10 New Masters of Horror

Herner Klenthur

On Facebook, I asked our community members ( counted in the hundreds of thousands ) who they consider a new Master of Horror in preparation for this editorial. Many directors claim to be “Masters of Horror” but let’s be honest: it’s not a title they can bestow on themselves. It is one that only we as fans can give to them.

What makes a Master of Horror? Well that is truly the million dollar question. The first thing to know about being a Master of Horror is that it has NOTHING to do with money. Some of the greatest genre directors of our time have not made any significant dents at the box office but have still managed to create some of the most memorable horror movies of our time.

(Please note, the below are “new” Masters of Horror, which is why names like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper and George Romero are not on the list. Perhaps we will do another list looking at the greatest Masters of Horror of all time and those names will surely make an appearance.)

So with that said, here is my list of 10 New Masters of Horror. Some have had some serious contributions and others are just getting their feet wet. All of them, however, are incredible talents. Whatever your opinion of this list, I think we can all agree that every director here has contributed positively to the horror genre.

Ti West

Ti West is well on his way to becoming a legend in the genre. He has directed many genre titles that have polarized passionate fans. The Innkeepers split fans 50/50, with half of them loving it and the other half groaning. The House of the Devil, on the other hand, which was written and directed by West, is quickly becoming a classic with horror fans.

West has two more horror films in development, The Sacrament and The Side Effect, and it is safe to say that all horror fans should keep their eyes peeled for both projects.

Ti West Master of Horror The House of the Devil

Xavier Gens

Xavier Gens has only just begun dipping his toe into horror and I can’t wait until he really gets a chance to throw himself into the deep end. His first film, the French terror flick Frontiere(s), is a classic Good vs. Evil crime thriller with a mixture of political intrigue, neo-Nazis, and a deranged family of killers, all wrapped in a 90-minute bloodbath.

Gens followed up Frontiere(s) with the apocalyptic nightmare, The Divide, one of the 10 best apocalyptic films I have ever seen. It’s violent, visceral, and very real and will make you feel sick to your stomach. It’s a vicious and believable look at how the end of the world might actually go down. Although Gens’ films have not raked in huge box office dollars, his talent is immense. Gens has two new horror films in the works, The Farm and Cold Skin, both slated for a 2014 release.

Xavier Gens Master of Horror The Divide

Adam Green

Adam Green is a genius because of his flexibility as a filmmaker. He is no one trick pony like so many genre directors are these days. Most of you will know him from his American horror, Hatchet, which was a huge hit among genre fans. Hatchet is a throwback to classic American horror in the vein of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was fun, but by no means was it the movie that grabbed Green the top spot on my list for film making prowess. Spiral did that.

Green’s Hatchet follow up was the jaw-dropping Spiral. Spiral is the closest thing to Hitchcock that modern horror fans can experience and showed us that Green is capable of so much more than just blood-splattered camera shots. Hatchet was fairly mindless, so imagine my shock when Green turned around and released Spiral which proved to be the complete opposite.

Green’s latest film, Frozen, is an ecological horror film that impressed the hell out of me but admittedly turned off some horror fans who prefer their terror more classic in nature. When the New York Times interviewed me and asked what my favorite ecological horror films are, Frozen made the list. Green is incredibly talented and is definitely a modern Master of Horror.

Adam Green Master of Horror 'Spiral'

Steven C. Miller

Steven C. Miller first hit horror fans’ radars with his indie zombie film, Automaton Transfusion. Boy, did I hate that movie for it’s nauseating “grindhouse grain” effect. Regardless of the fact that it made me seasick, horror fans loved it and it instantly pushed him to the forefront of people’s minds as a talented up-and-coming director.

That was in 2006 and he made his directorial return in 2012 with two big movies: a remake, Silent Night, and an original horror, Aggression Scale. Sure, remakes make us all groan, but let’s not forget that not all remakes are garbage. Some filmmakers have managed to take the classics and rework them while still showing respect for the original and its fans.

Silent Night is a remake of the classic 1984 Christmas terror Silent Night, Deadly Night and Steven managed to put his own brutal spin on it while still paying homage to the original. The reason I think Silent Night works is primarily because they tapped a director who loves the genre as much as we fans do. Miller’s passion for horror showed in Silent Night where he managed to create and incorporate his own elements without destroying the classic.

