10 Most Influential Modern Horror Directors

With trailer for don’t worry darling going viral last week, fans of the horror and thriller genre have plenty to be excited about in 2022. With so many top directors working on projects, who has been the most influential for modern horror cinema?

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Horror films have been hugely popular and highly profitable for movie studios in the 2010s. They offer some of the most visceral experiences in all of media, as many projects are designed to visibly shock and frighten their audiences. For fans of the most exhilarating thrills, there are plenty of great directors to explore.

Yorgos Lanthimos

Yorgos Lanthimos has made some of the weirdest films audiences have seen in recent years. The Greek director is known for his work on the very surreal Lobster and the terrifying The Killing of a Sacred Deerboth featuring Colin Farrell.

Lanthimos’ films can often offer disturbing subject matter, with his early films dog tooth as the first example. For fans of extremely dark yet thought-provoking films, Yorgos Lanthimos has a must-see filmography.

David Lynch

Twin Peaks: Laura Palmer in the Black Lodge.

Although David Lynch has been around for a long time, his films have always had a major influence on modern horror, and the recent twin peaks the reboot had some of the greatest horror moments of the past decade. His other films like Mulholland Drive, lost highway, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walks With Me had terrifying scenes.

Lynch’s films are often categorized more as mystery thrillers, but they contain major elements of surreal horror. His films had horrific scenes and he created some of the scariest villains of all time, which can be seen in some of David Lynch’s darkest scenes.

Lars of Trier

Melancholy by Lars von Trier

Lars von Trier is one of the most controversial directors in the film industry, as the Danish filmmaker’s works are known for their incredibly dark and often disturbing subject matter. The director’s popular horror titles include Antichrist and The house Jack built.

The independent director has worked with many of the greatest acting talents of his generation, who have a deep respect for the director’s creative vision. However, his films don’t pull the punches and can be tough watches for even the most enthralled moviegoer.

M.Night Shyamalan

Controversial in a different way from von Trier is M. Night Shyamalan. The director, famous for early career hits like The sixth sense, unbreakable, and Panels, has been quite inconsistent ever since. His live adaptation The last air Master is almost unanimously despised, and many of his other works have been considered critical flops.

The director largely succeeded with the horror title Split in 2016, and continued to work in the genre with his most recent film, Old. Despite his failures, Shyamalan had a big influence on the horror and thriller genres with his hits.

Ari Aster

Promotional image for the 2019 horror film Midsommar.

Ari Aster’s work pool so far is limited, but his two films, Hereditary and Midsommar, were major hits, not just for horror fans, but for movie audiences in general. Similar to director Robert Eggers, Aster focused on folk horror tales.

Aster is currently working on the film Boulevard of disappointment. which should be released in 2022, with an excellent cast of Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey and Amy Ryan. The director could become a big influence on the horror genre in the years to come, but it looks like his next project is going to veer off course.

Mike Flanagan

Mike Flanagan hasn’t been primarily film-focused like many other horror directors, with his biggest hits coming in the form of limited TV series in his ongoing partnership with Netflix. Flanagan produced, wrote and helped direct three seasons of television for the streaming service.

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His works, including Midnight Mass and The haunting series, have been major hits for Netflix and for popular horror. He also directed the sequel to the brilliant, Doctor Sleepwhich was released in 2019. The director already has several projects for new series in development.

Jean Krasinski

a quiet place part 2 movie poster

Actor John Krasinski, known to many fans simply as Jim de Office. The actor has had a number of hits since the hit show aired, with a special auteur stamp on his film A silent placewhich was a box office and critically acclaimed success.

The film and its sequel offered an expressly unique viewing experience for horror and cinema fans, as the studios will attempt to replicate in future films and franchises. It seems like it wasn’t a one-time event for the director, as Krasinski is set to continue producing more films in the series in the future.

James Wan

James Wan has enjoyed great success since the start of his career in the early 2000s. The director has played a major role in several horror franchises, including directing the first Seen movie, two Insidious projects, as well as two Conspiracy movies. Most recently known for his work on Aquaman and its upcoming sequel, elements of the director’s horror roots can be seen in all of his projects.

The writer/director/producer has been a major player in the genre, as many of the genre’s recent box office hits have involved his creative input in one way or another. In 2021, it comes out Smart, which became one of James Wan’s highest rated films.

Robert Egger

The two lighthouse keepers outside in the lighthouse.

The director with the newest addition to the portfolio is Robert Eggers, whose film, The man from the northbecomes the third film and the third success of the 38-year-old man, after The witch and Lighthousewhich earned the director a cult following.

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Like many great directors, Eggers seems to create a recurring cast of cast members for his films, including Anya Taylor-Joy and Willem Dafoe. His films have been stylistically opulent, emphasizing epic monologues and visual masterpieces.

Jordan Pele

Exit Daniel Kaluuya

As with John Krasinski, Jordan Peele was a horror director that fans didn’t expect, as his roots in the industry were in the sketch comedy series. Key and Peele. Since the show ended in 2015, Peele has released two of the most important films of the 2010s, get out and Wewho defined Jordan Peele as a visionary and an influence for years to come.

The director is known for his genre-blending works, mixing horror with elements of comedy and strong social themes. Jordan Peele’s next movie, Nope, will be released in July 2022 and is one of the most anticipated cinematic projects of the year. It will star Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun.

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