My Favorite Horror Filmmakers in Film History

by hilaryswank2011 | created - 17 Jan 2016 | updated - 2 days ago | Public

1. Kenji Mizoguchi

Director | Saikaku ichidai onna

Coming from a lower class family Mizoguchi entered the production company Nikkatsu as an actor specialized in female roles. Later he became an assistant director and made his first film in 1922. Although he filmed almost 90 movies in the silent era, only his last 12 productions are really known ...

He was and still is the true and genuine Japanese horror film master!

2. Ryota Nakanishi

Editor | Moxina

His theatrical feature film Rakugo eiga (2012) is his master piece and best seller. He has extensive experiences in all aspects of both filmmaking and social movements. He studied at the best film school in Taiwan, National Taiwan University of Arts where the best Chinese film directors Ang Lee and ...

3. Terence Fisher

Director | Dracula

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 ...

4. Lucio Fulci

Writer | Murderock - Uccide a passo di danza

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 ...

5. Dario Argento

Writer | Profondo rosso

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 ...

6. Mario Bava

Cinematographer | Reazione a catena

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 ...

7. John Carpenter

Soundtrack | 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 ...

8. 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 ...

9. William Friedkin

Director | The French Connection

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 ...

10. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

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 ...

11. George A. Romero

Writer | Land of the Dead

George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; by all indications, though, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 ,in New York City to Ann (Dvorsky) and Jorge Romero. His father was born in Spain and raised in Cuba, and...

12. Lamberto Bava

Director | Body Puzzle

Lamberto Bava was born in Rome, Italy, and was the first of a third generation of Italian filmmakers. His grandfather, Eugenio Bava (1886-1966), was a cameraman and optics effects artist during the early days of Italian silent cinema. His father, Mario Bava (1914-1980), was a legendary ...

13. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

14. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

15. Wes Craven

Writer | A Nightmare on Elm Street

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 ...

16. Freddie Francis

Cinematographer | The Straight Story

During his last years at school he spent most of his time writing a thesis on 'the future of film' On leaving school he joined Gaumont British Studios at Lime Grove as an apprentice to a stills photographer for a year. He claimed this taught him more about the art of photography than any other form...

17. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

18. John Hough

Producer | The Human Race

Talented and versatile director John Hough has had a long and eclectic career that encompasses everything from a sexy "Hammer" horror feature to more wholesome "Disney" family fare. Hough was born on November 21st, 1941 in London, England. Hough began his career in his early twenties, working odd ...

19. Lamberto Bava

Director | Body Puzzle

Lamberto Bava was born in Rome, Italy, and was the first of a third generation of Italian filmmakers. His grandfather, Eugenio Bava (1886-1966), was a cameraman and optics effects artist during the early days of Italian silent cinema. His father, Mario Bava (1914-1980), was a legendary ...

20. Jeff Burr

Director | Straight Into Darkness

Director/writer/producer Jeff Burr was born in 1963 in Aurora, Ohio. He grew up in Dalton, Georgia. Burr avidly watched low-budget independent movies at the local drive-in theater and made Super-8 pictures as a kid. Burr attended the University of Southern California for three years, where he met ...

21. 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 ...

22. Francis Ford Coppola

Producer | Apocalypse Now

Francis Ford Coppola was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father, Carmine Coppola, was a composer and musician. His mother, Italia Coppola (née Pennino), had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated ...

23. Tobe Hooper

Director | The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Honored with many awards for his films and achievement in the horror genre, Tobe Hooper is truly one of the Masters of Horror (2005).

Tobe Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, to Lois Belle (Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He spent the 1960s as a college ...

24. Roman Polanski

Director | Chinatown

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 ...

25. Jûzô Itami

Writer | Osôshiki

A tragic end belies a life led with purpose. The son of a successful filmmaker, Juzo Itami made his name acting in television and films before making a late career shift into screenwriting and directing at age 50. Known to choose the subjects of his films through everyday observations, he often ...

26. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Director | Tokyo Sonata

Kiyoshi Kurosawa was born on July 19, 1955 in Kobe, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Tokyo Sonata (2008), Cure (1997) and Kairo (2001).

27. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

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 ...

28. Nobuo Nakagawa

Director | Jigoku

Apprenticed at Makino Film Studios in 1934 under Masahiro Makino.

29. Ricky Lau

Director | Geung si sin sang

Ricky Lau was born on December 20, 1949 in Hong Kong. He is a director and actor, known for Geung si sin sang (1985), Xi wo yi ge wen (1994) and Shuai gui qiao qiang jiao (1990).

30. Takashi Shimizu

Director | Ju-on

Takashi Shimizu was born on July 27, 1972 in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Ju-on: The Grudge (2002), The Grudge (2004) and Marebito (2004).

32. Michele Soavi

Director | Dellamorte Dellamore

Born in Milan, Italy in 1957, Michele Soavi's parents separated when he was little and he lived with his mother who remarried a painter. Interested in his stepfather's interest in painting, Soavi began an interest in creative arts in his school. During his teenage years, he decided that the cinema ...

33. Tom Savini

Actor | The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Inspired by the film Man of a Thousand Faces (1957), a young Tom Savini became fascinated with the magic and illusion of film. He spent his youth in his room creating characters by tirelessly practicing make-up. Later, as a combat photographer in Vietnam, Savini saw first-hand the gruesome carnage ...

34. Dario Argento

Writer | Profondo rosso

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 ...

35. Jeff Burr

Director | Straight Into Darkness

Director/writer/producer Jeff Burr was born in 1963 in Aurora, Ohio. He grew up in Dalton, Georgia. Burr avidly watched low-budget independent movies at the local drive-in theater and made Super-8 pictures as a kid. Burr attended the University of Southern California for three years, where he met ...