Right on the heels of the remake’s release, Miller’s project, The Aggression Scale, an original horror film shot on a limited budget, made its debut. Aggression Scale made our list of Top Horror Films of 2012 and can be best described as Halloween meets Home Alone. The writing and visual style of this film demonstrated Miller’s unique vision and the final product is the main reason he makes this list.

Miller’s next kick at the genre was Under the Bed, a monster movie that seems to pay homage to classic teen monster flicks of the ’90s. I think Steven C. Miller is an underrated director who you may not agree has earned Master of Horror status, but he undoubtedly will if he keeps making movies like Aggression Scale and Automaton Transfusion. And don’t forget his many excellent horror short films. They alone prove me right!

Steven C Miller Master of Horror 'Agression Scale'

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. Aja went on to pen the parking garage thriller, P2, which was a lot of fun to me and a great twist on the “stalker” segment of the genre.

From there he released Mirrors with Kiefer Sutherland, one of the few recent supernatural ghost story films I can say I really enjoyed. Aja really hit a high mark with Piranha 3D, the ultimate 3D B-movie. Aja’s films have grossed over $110 million at the box office, a staggering amount of payola!

Alexander Aja Master of Horror 'High Tension' aka Haute Tension


Eli Roth

I find some of Eli Roth movies incredibly over-hyped, but you can’t take away from the fact that he was one of the first to get the mainstream press buzzing in North America about extreme horror and the concept of “torture porn.”

Roth has three notable horror films under his directorial belt: Hostel, Hostel: Part II, and Cabin Fever.

I really enjoyed Cabin Fever despite its haters, and despite how over-blown I think Hostel was (especially claims of it being “terrifying”), it was still very solid and one of Roth’s best works to date. Roth’s films, including The Last Exorcism which he produced, have grossed over $100 million.

Eli Roth Master of Horror 'HOSTEL'

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 it’s fair. He made the classic horror movie, Dog Soldiers, in 2002, followed up with The Descent in 2005, and then released Doomsday in 2008.

He also has a partial writing credit for The Descent: Part 2, which holds the unique distinction of being one of the few sequels almost as good as the original. All three films that he has directed are the definition of fantastic film making. We can see Marshall’s clear talent for film making and why he deserves to sit in the Director’s Chair. His horror films have pulled in just over $50 million at the box office.

Neil Marshall Master of Horror The Descent

James Wan

James Wan is a name that deserves to make the list for Saw alone, but unfortunately one good film can’t qualify a director as a Master of Horror (even if that movie is Saw). Wan, who wrote and directed Saw, followed that hit with more killer puppets in the form of Dead Silence (which, frankly, sucked).

His follow up to that put Kevin Bacon back on the map, though, with Death Sentence. Where Saw was a thrill ride from start to finish and Dead Silence was complete garbage, Death Sentence was a throwback to classic revenge films of the Bronson era and, in two words, kicked ass.

Wan’s latest kick at the box office was Insidious, a fan-polarizing hit. Fans either loved it or they hated it and there seemed to be very little middle ground. Insidious was a huge success, bringing in $50 million at the box office. Overall, Wan’s films have made studios over $140 million.

James Wan Master of Horror SAW

Pascal Laugier

Pascal Laugier has not made a lot of films, but he has been in talks to do a TON of them, which at one time included the long talked about Hellraiser remake. His big claim to distinction is Martyrs, one of the most disturbing horror films ever made. He also helmed House of Voices, which I have not seen yet, unfortunately.

His latest kick at the horror movie can was The Tall Man, starring Jessica Biel. It was an interesting and complex thriller which did not maintain Martyrs-level quality but was still a solid movie.

Laugier’s contribution to the box office has been very small but, much like Richard Stanley, that does not detract from the fact that he is a hybrid of all the best traits of Eli Roth and Neil Marshall. I can’t wait to see what Pascal does with his next film.

Pascal Laugier Master of Horror Martyrs

Rob Zombie

There is no denying that, despite what his haters might say, Rob Zombie did a really great job with his early films. The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses are fantastic films that define good horror film making. Unfortunately, he also got himself involved in a remake of Halloween which I think was his undoing with some die-hard horror fans.

