The Best Horror Directors in Film History

Voting Rules

Vote up your favorite horror film directors of all time.

This list of the best horror directors in film history has been ranked by our community as the absolute best in the genre. It features the film industry’s best horror directors of all time and includes pictures and titles of their best horror films. Who are the absolute best horror directors in film history? The directors on this list have made some of the scariest, most frightening movies you've ever laid your eyes on.

Many of the horror directors in this list have received numerous awards for their best work. The directors featured here are from all around the world and from different time periods in history. Many are still creating amazing films in the horror genre today, rife with jump scares, bloody gore, and psychological torments that'll send chills down your spine.

Included below are great directors like Wes Craven, Alfred Hitchcock, George A. Romero, David Lynch, David Argento, Mario Brava, John Carpenter, James Whale, and Terence Fisher, Roman Polanski.

Vote up the best horror film directors ever or add the director of scary horror movies you think is best, if they aren't already on the list.

You might also enjoy this list of action directors.

Ranked by
  • Wes Craven
    The Last House On The Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare On Elm Street
    1,118 votes
    • Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    • Age: 83
    Wesley Earl Craven (August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015) was an American film director, writer, producer, and actor. He was known for his pioneering work in the genre of horror films, particularly ...more
  • John Carpenter
    Halloween, The Thing, Dark Star
    1,231 votes
    • Birthplace: Carthage, New York, USA
    • Age: 75
    John Howard Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) is an American filmmaker, screenwriter and composer. Although Carpenter has worked with various movie genres, he is associated most commonly with horror, ...more
  • Alfred Hitchcock
    Psycho, Shadow Of A Doubt, The Birds
    1,120 votes
    • Birthplace: Leytonstone, London, United Kingdom
    • Age: Dec. at 80 (1899-1980)
    Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and producer, widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as ...more
  • George A. Romero
    Night Of The Living Dead, The Crazies, Martin
    870 votes
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Age: 83
    George Andrew Romero (; February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017) was an American filmmaker, writer and editor. He is best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie ...more
  • Sam Raimi
    The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell
    790 votes
    • Birthplace: Royal Oak, Michigan, United States of America
    • Age: 63
    Samuel M. Raimi (born October 23, 1959) is an American filmmaker, actor, and producer, primarily known for creating the cult horror Evil Dead series, and directing the Spider-Man trilogy (2002–07). ...more
  • Tobe Hooper
    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Lifeforce, Poltergeist
    658 votes
    • Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States of America
    • Age: 80
    Willard Tobe Hooper (January 25, 1943 – August 26, 2017) was an American director, screenwriter, and producer best known for his work in the horror genre. Among his most recognized films are The ...more