Some of our favorite directors have made names for themselves with the fans of sometimes evil, sometimes fun, scary murder or apparition type films. If it has a monster or gore or possibly a vampire or head without a body but still talking, these directors have brought it into our theaters, home TV and even our nightmares. Sometimes a classic favorite story or a quickie sci-fi outer space newbie we can learn to fear and love.
Top dog, perhaps, of tense, believable, scary movie situations. Born, August 13, (Nope... It was a Sunday.) 1899. Died 29 April, 1980.
Sir Alfred is quoted as once talking about a scene he wanted to film, "I wanted once to do a scene, for North By Northwest by the way, and I couldn't get it in there. I wanted it to be in Detroit on an assembly line. There are two men walking along in front of a line of cars being assembled. And behind them you see the automobiles being put together. It starts with a frame of one car, and you just take the camera along, the two men are talking. And you know all those cars are eventually driven off the line, they load them with gas and everything. And one of the men goes forward, mind you you've seen a car from nothing, just a frame, opens the door and a dead body falls out." North by Northwest is a great movie with lots of suspense... but I must admit this would have been a wondeful scene to have in the film.
Alfred's best movies, in my opinion, are North by Northwest, Psycho, Strangers on a Train, Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much (Jimmy Stewart version), Rear Window, Dial M For Murder and Lifeboat. All of his films are worth seeing. Most have some humor mixed into the mayhem.
John was born on January 16, 1948. His reputation for frightening the audience is well deserved. Halloween would be enough of an accomplishment for any director to look back on with pride. He has made many kinds of movies but The Fog and The Thing showed what a great knack he had for suspenseful storytelling.
James Whale was born on 22 July, 1889. He died on 29 May, 1957. He directed the 1931 version of Frankenstein. He also directed the follow up great film in the series, Bride of Frankenstein. The "Bride" movie might sound like some quickie exploitation film, but it is a true gem for the lucky viewer. Also on his list of great scream films is The Old Dark House and a wonderful early visual effects film, The Invisible Man. James Whale was, if you will excuse my pun, a big fish in the small pond of horror. There is a good title, "Pond of Horror."
George showed up on February 4, 1940. His first credits were as writer and director of Night of the Living Dead in 1968. He also was editor and one of the actors of that classic. To "Night" we can add "Dawn." Dawn of the Dead to be more specific. Writer, director, actor and editor of both movies. He also directed Creepshow and many other fun scary flicks. He is still very active. Add Deadtime Stories to his fine list of credits. He has to be a fun guy to hang with at a museum. What does he say when he sees a Van Gogh painting?
Born on August 2nd, 1939, Wes is best known for writing and directing horror films. A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes and Shocker are some of his most famous works. This site likes to mention he also was the director of Scream and Scream 2. Wes uses a bit of humor in most of his offerings, but not always. His movies are screamfests even if a chuckle appears now and then.
January 25, 1943 was the birthdate of Tobe Hooper. His directorial credits include The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poldergeist. He still stays busy with horror film directing. One of the master storytellers of screaming out loud scenes.
Some of his films are near great and some not so brilliant, but his huge list of credits is something to scream about. The House of Usher and The Pit and The Pendulum both with Vincent Price are over the top scare fests. Attack of the Crab Monsters, Bucket of Blood and It Conquered the World are just a very few of his many memorable titles.