I will be the first to stand up and say that Zombie’s remake of Halloween was actually pretty good. I expected a trainwreck and he turned in a solid flick that added a new spin on one of the most iconic horror characters ever. His follow up, Halloween 2, on the other hand, was not something worth talking about.

Love him or hate him, Zombie has made studios and producers a ton of money, raking in over $140 million at the box office (the bulk of which comes from his Halloween remake). Along with making studios a boat load of money, Zombie has also made some very innovative and original horror films, including his latest, The Lords of Salem.

Rob Zombie Master of Horror The Devils Rejects

Now that you’ve read my list, who have we forgotten? Who would you have added or removed?


Our policy for commenting is simple. If you troll or post spam or act like a child we will send you to your room without dinner and take away your posting priviledges. Have fun, be polite!

      1. The Liberal Dead (@theliberaldead) May 25, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        Rob Zombie’s “undoing” came long before he even hinted at remaking Halloween. Fake people bash popular things for the attention that comes with doing so. Rob Zombie and Eli Roth are probably the two most popular “new” genre directors, and you can’t mention either of their names without said fake people coming out of the woodworks.

        It’s also worth noting that, even though it was reported on this site previously(as well as 30 others) that Rob Zombie had announced he was leaving the horror genre, that he never actually said that. He said he was taking a break while tackling some other projects he was working on. I read the original interview, and I don’t know why, three to four weeks later, so many sites tried to pass that off as “news”. I guess to farm web hits.

        • Herner Klenthur May 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

          great comments. I for one am a fan of Rob Zombies and our article on his quitting the horror genre ‘for now’ is quite clear. I am not sure why you object to it.

        • Dennis Francis May 30, 2013 at 10:52 am


          Me and you can no longer be friends with you a Rob fan. *tear*


        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am

          Hah. Give the guy some credit he has done some great films and I am sure will continue to contribute in the future many more to the genre :)

        • Dennis Francis May 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

          I give him credit. He HAS done films. And with those films be more famous and richer than I can ever imagine. But GREAT? O come on hahahaha

          You know my hatred for him and it all started with a certain remake. Grrrr. Ok im off that subject LoL

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 11:28 am

          I think my main reason for having a ‘wtf’ moment was mainly because he was a musician. It irked me that so many talented filmmakers like Toby Wilkins dont get enough releases and yet we are letting musicians take up prime spots in the genre. I was wrong in thinking that way for a variety of reasons since who am I to say who can and cant direct a movie but the flip side is he did do a great job and shut up most of his critics … for the most part :)

      2. Tiago Almeida May 26, 2013 at 4:04 am

        Great list, just put a few movies on my watch list.
        Not an easy job to do, I think you nailed it.
        I may not like some of the movies they made, like Saw, or Descent part 2, but I would definitely watch any movie any of these guys direct.

        • Herner Klenthur May 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm

          thanks for reading glad you agree. Not an easy task at all to think up some new names and not miss anyone obvious.

      3. hannahneurotica May 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        Really!? Not one woman on that list…..

        • Herner Klenthur May 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

          who would you put on the list that is female? The only ones that got suggested were the soska twins whom unfortunately I have not seen a single one of their films so I could not include them.

          I cant afford to buy every horror movie that comes out unfortunately so they had no chance of making my list.

          tks for commenting

        • Jennifer Cooper May 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm

          I’m with Hannah…this is a total sausage fest!! There are so many amazing female directors out there. Start looking up ladies such as the wonderful Elisabeth and Brenda Fies, Mary Lambert, Katt Shea, Jennifer Lynch, Mary Harron, Barbara Stephansky, Axelle Carolyn…the list goes on. And OBVIOUSLY Jen and Sylvia Soska!!

      4. Jennifer Cooper May 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm

        These are just women who’ve made features. If you start looking into all the wonderfully talented ladies making shorts and who are working on feature scripts…there is soooo much talent out there.

        • Herner Klenthur May 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

          thanks for commenting Jennifer. I did not intentionally ignore the women directors. Give me 3 that you think should be on this list and would be considered a master of horror based off their contributions to the genre over the last while

      5. UltraViolence May 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

        Great list! Agree with almost all of them 😀

      6. Brian. aka: Underdog May 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm

        Nice picks on this list. Gens, Laugier, Zombie, are all top notch directors on my list. All are heavy hitters when it comes to: violent, visceral, terrifying, and suspenseful films. Which is my type of horror film.

