8 New & Upcoming Masters of Horror


On Facebook earlier in the week I asked our community members who do you consider an upcoming Master of Horror which was a preparation piece for this editorial. Almost all of the directors on my list of 8 New & Upcoming Masters of Horror also were declared masters by our community on facebook.

Below is my list of 8 New & Upcoming Masters of Horror based on both their box office draw, talent and their impact on the genre over the last 10 or so years. Whether you agree with this list or disagree with it I think we can all agree that every director on this list has contributed positively to the horror genre.

Alexandre Aja: Alexander Aja first hit my radar with High Tension. Brutal, well written and a real thrill ride it was the first French film I had seen in many years that got me excited... accept for the ending which just made me want to throw something J Aja then went on to write the parking garage thriller P2 which to me was alot of fun and a great twist on the ‘stalker’ genre. From there he did Mirrors with Keifer Sutherland which is one of the few recent supernatural ghost story films I can say I really enjoyed. Right now Aja is on everyone’s minds because his latest adventure Piranha 3D is ripping up the box office in 3D. Even though its a remake its tongue in cheek violence, porn and crazy writing are making it work. Oh that and the 3D. Alexandre Aja’s films have made over $110million at the box office which is a staggering amount of payola!

Eli Roth. Me I find Eli Roth incredibly over hyped but you cant take away from the fact that he was really one of the first to get the mainstream press buzzing in the us about extreme horror and how it was ‘torture porn’. Eli Roth has directed three films, Hostel, Hostel Part 2 and Cabin Fever. I really enjoyed Cabin Fever and despite our site being the one quoted on the  HOSTEL DVD release Hostel for me just didn’t turn my crank. The sequel Hostel Part 2 was the superior film. Eli Roth’s films have grossed over $100million when you include The Last Exorcism which he produced.  

Neil Marshall: Tough to put Neil Marshall on a ‘New Masters of Horror’ list but considering he has only recently really started to crank out movies I think its fair. He made the classic horror movie Dog Soldiers in 2002 and then followed up with The Descent in 2005 and Doomsday in 2008. He also has credit as writing The Descent Part 2 which frankly is one of the rare breeds of great sequels. Direct to DVD, Neil Marshall did not return as director yet despite this the film delivers. All 3 films that he has directed are the definition of fantastic filmmaking and show Neil’s clear talent for filmmaking and why he deserves to sit in the directors chair. As much as I bag on Eli Roth for his lack of creativity when it comes to story telling Neil Marshall has it in droves. His films have made just over $50million at the Box Office.

Greg McLean: Greg Mclean has directed two films that I am quite passionate over. Wolf Creek and Rogue. He is also the mind behind an upcoming thriller RED HILL which should be hitting theatres this upcoming fall. With Rogue and Wolf Creek he proves to be the ultimate filmmaker writing, producing and directing both films. Rogue got next to no release in the US but made over $4million over seas. Wolf Creek on the other hand fared much better bringing in over $26million at the box office. In total Greg Mcleans horror film career has earned studios over $30million.

James Wan: James Wan is a name that deserves to make the list for SAW alone but unfortunately one good film cant make a director a legend. Even if that movie is SAW. James Wan who wrote and directed SAW followed it up with another killer puppet in the form of Dead Silence which frankly sucked. His follow up to that though put Kevin Bacon back on the map in Death Sentence. SAW was a thrill ride from start to finish, Dead Silence was complete garbage and Death Sentence was a throw back to classic revenge films of the Bronson Era and in two words, kicked ass. SAW alone makes James Wan one of the most profitable as SAW made over $100million at the box office alone. Despite my disdain for Dead Silence it pulled in almost $20million at the box office and Death Sentence brought in just under $17million. Overall James Wan’s films have made studios over $140million.

Richard Stanley: Richard Stanley has one interesting distinction in his career in that he directed The Island of Dr Moreau. Or at least he did until he was fired and replaced by John Frakenheimer. Richard Stanley is the king of oddball scifi horror having directed Dust Devil, Hardware. His contribution to the box office is a measly $5million but that doesn’t take away from what he can do.

Pascal Laugier: Pascal really hasn’t done alot of films but he has been in talks to do a TON of films including at one time the Hellraiser remake. His big claim to distinction is Martyrs one of the most disturbing french films ever made. He also directed House of Voices which unfortunately I have not seen. His contribution to the box office has been very small but much like Richard Stanley that doesn’t take away from the fact that he is a hybrid of all the best traits of Eli Roth and Neil Marshall. I cant wait to see what Pascal does with his next film.

Rob Zombie: There is no denying that as much as I hate to see singers/ballerina’s and painters pretend they are directors Rob Zombie did a great job with his early films. The Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses are fantastic films that define good horror filmmaking. Unfortunately then he did two really bad things. First he came out in an interview bashing filmmakers that do remakes... and then he signed on to direct the Halloween remake and had to back peddle. Making things even worse he then signed on to do not just a remake, but a sequel to a remake and completely bastardized it. Halloween was AWESOME. I gotta give him credit for the work he did and then along comes Halloween 2 which was a complete WTF. Rob Zombies next film.. you guessed it will be a remake... of The Blob. This will be a remake of a remake which will be a first for Rob. He has done fantastic original films, pulled off a great remake of a classic and will next take a stab at doing a remake.. of a remake. Rob Zombie has made studios the most money off his films out of this entire list raking in over $140million at the box office with the bulk of that coming from his Halloween Remake.

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