Horror movie

The 10 Most Prolific Horror Film Directors, Ranked

While the horror genre dates back to the early days of cinema with the work of pioneering filmmaker George Méliès, it can be argued that no film has elevated the genre higher than that of Alfred Hitchcock. psychopath. Released in 1960, psychopath depicts the horrors of everyday life, proving that the genre doesn’t have to stick to the supernatural.

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Since the inception of cinema, thousands of directors have entered the horror genre, many of them dedicating their careers to exploring the intricacies of the genre, discovering what can be possible in a horror film. From modern filmmakers such as James Wan to the late Wes Craven, the following directors have all been involved in multiple horror films.

ten Steve Miner (7 films)

Laurie finds out Michael is back in Halloween H20

American director Steve Miner made 14 films from 1981 to 2008, half of which belonged to the horror genre. His post 2008 career saw him directing episodes of TV shows, and while his name is less recognizable than others in the genre, Miner’s horror film legacy cannot be ignored.

Miner has directed numerous horror sequels and remakes, including Friday the 13th Part 2, Friday the 13th Part III, Halloween H20: 20 years later and the day of the dead. Regardless of his affinity for established PIs, Miner has directed numerous standalone horror films, including lodge, warlock, and Lake placid, which itself caused several sequelae.

9 James Wan (7 films)

Ed approaches Lorraine from behind in The Conjuring 2.

James Wan’s contribution to the horror genre is arguably comparable to that of directors such as George Romero and John Carpenter. Not only did he direct and co-write the original Saw who has so far received seven sequelae, but he is also credited with beginning The universe of the conjuration, a series of interconnected films that focus on the supernatural.

In recent years, Wan has moved away from horror and focused on action / superhero franchises such as Fast and furious and Aquaman. However, in 2021, Wan led Smart, proving that his affinity for the horror genre remains. Since Wan is tasked with directing modern classics of the genre such as Conspiracy and Insidious, it’s hard to ignore its impact.


8 John Carpenter (10 films)

A collage of posters of The Fog, Halloween and The Thing with John Carpenter's name at the top in his font

John Carpenter’s influence on the horror genre is truly significant. As a director, screenwriter, producer and songwriter, Carpenter’s history in the horror genre continues to this day as an executive producer on Halloween, Halloween kills, and the next one Halloween ends.

Not only did he direct and write the original Halloween film in 1978, but he’s also known for his work on many cult horror classics, including The thing, which is one of the top rated horror movies according to IMDB. He’s popular with horror fans for good reason, and Carpenter’s influence can still be seen in several modern films.

seven Dario Argento (11 films)

Two side-by-side images of Dario Argento's opera and Suspiria

Dario Argento’s long career as a director began in 1970 in the Italian subgenre Giallo, which refers to adaptations of Italian mystery novels and yellow cover thrillers. Argento began to experiment in the genre, sparking several Giallo horror films.

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Although Argento’s more recent works are less well-seen than his previous films, his legacy remains intact given his work on classics of the genre such as Dark red and Suspiria. Many Argento films feature a mix of gruesome imagery and complex character, which is arguably sorely lacking in modern films of the genre.

6 Mario Bava (11 films)

Italian filmmaker Mario Bava began his long career at the age of 23 as a director of photography for multiple productions. In 1957, he began his career as a director with the release of I vampire, a horror film about a series of murders that drained women of their blood.

Despite Bava’s untimely death over four decades ago, his work remains at the center of critical analysis, and the importance of his films is proven by their influence on modern filmmakers. Bava’s most iconic works include Black sunday, Black sabbath, Blood and black lace, and Kill, baby … kill! On top of that, although it is unconfirmed, Bava’s Planet of vampires has notable plot similarities to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Extraterrestrial.

5 Lucio Fulci (11 films)

The scene of the eyeball in Zombie by Lucio Fulci

Like Dario Argento and Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci has greatly contributed to the production of horror films in Italy. Although he had crossed several different genres throughout his long career, including the spaghetti western, thriller, and drama, Fulci clearly had an affinity for the horror genre.

Fulci is widely known for his zombie films which proved Italian filmmakers’ talent for horror, including Zombie 2 and Zombie 3. Fulci’s Top Rated Movie on IMDb is Don’t torture a duckling, which follows an Italian town being the site of several child murders, which are being investigated by police and other residents.

4 George A Romero (13 Movies)

Ben and Barbra hide in a house in Night of the Living Dead

George A Romero is perhaps one of the most recognizable horror filmmakers. His contribution to the Zombie subgenre is arguably unmatched given the influence of his original. Night of the Living Dead is. Of Romero’s 19 directorial works, 13 are horror films.

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Despite several standalone horror films such as Crazypeople, Martin, and Monkey shines, Romero’s crowning glory may be his Dead series. Following Night of the Living DeadRomero has directed five sequels, and despite dwindling critical response following his return to the series after 20 years, the franchise as a whole has undeniably an influence on Zombie-based media.

3 Tobe Hooper (14 movies)

Poltergeist Ending - Diane Freeling and Pool Skeleton

Tobe Hooper’s contribution to the horror genre is huge given that he has directed 14 films in the genre. According to the BFI, Hooper credited Romero Night of the Living Dead for exposing him to just how complex and unique horror movies can be.

Hooper has made well-known films including The Funhouse and Fighting spirit, but his flagship film is undoubtedly The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not only is it considered Hooper’s best movie by many fans, it is also praised for its terrifying nature, no matter how bloodless it is. As is often the case with many classic horror movies, Massacre ended up receiving plenty of disappointing sequels, prequels, and remakes, but none can take away the luster from the original.

2 Wes Craven (18 movies)

Freddy attacks Nancy in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The late, great, Wes Craven is highly regarded for his work on the Scream franchise. However, before Scream in 1996, Craven made many horror classics in the first 24 years of his career. Whether it be The last house on the left, The hills Have Eyes Where FreddyCraven is arguably one of the masters of horror.

While Freddy is considered Craven’s best film of his career, it should be noted how much his contribution to the Scream the franchise is. Craven realized Scream and its three sequels from 1996 to 2011 and given his death in 2015, the upcoming sequel, Scream, in 2022, has no involvement from the legendary director, leading many fans to hope that the film continues its legacy in a proper way.

1 Terence Fisher (20 Movies)

The most prolific horror film director is Briton Terence Fisher, who directed 50 films from 1948 to 1974, 20 of which were firmly in the horror genre. Fisher had a preference for films about mythical horror creatures, including Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dr. Jekyll.

His first horror film was Frankenstein’s Curse, which began Fisher’s long exploration of the Gothic horror subgenre. While “monster” films are harder to come by these days, Fisher’s work remains influential for modern filmmakers as he broke boundaries at the time, as his horror was more explicit than “monster” films. “that came before him.

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