        • Herner Klenthur May 26, 2013 at 10:30 pm

          thanks for reading and commenting buddy

      7. hannahneurotica May 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm

        I wanted to respond, not to start some sort of flame war, but rather to truly open up a dialogue here because it’s a perfect opportunity to talk about why it is so important women be represented when talking about ‘Masters of Horror.’

        In your response you wrote: “I cant afford to buy every horror movie that comes out unfortunately so they had no chance of making my list.”

        Here is why this is a problematic answer for me:

        I have no money but I manage to watch films without purchasing them on DVD. You can rent many films online for the cost of a rental at a store. Some films are even free (legally). If you are going to present yourself as journalist you cannot be lazy. This is lazy. Since you need some help, here you go. I challenge you to expand you horizons in the future. If you are a true horror fan you wouldn’t want to limit yourself, I would imagine.

        Were you able to afford to see Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare? The Slumber Party Massacre? Prime Evil? Pet Sematary and Pet Sematary 2? American Psycho? Jennifer’s Body? Blood & Doughnuts? The Rage: Carrie 2? Near Dark? etc. etc. etc.
        Here is a short list of a much longer one (and this is in no particular order): Spend some time looking up these ladies and doing research. You wanted a list of three but I feel we can do better then that, yes?

        Katt Shea

        Mary Lambert

        Jen and Sylvia Soska

        Rachel Talalay:

        Amy Holdan Jones:

        Katherine Bigalow

        Jackie Kong

        Roberta Findlay

        Mary Harron

        • Herner Klenthur May 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm

          The fact that I dont watch the same movies as you do does not make you a more well rounded horror fan then me it simply shows you have different tastes. I can not afford to rent/buy every movie that comes out and that is a fact. The fact you can is not somehow changing my financial situation. You are making this much more hostile then it needs to but perhaps I am reading a tone where I should not be in which case my bad.

          You seem to be turning this into a ‘your a sexist’ commentary which frankly I find outright silly. We recently did an editorial on women and their contribution to horror which completely negates your point. Nobody on my list makes short films they make feature films. Had it been short films the list would have been quite interesting and perhaps I will do one next.

          I did not ask you to give me 3 to make you do my homework I asked you to make your point. Of your list how many are NEW masters of horror that make feature films? The Soska sisters get a TON of buzz and have made many of our top lists but as the writer of this list I have not seen their films and as noted that is why they have not made this list.

          Mary Lambert is not a NEW master of horror and the rest of the names I have not heard of but will look at what feature films they have directed.

          Thanks for the comments.

        • Herner Klenthur May 27, 2013 at 5:15 pm

          oh and correction :) My list has NOT been published yet but should be going live this week :)

        • Ash May 28, 2013 at 6:47 am

          This is a relaxed site where we enjoy each others comments, reviews, editorials.. Etc.. I love horror but don’t have the time to watch as much as I would like. I’m sure Herner and other writers here feel the same. The great thing about the site is that I learn more and more about the genre we love as Im introduced to new films and directors all the time. We are all just fans of horror like yourself. There’s no competition here.

        • Vault_Master May 29, 2013 at 5:08 am

          I’ve been a horror fan for decades and I’m really hard-pressed to come up with any female directors that qualify as a MASTER OF HORROR (new or old). hannahneurotica, you need to chillax and not give the author of this list so much grief. There are plenty of female horror directors to be sure, but few are very prolific and even fewer have done enough work or created enough memorable horror flicks to earn the title that directors like Carpenter, Hooper, Craven, Romero, et al. so richly deserve.

        • Dennis Francis May 30, 2013 at 10:57 am


          The fact you mentioned Jennifers body makes YOU irrelevant.

          This is a close niche group of people on this site and we are proud to be horror fans. Attack one you attack us all. I would love to see an article from you. Honestly. Give us something from YOU!

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 11:02 am

          Jennifer’s Body is a movie many love to hate on but you have to give Karyn Kusama credit for turning in a pretty solid film that was everything it was advertised. A teen horror comedy with lots of sexuality, teen angst and a slice of cheese.

