Famous Horror Movie Directors

Wednesday, April 6 by Peter Matthews

The filmmakers on this list of famous horror movie directors have dedicated their careers to bringing moviegoers' fears to life. These directors may be responsible for costing audiences many nights of peaceful sleep, but they have also created some of the most amazing movies in Hollywood history.

  1. John Carpenter. No list of famous horror movie directors would be complete without John Carpenter. His vision as a director has thrilled audiences for decades, bringing such classics as “The Thing” and “The Fog” to the big screen.

  2. Wes Craven. The director responsible for allowing Freddy Krueger to haunt the world's dreams has been terrifying moviegoers since 1972 when his debut film, “The Last House on the Left” hit the theaters. Craven's “Scream” franchise is one of the most successful series in recent years.

  3. Rob Zombie. While John Carpenter can boast composing the soundtrack for his horror classic “Halloween,” Rob Zombie remains the only person on this list of famous horror movie directors to receive a Grammy nomination. With films like “House of a 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil's Rejects,” the metal musician turned director has proven that he has film making ability to match his chops in the recording studio.

  4. Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was a masterful movie maker, but his fame as a horror director rests solidly on one film: “The Shining.” The performances Kubrick coaxed out of Jack Nicholson for this classic tale of isolation and terror have continued to scare audiences for decades.

  5. Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock never gave audiences monsters from the pit of hell, but the sometimes quiet, very human horror he evoked on the screen makes him a master of the genre. His “Psycho” shower scene is iconic, and the influence of 1963's “The Birds” looms large in M. Night Shayamalan's 2002 film, “Signs.”

  6. George A. Romero. Few famous horror directors can claim they have launched a genre, but George A. Romero did just that. While 1968's “Night of the Living Dead” was not the first movie to feature zombies, it certainly created the modern conception of what it meant to be one on the walking dead.

  7. John Landis. Landis has worked in genres far afield from traditional horror, including “The Blue Brothers,” family comedies, and documentaries. Still, his classic “An American Werewolf in London” remains one of the most satisfying tales of lycanthropy ever brought to the screen.

  8. Tobe Hooper. When Tobe Hooper speaks, other horror movie directors would do well to listen. If the man who brought the world “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Poltergeist” is not a master of horror, no one is.

  9. Ridley Scott. With 1978's “Alien,” Ridley Scott brought the hybrid genre of “horror sci-fi” into the mainstream, creating one of the most terrifying creatures on Earth or any other planet. Scott has never directed a straight-ahead horror movie, but his work with “Alien” proves him to be an innovative master of the genre.

  10. Clive Barker. Author Clive Barker made his directorial debut with 1987's “Hellraiser,” an adaptation of one his own stories. The movie and its main villain, Pinhead, have since become horror classics.

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