10 Best Horror Movies By Non-Horror Directors

It may not be their speciality, but each one is a pants-wetter

For aspiring and established directors alike, creating a movie that falls into the horror genre probably appears equal parts enticing and off-putting. Over the years, the genre has had its fair share of detractors; many critics have decried the movies that fall into the category as low-brow or nothing more than shock and schlock. Even if that is no longer the general consensus, horror films do seem to come across as somewhat immature (especially when compared to self-serious period dramas or biopics) and are rarely able to generate comparable widespread acclaim. Some filmmakers might also see horror as a gateway genre; easy and cheap to produce as a freshmen feature only to be used as a stepping-stone towards higher budgets and more dignified work. Any of these reasons could dissuade a would-be director from trying his or her hand at horror, and the directors that comprise this list did indeed spend the vast majority of their careers making non-horror films. So why give the genre a single shot? For one thing, it€™s relatively experimental. From story structure to camera techniques, horror movies exist as something of a playground for cutting-edge filmmakers to defy and challenge audiences€™ expectations. There are also opportunities to thrill people; it is a technical and emotional achievement to get someone invested enough to be both scared and too engaged to look away. Indeed, while none of the filmmakers on this list are exclusively horror directors, many of them have a long history of including thrilling elements in their work. Some of these directors are household names and others are far more obscure, but each of them dipped their toes into the horror genre just one time and movie-watchers of all types were better off for it. Lastly, to be considered for this list the director had to have only one horror film among a much larger body of work, so apologies to Ridley Scott and William Friedkin. To the list!
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Joe Sippy grew up in Chicago and now resides in Los Angeles. He enjoys corn dogs, rap music, and horror movies. On weekends you can find him in the ocean, surfing very poorly.