          I know alot of people did not like the film but I did :)

          PS: I appreciate your support for the site but please lets not pick on Hannah i dont approve of her being attacked anymore then those who attacked me. It makes us all look bad throwing sideways pot shots at each other. I always believe respect for one another will get us much further.

        • Dennis Francis May 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

          I apologize.

          I had no joy in that film at all. I saw that title and immediately got mad that it was included. You spent a lot of time and effort for this list and it turned into a debacle that was unnecessary. This shouldnt be about “men vs women” it should be about OUR (fans) love for the horror genre. Many movies we love and others we hate. But, shouldnt we all be considered “ONE”

          I mean horror fans are not the most normal group of people LOL

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 11:27 am

          Thanks Dennis I appreciate you doing that :) And I agree this site has always been about contributing positively to the genre and fans fighting fans does nothing to advance horror or for that matter women in horror which is a very interesting topic.

          A really interesting read that makes a solid point for how women truly are marginalized in the genre can be read here. It is a must read and very enlightening on how women lack the opportunities of males. http://quirksandsplatters.com/2013/05/30/the-real-enemy-asking-the-hard-questions-why-women-masters-of-horror-arent-forging/

      8. gigs May 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm


      9. Donte May 29, 2013 at 4:40 am

        “Were you able to afford to see Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare? The Slumber Party Massacre? Prime Evil? Pet Sematary and Pet Sematary 2? American Psycho? Jennifer’s Body? Blood & Doughnuts? The Rage: Carrie 2? Near Dark? etc. etc. etc.”

        All those movies, with the exception of American Psycho and Pet Sematary 1 are shit. And if Carrie 2 is one great example of women making horror movies, then they dont have a place on this list. At all.

        • Dennis Francis May 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

          I nearly peed myself!


        • Robert January 17, 2014 at 3:37 am

          I like “Slumber Party Massacre”. But most of those fi;ms are also way before the 2000+ range the list was going for.

      10. Brittney-Jade Colangelo May 29, 2013 at 7:15 am

        I’m not trying to start a flame war, just trying to play devil’s advocate.

        I pride myself in being a feminist horror journalist, but I find absolutely nothing wrong with this list. I wrote my thoughts on the matter on my site. (http://bit.ly/1740vyn)

        Feminism is about choice and equality, Soska Sisters have a huge following, but their films aren’t of the same caliber as the ones mentioned on this list and it’d be giving special treatment to them because they’re women if they were featured in place of the other men on this list.

        Sorry, Hannah and Jennifer. You know I love you two, I just disagree.

        • Herner Klenthur May 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm

          Great comment Brittney and normally I hate when people post to link bait their blog but you for a change posted to add some value to the conversation so kudos. I have heard that the Soska sisters are more famous for being twins then the quality of their films but until I see one of their movies I have no comment on the matter I suppose. :)

          I would love to have you contribute an article to the site on who you think are the most influential women in horror ( writers / directors / actresses ). If interested drop me an email. Hope to read more comments from you on the site

          PS: Great article on your site at first I read the title ‘ HorrorMovies.ca doesnt LIKE Women Directors’ lol

        • Jennifer Cooper May 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

          Brittany, I absolutely love most of the guys on this list. The guys I do love, I own every one of their films as well and go see their films in the cinema. I don’t really see Xavier Gens as a horror director at this point. And yes Jen and Sylv are outgoing pretty girls, but they also know their shit and they have so far done so much, and without a lot of money to do it either. Something which I’d challenge many of the boys on this list to do. Personally I’m more a fan of Neil Marshall’s wife Axelle Carolyn’s work, but she has just completed filming of her first feature so she’s got a way to come yet. I also think that Eli Roth is a better producer than director.

          One of the main people I noticed that wasn’t on this list and totally should be Lucky McKee!! And he hits the box for feminist horror too!! 😉

          I definitely recommend Jennifer Lynch. Despite the fact her debut feature Boxing Helena was released in 1993, it has only been over the past decade that she’s really been doing a lot more. Speaking of wonderfully dark and twisted rad chicks, Karen Lam is another woman who I’d keep my eyes on. Her brilliantly dark debut feature Stained was a wicked little flick, and with her second feature The Evangeline in post production, her features, like her shorts are definitely putting her on the map.

