We all love horror movies. We love the gore, the scares, the mystery and suspense. But let’s face it – without directors we wouldn’t have these awesome horror movies to enjoy. While actors give character’s life, directors bring entire projects to life. Without directors good stories and imagination would remain just that. The past has brought us some great names such as Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and so much more that would make this list endless. Here in the modern era of horror though, we have had some great directors step up and rise above others. Here are 5 of my favorite horror movie directors today. No particular order, I love each director in their own way.
If you guys have known me long enough then this should come as no shock to you. I can safely say I got back into horror movies after I watched Cabin Fever (2002). Even though at this point I had seen some great horror that I enjoyed, this was when I realized “holy shit I love this”. Cabin Fever didn’t only revive my love for horror. According to a www.HollywoodReporter.com article “From ‘American Horror Story’ to ‘Walking Dead’ How Horror Took over Hollywood” it stated “The seeds of the film boom were planted in 2002, when Eli Roth‘s $1.5 million budget Cabin Fever earned $31 million worldwide for Lionsgate, became the first R-rated horror film to play on more than 2,000 screens.” Some years after Cabin Fever, Roth directed Hostel, which in my opinion it is one of the best torture movies to date. It’s evident that whatever this man touches it becomes a pure work of genius. His recent work in directing horror includes the Netflix horror show Hemlock Grove, Green Inferno, and Knock Knock. Although Roth hasn’t been directing much lately he has been involved with producing some awesome movies such as Clown, The Sacrament, and The Stranger. So to wrap this up, this guys is handsome and makes bitchin’ horror movies, what more can a girl ask for?
The first film I saw from Alexandre Aja was The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and I was captivated by this guys directing skills. Alexandre showed his audience he has balls big enough for the horror world by making a remake of a movie directed by another incredible horror movie director, Wes Craven. Recently I was reminded of his greatness after re-watching High Tension (2003) for the hundredths time on FX…yes there were commercial breaks, but it was well worth it. Being the obsessive person that I am, after researching and watching more of Aja’s films, I came to the conclusion that this guy belongs in my favorite director list. Aja’s most recent work is Horns – which was released last year and stars Daniel Radcliffe. Can I just take a moment to say how much I love this movie? I could watch it over and over again. Although Horns is extremely light on horror, I would still recommend it to any movie lover out there; and if you are reading this we all know you’re a movie buff – so no excuses.
If you’re a James Wan fan like myself, then your love for him probably bloomed with Saw (2004). I remember watching Saw and loving everything about it. I loved the shock factor and how it wasn’t just mindless horror; there was a purpose and story behind it….and one hell of a surprise. Although James Wan’s horror movies have taken a whole different direction since Saw, they are still great films. Wan has since directed Dead Silence (2004), Insidious (2010), The Conjuring (2013), and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013). Wan is pretty much the only director that has managed to scare me with his movies with minimal amount of gore (sometimes even none). In 2013 Wan announced that after Insidious: Chapter 2, he was going to quit directing horror movies. Luckily, he couldn’t stay away completely since he is already slated to direct The Counjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, and has attached himself to several other horror projects as a producer.
Rob Zombie may be the most polarizing figure in horror. Some people love him, some people loathe him. I for one love everything I’ve seen from the guy. But regardless of your stance, you can’t deny that his movies are incredibly unique. They are disturbing, fucked up, and even comical at times. His choice of character is another favorite of mine. Captain Spaulding (who appears in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects) is by far one of my favorite characters of all time. Although many people disliked Lords of Salem, I really enjoyed it. To me, it was beautiful to watch and that music was creepy as hell. I was also quite pleased with Zombie’s Halloween remake. Mind you, the original Halloween is probably my all time favorite horror movie. Currently, Rob Zombie is directing 31; a film that is set to release next year in 2016. I am so excited for this. Not only because it is directed by Rob Zombie, but because there are clowns everywhere…. and I love clowns…so much.
I know I said I couldn’t rank this list, but if I was to choose one director to watch their movies for the rest of my life, it would probably be Chan-Wook Park….so I definitely saved the best for last. No one makes movies as twisted, as brilliant, or as well executed as this guy. His vengeance series is by far one of the best collections of films I have ever laid eyes on. It’s no mystery why Hollywood would want to remake Oldboy. If you haven’t seen them already – you should place Oldboy (2003), Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), and Lady Vengeance (2005) at the top of your list. While you’re at it, be sure to check out Thirst (2009). That one puts many of the Hollywood vampire tv shows and movies to shame… it’s just so good. It’s also said that Park shot the short film Night Fishing (2011) entirely with his iPhone 4. I can’t even take good home videos of my dog. His most recent work was the English language debut titled Stoker (2013). This one starred some big names such as Nicole Kidman, Mathew Goode, and Mia Wasikowska. Whether horror or romantic comedy, I can’t wait for future Park movies. This guy is an a league of his own, and is an absolute legend to fans of foreign cinema.