Top 30 Female Horror Directors!by bampbell2001 | created - 3 months ago | updated - 3 months ago | Public
Cinematic horror for most its history has been a story almost exclusively told by men. After minuscule progress from 1980 to 2010, the door has opened and a stream of great women directors has been arriving on the horror scene. Partly due to social change, partly due to networking and contacts, but this movement is mostly due to pure talent and merit. These ladies are very good at what they do. And with each success story, another door opens.
Here are terrific 30 female horror directors you should know about. We at the Scariest Things have been wanting to do some director profiles on the air. We would feature a chronology of the director’s greatest films, and rank them. When trying to find a woman horror director, it became frighteningly difficult to find one who had done more than three genre features. There is a wave coming of very talented female directors who have released a horror feature in recent years and after this past season of streaming horror film festivals it became clear that there is a movement brewing, with a number of women coming up the ranks in the independent horror circuit.
And really, it’s about time.
PS: This is not a ranked list, but a list of directors whose films YOU should see!
PPS: The Soska sisters count as one, hence 31.
Director | The Hurt Locker
A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...
4. Mary Harron
Director | American Psycho
Mary Harron (born January 12, 1953) is a Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter. She gained recognition for her role in writing and directing several independent films, including I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), American Psycho (2000), and The Notorious Bettie Page (2005). She co-wrote American Psycho and ...
8. Kasi Lemmons
Actress | The Silence of the Lambs
Kasi Lemmons was born on February 24, 1961 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Karen Lemmons. She is an actress, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Candyman (1992) and Harriet (2019). She has been married to Vondie Curtis-Hall since August 19, 1995. They have two children.
9. Ida Lupino
Actress | High Sierra
Ida was born in London to a show business family. In 1932, her mother brought Ida with her to an audition and Ida got the part her mother wanted. The picture was Her First Affaire (1932). Ida, a bleached blonde, came to Hollywood in 1934 and played small and insignificant parts. Peter Ibbetson (...
10. Rachel Talalay
Director | Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
Rachel Talalay was born in Chicago Illinois. Her parents, Paul and Prudence, moved to Baltimore to work/teach at Johns Hopkins when she was 4 years old. After studying Applied Mathematics at Yale University, she worked as a computer programmer at Johns Hopkins University. During this time, she met ...
12. Zandashé Brown
Producer | Blood Runs Down
Happily based in New Orleans, Zandashé Brown is a writer/director born-and-bred in and inspired by southern Louisiana. Her work raises a Black femme lens to the tradition of southern gothic horror. Brown's directorial debut, "Blood Runs Down", was one of five projects selected for the New Orleans ...
13. Lisa Brühlmann
Director | Blue My Mind
Lisa Brühlmann is a director, writer and actor, best known for Blue My Mind (2017) and Killing Eve (2018). She was born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland. Before becoming a director, she was acting in numerous film and TV productions. Brühlmann has been nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy for her work ...
14. Elle Callahan
Editorial_department | Wonder Woman
Elle Callahan is an American genre film director, writer, and sound designer. She is known for directing Witch Hunt (2021) and Head Count (2018). She was born and raised in Westborough, Massachusetts as Elizabeth Wilkinson Callahan. Elle attended the University of Southern California where she ...
15. Axelle Carolyn
Actress | Tales of Halloween
Axelle Carolyn started out as a freelance reporter for some of the world's most prestigious film magazines and websites. Her non-fiction writing career culminated with the 2009 publication of her book 'Horror Movies In The New Millennium'. After a brief stint in front of the camera (most notably in...
17. Julia Ducournau
Director | Grave
Julia Ducournau is a French film director and screenwriter. She attended film school at La Fémis in Paris, where she studied screenwriting. In 2011, her short film JUNIOR won the Petit Rail d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Her first feature, the horror movie RAW, won the coveted FIPRESCI ...
20. Brea Grant
Writer | 12 Hour Shift
Brea Grant was born in Marshall, Texas and attended high school at Marshall Public High School. She earned an MA at the University of Texas in Austin. Her first television acting job was on Friday Night Lights. She went on to play characters on Dexter and Heroes. She now resides in Los Angeles.
21. Leigh Janiak
Director | Honeymoon
Leigh Janiak is a film director and screenwriter born on February 1, 1980 in Ohio, USA. She is the daughter of Karen L. Janiak and Nestor K. Janiak of Mentor, Ohio, USA. Her feature film directorial debut was horror/mystery Honeymoon (2014) starring Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones (2011), and ...
25. Jen Soska
Actress | American Mary
Identical twins, writers, directors, actors even stunt players, the Soska sisters have always loved twisted film. Even at an early age, they devoured Stephen King novels, one after another as fast as they could read - and snuck into the over 18 sections at video stores, to critique the bloody ...
26. Sylvia Soska
Actress | American Mary
Identical twins, writers, directors, actors, and even stunt players, the Soska sisters have always loved twisted film. Even at an early age, they devoured Stephen King novels, one after another as fast as they could read - and would sneak into the over 18 sections at video stores, to critique the ...
29. Jovanka Vuckovic
Director | XX
Jovanka Vuckovic is an award winning writer and filmmaker. She got her start in broadcasting as a visual effects artist, winning a Gemini Award (Canadian Emmy) for Best Visual Effects, then went on to edit the horror publication Rue Morgue Magazine for six and a half years. Her presence at the helm...
31. Zoé Wittock
Director | Jumbo
Zoe is an award winning writer and director. Originally hailing from Belgium, Zoé grew up living around the world and trained at the prestigious directing program of the American Film Institute (AFI), in Los Angeles, where she graduated the youngest and top of her class, while being awarded the "...