          I absolutely adore Jennifer’s Body but I don’t think of Karyn Kusama to be a horror director. That said, I really do hope that she returns to make more horror flicks as with JB she proved she could make a campy fun flick. :)

          Rachel Talalay is a wicked all rounder but I’ll admit, she has done more horror/supernatural stuff on TV…Freddy aside. She’s another I’d love to see do a fun campy girl powered horror flick. I mean she did Tank Girl for geeks sake…that film is WICKED!!! 😉

        • Jennifer Cooper May 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm

          And that should say – “is Lucky McKee”. Sorry about the typo, my brain is a bit fried right now. Haha.

        • Dennis Francis May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

          Be proud Brittney. Herner knows my love for Leprechaun and had yet to invite me to blog :( haha

          Loved your comment! Would like to see more of you on here.

      11. broughtbybrokenminds May 29, 2013 at 7:59 am

        I’d add Joe Lynch, Tim Sullivan, and James Gunn on there. Definitely ones I always watch out for new films from. Great list!

        • Herner Klenthur May 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm

          Also good choices Heather thanks for sharing. Iwill have to do a followup editorial :)

        • Robert January 17, 2014 at 3:41 am

          James Gunn and Neil Marshall should both be on the list.

      12. Anansi May 29, 2013 at 10:27 am

        I would have liked to have seen Christopher Smith on the list.

        • Herner Klenthur May 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm

          you are 100% right he could have easily made this list. His work on Severance and Creep was fantastic. Even Black Death was not shabby. Thanks for commenting.

      13. heatherodonnell93 May 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm

        I absolutely agree with Jennifer about Luck McKee. Can’t believe I forgot it earlier but Robert Hall would be another one to look out for with his work on Lightning Bug and Laid to Rest. I’m also really psyched to see what Brandon Cronenberg can do with Antiviral. I know alot of people are making a big deal about the lack of women on here but right now there aren’t many women who have come out with films recently that have made a big impact on the genre. Some very talented women were mentioned and I could see puting them on a list of upcoming directors to watch out for but we can’t honestly consider them Masters of Horror simply because they’re women. Especially with the directors mentioned above who have consistently put out quality work and some serious game changers for the genre. The focus should be on the films the directors make, not their gender. I would like to mention how awesome it is that Danielle Harris and Angela Bettis are getting some work as directors now. I’m really excited to see what these genre veterans have to bring to the table in the future.

        • Jennifer Cooper May 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm

          I am totally psyched about Danielle Harris and Angela Bettis too. Angela Bettis especially due to the fact she will have learned so much from Lucky McKee.

          If you actually look at the Masters of Horror dinners, Tim Sullivan and Eli Roth got invited pretty much before first features even released. I’m so glad that Elisabeth Fies is now a member. :) Thank you Kat Shea!!

      14. hannahneurotica May 29, 2013 at 11:15 pm

        Pascal Laugier? I thought you were looking for large bodies of work?

        • Herner Klenthur May 29, 2013 at 11:24 pm

          Not what I said in my article.

          If there is a female director who has done a really cool new horror movie I overlooked hit me with it so I can go watch it and come back to this topic. I am very shocked that this has turned into a ‘guys against the girls’ debate since the intent was certainly not that and if i overlooked a monumental new female director I will be the first to add her to this list but it is my list.

          The closest suggestion so far was the Soska twins and I am sure at some point I will see American Mary and be able to weigh in.

          All the best.

      15. hannahneurotica May 29, 2013 at 11:16 pm

        @BJC unlike other people here who feel threatened by someone who doesn’t agree with them, i am not that way. Obviously I adore you. I do however strongly disagree with you 😉 But that is what keeps life interesting, yes?

        • Herner Klenthur May 29, 2013 at 11:21 pm

          I am sure i am reading into this comment being directed at me since its on my article but I am by no means threatened by your opinion. I welcome it. I am however quite shocked how a simple article can stir up such animosity on the blogoverse both in support and against it.

      16. hannahneurotica May 30, 2013 at 12:07 am

        ” am very shocked that this has turned into a ‘guys against the girls’ debate”

        This was never my intention. My comment was simply to point out the lack of women on your list. I even began by saying I wasn’t looking for drama- just an actual conversation. My comment was never “guys against girls” but I cannot control how someone else interprets what I write.
        However, I am equally as shocked. 😉 So I guess that is something we can agree on.