36. Howard Hawks

Director | Rio Bravo

What do the classic films Scarface (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Rio Bravo (1959) have in...

37. John A. Russo

Writer | Night of the Living Dead

With twenty books published internationally and nineteen feature movies in worldwide distribution, John Russo has been called a "living legend." He began by co-authoring the screenplay for Night of the Living Dead, which has become recognized as a "horror classic."

His three books on the art and ...

38. F.W. Murnau

Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

F.W. Murnau was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt. During World War I he served as a company commander at the eastern front and was in the German air ...

The first horror film director!

39. Steven Spielberg

Producer | Schindler's List

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, ...

40. Michio Yamamoto

Assistant_director | Kumonosu-jô

41. Ken Daniels

Producer | Cross Wars

Ken Daniels is a producer, known for Cross Wars (2017), The Lucky Break (2008) and Angel (2018).

42. Tso Nam Lee

Director | Long quan she shou dou zhi zhu

Tso Nam Lee was born on March 21, 1943 in Guizhou, China. He is a director and assistant director, known for Long quan she shou dou zhi zhu (1979), Shao Lin dou La Ma (1983) and Gui ma liang jin gang (1974).

43. Chung-Hsing Chao

Stunts | Long fa wei

Chung-Hsing Chao is known for his work on Long fa wei (1985), Kei moon duen gap (1982) and Xing tao tai lang (1987).

44. Siu-Tung Ching

Stunts | Ying xiong

Siu-Tung Ching was born in 1953 as Xiaodong Cheng. He is known for his work on Ying xiong (2002), Sien nui yau wan (1987) and Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006).

45. James Cameron

Writer | Avatar

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 before switching to English, and eventually dropping out. He then drove a truck to support his ...

46. Dennis Law

Producer | Mit moon

Dennis Law was born in Hong Kong as Sau-yiu Law. He is a producer and writer, known for King of Triads (2010), Hak kuen (2006) and Duan zhan de sheng ming (2009).

47. Juno Mak

Producer | Geung si

Juno Mak was born on March 18, 1984. He is an actor and producer, known for Rigor Mortis (2013), Fuk sau che chi sei (2010) and Sons of the Neon Night.

48. Edward D. Wood Jr.

Writer | Plan 9 from Outer Space

Hacks are nothing new in Hollywood. Since the beginning of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century, thousands of untalented people have come to Los Angeles from all over America and abroad to try to make it big (as writers, producers, directors, actors, talent agents, singers, composers, ...

49. F.W. Murnau

Director | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

F.W. Murnau was a German film director. He was greatly influenced by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Shakespeare and Ibsen plays he had seen at the age of 12, and became a friend of director Max Reinhardt. During World War I he served as a company commander at the eastern front and was in the German air ...

50. Jimmy Sangster

Writer | The Horror of Frankenstein

One of the driving, creative forces behind the legendary Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster was born on December 2nd, in Kinmel Bay, North Wales. He began in the film industry as a production assistant at age 16 during WWII. After this gig, he worked as a gofer and assistant projectionist for Norman's ...

51. Casey Walker

Producer | The Void

Casey Walker was born on December 20, 1975 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada as John Casey Walker. He is a director and producer, known for The Void (2016), A Little Bit Zombie (2012) and Prank Patrol (2005).

52. Sin-Hang Chiu

Actor | Gao geung jing dou fu

Sin-Hang Chiu is an actor and writer, known for Gao geung jing dou fu (2017), 2013 Ngo oi Heung Gong: Gung hei fat choi (2013) and Keyboard Warriors (2018).

53. Pak-Wing Yan

Writer | Gao geung jing dou fu

Pak-Wing Yan is a writer and director, known for Gao geung jing dou fu (2017), Quan li kou sha (2015) and Let's Go! (2011).

54. Herman Yau

Director | Chai dan zhuan jia

Herman Yau was born in 1961 in Guangzhou, China. He is a director and cinematographer, known for Chai dan zhuan jia (2017), Tung moon (2009) and The Legend Is Born: Ip Man (2010).

Hong Kong's best genre film director. Hong Kong's Tobe Hooper!

55. Mark L. Lester

Director | Firestarter

Director, writer and producer Mark L. Lester has created high-action films throughout his career, including some of the world's biggest box office draws. His directorial expertise has garnered praise for such films as Arnold Schwarzenegger's box-office mega-hit Commando (1985), Stephen King's ...

56. Joko Anwar

Writer | Pengabdi Setan

Joko Anwar was born on January 3, 1976 in Medan, Indonesia. He is a writer and director, known for Pengabdi Setan (2017), A Copy of My Mind (2015) and Ritual (2012).

57. Joe Chien

Director | Z-108 qi cheng

Joe Chien is a director and writer, known for Z-108 qi cheng (2012), Niu kou ren (2008) and Gui zhen (2014).

58. Luis Buñuel

Writer | Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie

The father of cinematic Surrealism and one of the most original directors in the history of the film medium, Luis Buñuel was given a strict Jesuit education (which sowed the seeds of his obsession with both religion and subversive behavior), and subsequently moved to Madrid to study at the ...

59. Jûzô Itami

Writer | Osôshiki

A tragic end belies a life led with purpose. The son of a successful filmmaker, Juzo Itami made his name acting in television and films before making a late career shift into screenwriting and directing at age 50. Known to choose the subjects of his films through everyday observations, he often ...

60. James Wan

Producer | The Conjuring 2

James Wan (born 26 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 (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...



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