The Best Horror Directors in Film History

List Rules

Vote up your favorite horror film directors of all time.

This list of the best horror directors in film history has ranked by the community as the absolute best in the genre. This list 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 ever.

This list details the best horror directors in history and many of these directors 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 currently creating amazing films in the horror genre today.

This list features the film industry’s best horror directors and includes 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.

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Ranked by
  • Wes Craven
    1
    The Last House On The Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare On Elm Street
    • Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America
    • Age: 83
  • John Carpenter
    2
    Halloween, The Thing, Dark Star
    • Birthplace: Carthage, New York, USA
    • Age: 74
  • Alfred Hitchcock
    3
    Psycho, Shadow Of A Doubt, The Birds
    • Birthplace: England, London
    • Age: Dec. at 80 (1899-1980)
  • George A. Romero
    4
    Night Of The Living Dead, The Crazies, Martin
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Age: 82
  • Tobe Hooper
    5
    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Lifeforce, Poltergeist
    • Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States of America
    • Age: 79
  • Sam Raimi
    6
    The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell
    • Birthplace: Royal Oak, Michigan, United States of America
    • Age: 62
  • James Wan
    7
    Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious
    • Birthplace: Kuching, Malaysia
    • Age: 45
  • David Cronenberg
    8
    Shivers, Videodrome, The Fly
    • Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
    • Age: 79
  • Dario Argento
    9
    The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, Suspiria
    • Birthplace: Rome, Italy
    • Age: 82
  • Stanley Kubrick
    10
    The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 70 (1928-1999)
  • Guillermo del Toro
    11
    Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth
    • Birthplace: Guadalajara, Mexico
    • Age: 57
  • James Whale
    12
    Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man
    • Birthplace: Dudley, United Kingdom
    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1889-1957)
  • Steve Miner
    13
    Friday the 13th, The Last House on the Left, Friday the 13th Part 2
    • Birthplace: Westport, Connecticut, United States of America
    • Age: 71
  • Brian De Palma
    14
    Carrie, Dressed To Kill, The Fury
    • Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Age: 82
  • Tom Holland
    15
    Fright Night, Child's Play, Fatal Beauty
    • Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, New York, United States of America
    • Age: 79
  • Clive Barker
    16
    Nightbreed, Tortured Souls, Lord of Illusions
    • Birthplace: Liverpool, United Kingdom
    • Age: 70
  • Mario Bava
    17
    Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, Blood And Black Lace
    • Birthplace: Sanremo, Italy
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1914-1980)
  • David Lynch
    18
    Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr.
    • Birthplace: Missoula, Montana, United States of America
    • Age: 76
  • Joe Dante
    19
    Piranha, The Howling, Gremlins
    • Birthplace: Morristown, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Age: 75
  • Terence Fisher
    20
    The Curse Of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Revenge Of Frankenstein
    • Birthplace: Maida Vale, London, United Kingdom
    • Age: Dec. at 76 (1904-1980)
  • Tod Browning
    21
    London After Midnight, Dracula, Freaks
    • Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 82 (1880-1962)
  • Ridley Scott
    22
    Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator
    • Birthplace: South Shields, United Kingdom
    • Age: 84
  • John Krasinski
    23
    A Quiet Place, A Quiet Place II, Monsters vs. Aliens
    • Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts, USA
    • Age: 42
  • Tim Burton
    24
    Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dark Shadows
    • Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States of America
    • Age: 64
  • Dan O'Bannon
    25
    The Return of the Living Dead, The Resurrected
    • Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America
    • Age: Dec. at 63 (1946-2009)
    Return of the Living Dead, The Resurrected,