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 12:13 am

          You did clearly state you were not trying to start a flame war so I should not read so deeply I suppose :) The comments on blogs that have landed in my inbox today have been eye opening.

          As a FAN SITE where we blog about the genre because we love it its disheartening to think a harmless editorial somehow turned into me being a sexist who consistently posts inaccurate information on this site.

          I appreciate your comments posted here and whether we agree or not I am and always have been a supporter of women in horror.

        • Ash May 30, 2013 at 8:19 am

          @Hannaheurotica – you did not start by saying you didn’t want drama, you started with :- Really!? Not one woman on that list….. – a comment like that is designed to stir feminist debate.
          If you had no intention of causing a debate that would involve this kind of reaction then I suggest you are more careful with your words Hannah.
          Having said that, if you are genuine, then you sound as if there was a breakdown in communication. This can happen easy with text communication.

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

          I unfortunately read the comments on other blogs by the same person and see no reason why we need to pretend the comments are anything less then what they appear and its most certainly not friendly debate.

          Spitting passive aggressive venom as QuirksAndSplatters put it is about as subtle as hitting me on the head with a hammer.

          Lets stick up for ‘group a’ and lets also try and turn ‘person b’ and ‘group c’ into a villain while doing it.

      17. DirtyGirl (@DirtyGirlReview) May 30, 2013 at 12:21 am

        I am scratching my head at how a great top ten list turned into such a heated debate over sexism in the Horror genre. But nonetheless here we are discussing it… I think the only new female Horror directors qualified to be on this list would be the Soska Sisters but they have only made two feature length movies so far and only one of them qualifies as great horror. I absolutely loved American Mary but I think we need to see more from the twins in order to say they are “Masters of Horror”

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 10:24 am

          I know American Mary made many of our site’s top 10 lists. I have no idea how I managed to drag the site into a controversy since its certainly NOT my intent but it happened.

          At least you have the benefit of knowing me from being a part of this site for awhile and recognize I have no agenda and am most certainly not biased/sexist for or against anyone

      18. johnvukelic May 30, 2013 at 12:28 am

        I know where I am getting my “to watch list” for Halloween 2013. Great article. Well done.

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 12:29 am

          Thanks for reading John. No easy feat to limit it to 10 as many readers have identified we can easily add 5 more names and probably will on a followup :)

        • johnvukelic May 31, 2013 at 11:46 am

          October has 31 days in it. If you can come up with a list of the top 31 directors of horror, and the macabre, it would make for a fun watch list for the month of October. Would also be a great whose who of this genre’s film directors. Cheers, j.v.

        • Herner Klenthur May 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm

          Fun idea we will have to do that! I will mention it to the rest of the team on site :)

      19. Dr Blood May 30, 2013 at 2:24 am

        I wasn’t going to join in this nonsense, but the list is entitled “10 New Masters of Horror” not “10 New Mistresses of Horror”. The clue in the words just in case the grammatically challenged don’t get it.

        Having said that, I disagree with 8 out of the 10 choices. I’m not going to offer any alternatives though because, well, what’s the point? The article isn’t going to change because I’ve watched more horror movies from other countries and seen the work of better directors. It’s a personal list based on apparent popularity which can change overnight, but stands as it is for now.

        That Hannah thing is just attention seeking for her begging bowl “Women in Horror” invention. As if there isn’t already enough division among horror fans who all hate each other and everything that anybody does which gives them a little bit of success for 5 minutes anyway, now it all has to be about gender too? Get real and stop touting “hobby horror”/glorified YouTube videos and “Suicide Girl” wannabes as the next best thing. Nobody watches that shit or buys into it apart from the delusional. Nobody has ever successfully jumped from trashy, backyard horror movies to being a big Hollywood star apart from George Clooney. Oh yeah, he’s a guy too so it must be just because he has a dick, right? It can’t be because he has acting talent, discipline, and a shit load of good connections which he made by being a decent but shrewd networker.

        Just because somebody has a vagina, it does not entitle them to any special treatment. You could be the most beautiful women in the universe, but if you aren’t useful and have nothing to offer other people which they will pay for, you’ll never get anywhere. Millions of wannabe actresses and female directors have already found that to be the case. Millions of wannabe actors and male directors have found that to be the case too. That’s showbiz. That’s work. That’s life in general. Fucking get one, Hannah, you asshole.

