The horror genre has been equally successful as the superhero movies. Audiences wish to get scared when they watch something. Horror films have been able to fulfill that wish. There have been a few horror films that are earning billions at the box office. Others flopped but became a cult classic. At last, there are some in the early stages of development. But a film is incomplete without a director. There have been some directors who have offered us some of the best horror films in Hollywood history. And apparently, a lot of these horror directors have found success in directing Superhero films. Here are 10 names who have followed the trend:
Horror Directors Who Found Success in Directing Superhero Films
1. James Gunn
James Gunn is well-known for his directorial skills in MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. But before coming into the superhero genre, Gunn did his directorial debut with 2006’s Slither. He was also a producer and writer in other horror movies like The Belo Experiment and Brightburn. Gunn collaborated with Zack Snyder in 2004’s Dawn of the Dead as a screenplay writer. He will continue to work on comic book adaptations like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Suicide Squad.
2. David F. Sandberg
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is scheduled to release in 2023. The film is being directed by David F. Sandberg. But we all know very well that Sandberg made his debut with a very successful horror film. 2016’s Lights Out was directed by Sandberg and it received a positive response from the critics as well as the audience. He was also a part of The Conjuring franchise. Sandberg was the director of 2017’s Annabelle Creation which was also highly successful. The director is currently busy in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. A Lights Out sequel was announced shortly after release. So we can expect his return to direct horror films.
3. James Wan
James Wan is probably one of the most successful directors when it comes to horror. Wan was the creator of the Saw franchise. He was the director of the first Saw film. He then returned as the director of Insidious and its sequel. Wan then directed The Conjuring in 2013 which marked the beginning of the successful The Conjuring Universe. He then went to the action genre with Furious 7. He again returned to the world of horror with The Conjuring 2. Warner Bros. then gave Wan a chance to direct Aquaman which was successful at the box office. Currently, the director is busy with Aquaman 2 as a result of which he did not come back as the director of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
4. Zack Snyder
Zack Snyder has become well-known for his work in the DCEU franchise. Although his DCEU films have not been received well, Snyder’s original vision in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Batman V Superman was appreciated. Snyder made his debut with Dawn of the Dead and this made him one of the most popular directors of Hollywood. The film was written by James Gunn. He was then seen as the director of 300 which had some intense battle sequences. Snyder has been busy with films of other genres but we can hope to see him return to the horror genre again.
5. Sam Raimi
Sam Raimi is well-known as the director of the first Spider-Man trilogy. But maybe most of us are unaware of the fact that Raimi made his directorial debut with a horror film. It was 1981’s The Evil Dead. The film is still remembered as one of the bloodiest movies of all time. The film had to go through certain cuts before release and was also termed as a video nasty. Raimi then also directed its sequels, The Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Currently, Raimi is busy making Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness scheduled to release in 2022.
6. Richard Donner
Richard Donner started his career with some best television shows between 1960 to 1975. He then received his big break with 1976’s The Omen. The film was about a child who was revealed to be an Antichrist. The film also won an Academy Award. He then went to direct superhero movies. It was Superman The Movie. Donner was also directing Superman II. But because of certain complications, he had to leave the movie in between unfinished.
7. Wes Craven
Wes Craven was one such director who has made some of the best horror films ever. 1972’s The Last House on the Left was a huge success despite being controversial for its graphic content. Despite not being well-received, Craven created a live-action adaptation of DC Comics Swamp Thing in 1982. Then in 1977, The Hills Have Eyes kickstarted Craven’s best days. Craven was also the man behind the creation of The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. It introduced us to the villainous Freddy Krueger. Then he was the director of all four films of the Scream franchise. 2011’s Scream 4 was his last movie as a director. He died on August 30, 2015.
8. Andy Muschietti
Andy Muschietti is currently busy working on DCEU’s The Flash. But the director has a successful history in terms of horror films. He released a three-minute short film titled Mama. Muschietti made his directorial debut with the full feature-length film based on the same in 2013. He was then allowed to direct It based on a novel by Stephen King. The film was successful at the box office and Muschietti returned as the director of It Chapter 2 in 2019. We expect Muschietti to return to the horror genre after The Flash. The Flash is scheduled to release in 2022.
9. Guillermo Del Toro
Guillermo Del Toro has been always appreciated for his flawless filmmaking. He started his career with 1997’s Mimic. He then took the director’s chair in Blade II. He then showed his love for monsters in Hellboy in 2004. His film Pan’s Labyrinth introduced us to one of the most memorable monsters with the Pale Man. Del Toro then directed a successful sequel to Hellboy in 2008, titled Hellboy II: The Golden Army. He has received an Academy Award for 2017’s The Shape of Water and a reimagining of the classic tale Creature from the Black Lagoon.
10. Scott Derrickson
Scott Derrickson has worked in both horrors as well as science fiction. 2016’s Doctor Strange, directed by Derrickson was a huge hit at the box office. But before that, he started his career with Hellraiser: Inferno which was direct to video film. 2005’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of the most underrated films directed by Derrickson. He then directed the 2008 remake of the best science fiction film, The Day the Earth Stood Still. His 2012 thriller Sinister was able to scare a lot of people. Derrickson is not returning as a director of the Doctor Strange sequel. But he has another horror film on the way which is a short story adaptation by Joe Hill titled The Black Phone in 2022.