Scaring audiences is a popular business that tends to earn gain considerable profits from a relatively low budget and spawn loads of sequels and prequels. We know of some now iconic directors that have made a career working almost exclusively in the horror genre including John Carpenter, Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Dario Argento, and Lucio Fulci. This is a list of 5 of the top current horror directors that so far have strictly stayed within the genre, which is why James Wan has been omitted from this list. So an examination of their past filmography and future projects have all been taken into account.
Setting aside my personal distaste for his movies, there is no denying that he has a strong fan base and niche audience that flock to his films that pay homage to the exploitation cinema of the 1970’s. He burst onto the scene in 2003 with House of 1000 Corpses creating the iconic figure Caption Spaulding, while paying tribute to various southern slasher fares as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Eaten Alive. He continued with The Devil’s Rejects and then was handled the reigns to the Halloween franchise. After that was The Lords of Salem and now the highly anticipated 31, about a group of carnival workers held hostage by some deadly clowns. Say what you will about him, there is no denying his love for the genre as can be seen by the many on screen appearances by well known cult actors. There is also no doubt that he will end up jumping ship to direct some mega budget summer production like the Fast and the Furious.
He burst onto the horror scene all blew most fans away with the 2007 release of Trick ‘r Treat, featuring a series of five interwoven stories taking place on Halloween all connected by a creepy child in a pumpkin mask. It was creepy, funny, and bloody, featured practical effects and quickly become one of those modern cult films. It took awhile for his next release, the highly anticipated Christmas horror picture Krampus. It delivered in much the same fashion as his previous film, combining horror, comedy, scares, and some excellent practical effects for a highly different take on a holiday story. His next project is rumored to be Trick ‘r Treat 2, with a cryptic Twitter photo released on July 12, 2016 that may indicate shooting on the sequel has begun.
Wingard got his start early with a slasher film starring Bill Moseley titled Home Sick. His second outing Pop Skull got him some notoriety and he was considered a talent to watch. From there he ended up making the successful and praised slasher You’re Next, followed by contributions to V/H/S, The ABCs of Death, and V/H/S/2. 2014 saw the release of the thriller The Guest, which received a great deal of praise for being a callback to the 80’s that was filled with some elements of humor and a great deal of bloodshed. The big surprise that was revealed at this year’s San Diego comic is that a project Wingard had directed is actually the sequel to Blair Witch, due to be released in September. He is currently filming an adaptation of Death Note, a popular Japanese Manga that has spawned anime shows, novels, video games, several films, a television drama, and a musical. He is also attached to make an adaptation of the wonderful Korean crime thriller I Saw the Devil.
Shiraishi is the Japanese director of the highly anticipated Sadako v Kayako, in which the characters from the Ring and Grudge series battle it out like Freddy did against Jason. This isn’t his first venture into the genre, as he’s made a career out of making extremely grotesque and horrifying pictures. Mainly known for featuring extreme gore, his 2009 release Grotesque was rejected for UK DVD release by the BBFC because of its extreme content. He has mixed it up in his career between heavy gore and paranormal themes, scaring many with his Blair Witch style demon film Noroi from 2005. So far he’s made 14 horror movies since 2004 and there are no signs of him stopping, especially if Sadako v Kayako is successful.
Simply put, he is the master of German gore. There aren’t many that push the limits of excess further than him. Maybe not known by many, he is well known among the gore hounds of horror cinema. He has directing credits on 17 films and special effects credits on 36. His first feature was Black Past in 1989. That was followed by Burning Moon, one of the sickest and most violent movies that I have ever seen and also a personal favorite. He hasn’t stopped since then, with 5 Seasons released in 2015 and another picture currently in post-production. They may be low budget and have some weak acting, but he always delivers on the gore and effects. So you may want to have a barf bag handy just in case.
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