
Robert Rodriguez
Producer, Grindhouse
Robert Anthony Rodriguez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, USA, to Rebecca (Villegas), a nurse, and Cecilio G. Rodríguez, a salesman. His family is of Mexican descent. Of all the people to be amazed by the images of John Carpenter's 1981 sci-fi parable, Escape from New York, none were as captivated as the 12-year-old Rodriguez...
“ From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, Sin City, Planet Terror, Machete ” - bkv1969
 
34.
David Fincher
Director, Fight Club
David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials and music videos after signing with N...
“ Alien³, Se7en, The Game, Panic Room, Zodiac ” - bkv1969
 
35.
“ Ju-on, The Grudge, The Grudge 2, Marebito, Reincarnation, The Shock Labyrinth 3D ” - bkv1969
 
36.
“ High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors, Piranha ” - bkv1969
 
37.
“ When a Stranger Calls, April Fool's Day, The Rosary Murders, I Saw What You Did, Trapped, Homewrecker, When a Stranger Calls Back, Dead Air ” - bkv1969
 
38.
Adrian Lyne
Director, Unfaithful
Adrian Lyne (Director/Writer/Producer) is the creative force behind some of the most talked-about movies of our time, among them, "Fatal Attraction", "9 1/2 Weeks", "Flashdance", "Indecent Proposal", "Jacob's Ladder" and "Unfaithful". Born in Peterborough, England and raised in London, Lyne attended the Highgate school...
“ Fatal Attraction, Jacob's Ladder ” - bkv1969
 
39.
F.W. Murnau
Director, Nosferatu
Director. First was assistant to Max Reinhardt. Began making movies in Germany in 1919. Went to the USA in 1926.
“ Emerald of Death, Der Bucklige und die Tänzerin, Der Januskopf, The Haunted Castle, Nosferatu, Faust, 4 Devils ” - bkv1969
 
40.
“ Dreamscape, The Stepfather, The Good Son, The Forgotten ” - bkv1969
 
41.
Victor Salva
Born in Martinez, California, 20 miles outside San Francisco, Victor Salva had written and directed over 20 short and feature-length films before graduating from high school. In the mid-'80s his 37-minute short Something in the Basement took first place in the fiction category at the Sony/AFI Home Video Competition...
“ Something in the Basement, Clownhouse, The Nature of the Beast, Rites of Passage, Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers II ” - bkv1969
 
42.
“ The Black Cat, Bluebeard, Strange Illusion, The Strange Woman, The Man from Planet X, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, The Amazing Transparent Man ” - bkv1969
 
43.
Tom Holland
Writer, Fright Night
Tom Holland is an American director and screenwriter of horror and thriller films. His early writing projects include Class of 1984 and the Robert Bloch- inspired Psycho II, the latter starring Anthony Perkins as the menacing psychopath, Norman Bates. Tom gained more notoriety, however, as a director...
“ Fright Night, Child's Play, The Stranger Within, The Temp, The Langoliers, Thinner, We All Scream for Ice Cream ” - bkv1969
 
44.
“ The Incredible Shrinking Woman, The Lost Boys, Flatliners, 8MM, The Phantom of the Opera, The Number 23 ” - bkv1969
 
45.
James Wan
Writer, Saw
James Wan (born 27 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence, Death Sentence, Insidious, The Conjuring and Furious 7...
“ Stygian, Saw, Dead Silence, Insidious ” - bkv1969
 
46.
“ Pet Sematary, Pet Sematary II, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, The Attic, The Dark Path Chronicles, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid ” - bkv1969
 
47.
Steve Miner
Steve Miner has had a very popular career in making films and remains one of Hollywood's most prolific directors and has worked with a variety of stars that includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Leslie Nielsen, C. Thomas Howell, Tom Arnold, Rick Moranis, and Bill Pullman. Before becoming a director...
“ Friday the 13th Part 2, Friday the 13th Part III, House, Warlock, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Lake Placid, Day of the Dead ” - bkv1969
 
48.
“ The Forbidden, Hellraiser, Nightbreed, Lord of Illusions ” - bkv1969
 
49.
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist) and worked on making his own short films...
“ Cronos, Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army ” - bkv1969
 
50.
Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike was born in the small town of Yao on the outskirts of Osaka, Japan. His main interest growing up was motorbikes, and for a while he harbored ambitions to race professionally. At the age of 18 he went to study at the film school in Yokohama founded by renowned director Shôhei Imamura, primarily because there were no entrance exams...
“ Audition, The City of Lost Souls, Ichi the Killer, Demon Pond ” - bkv1969
 
51.
James Cameron
Writer, Aliens
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University but, after graduating, drove a truck to support his screenwriting ambition. He landed his first professional film job as art director...
“ Piranha Part Two: The Spawning, The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day ” - bkv1969
 
52.
“ Curse, Death & Spirit, Don't Look Up, Ringu, Ringu 2, Sotohiro, Chaos, Dark Water, The Ring Two, Kaidan, The Incite Mill ” - bkv1969
 
53.
Steven Spielberg
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer...
“ Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, War of the Worlds ” - bkv1969