        The whole “Women in Horror” thing is a fucking joke. Just a bunch of e-beggars, Kickstarter/Indiegogo beggars, and wannabes who hit the conventions to sleaze their way into these low-budget and micro-budget nasties because they think they can jump the queue and use them as stepping stones into real movies as a result. Sorry, it’s not going to happen.

        How many years has this shit been going on? 4 or 5? How many successes? None. In fact, 90% of the original “Women in Horror” wannabes have quit because they got too old or married or pregnant… or a combination thereof.

        The Soskas only made a film because their parents mortgaged their damn house to give them the money, and it was filmed in a cheaper location than Hollywood. Not belittling the Soskas, but look at the reality here, people. Rob Zombie also just got very lucky based on making his own rock videos, and he knows it. Horror fans do not generally make great movies, but anyone can make a film if someone hands them a huge chunk of change even if they’ve never done it before. It’s all about hiring talent to make it for you at the end of the day.

        Bottom line, this was just a run-of-the-mill “Top Ten” list posted on a Canadian horror blogging site with a forum full of e-huggers attached to it. Who they hell cares?

        Next year, there’ll be a different “Top 10” of directors, and every horror site in existence has their own favourites. Give the guy who posted it a fucking break!

      20. Jennifer Cooper May 30, 2013 at 3:49 am

        I watched The Tall Man tonight and absolutely loved it!! It was very X Files, AND even had good old smokey boys in it!! Bwahahaha. And if one film is enough, then look up Elisabeth Fies. She might have only made one film, The Commune, but it’s a wicked film. She has done so much for horror directors with her festival, and shorts and producing that the actual Masters of Horror accepted her into their very selective group. If she’s good enough for Carpenter, Garris, Landis etc…she’s most definitely good enough for me!! :)

        • Ash May 30, 2013 at 8:22 am

          I loved The Tall Man too Jennifer, seems quite underrated. Loved the direction of the narrative (don’t want to say too much more incase people reading haven’t seen it)

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

          Thanks for the suggestion Jennifer I will do my best to check out The Commune. Reflecting on the list one name that could easily and should have made this list that did not come up when we asked our readers is Jennifer Lynch

          I have only seen one of her films Surveillance but wow what a movie. I know last night when we were chatting with our community many also brought up Chained which I will have to scoop up a copy of.

          I will likely do a followup Masters of Horror list once i see a few movies suggested by others here. I wont be editing this one since I think readers need to see this one as it is to understand all the comments on it good and bad and adding Jennifer Lynch would definitely confuse it.

        • Dennis Francis May 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

          Ok so its on Netflix and ive been debating for a while if I should check it out. Jessica Beil is hot or miss for me.

          But as a fan of the X-Files I must check it out then. I appreciate a mention of the movie!

        • Herner Klenthur May 30, 2013 at 11:28 am

          Its a solid film. Not as good as his first MARTYRS but it is good. Its also one of Biel’s better roles.

        • Jennifer Cooper May 30, 2013 at 9:14 pm

          I won’t give any spoilers away about The Tall Man, all I’ll say is that if you’re an X Phile…just think of starlight. That is all. Haha. I really did enjoy it and will definitely be adding it to my collection. I’d just rented it out of Blockbuster but the girl did say that even though they only had the one copy of it, it was being really popular. It’s definitely one of Biel’s better roles, I most certainly agree. And the way I see it, after Martyrs, we needed something a little lighter and fluffier around the edges. Haha.

          And yes, you totally should add Jen Lynch to a follow up list. It’s nice to see that she is a truly unique talent in herself, and not just living in the name of her dad too. She is very cool. Lucky McKee is another though who is definitely a new master. Do check out The Commune, it’s totally messed up with a brilliant lead performance from Chauntal Lewis. 😛 Oh and Paul Solet…Grace was one of the most beautiful flicks I’ve ever seen and I cannot wait to see what his new film brings.

      21. Chris Savage May 30, 2013 at 11:01 am

        I think this is a pretty solid list if I say so myself. For me personally I would add Jason Eisener, Koji Shiraishi and Astron-6 (even if most of Astron-6’s catalogue consists of shorts.) As for new female directors, its a tough one. I love women in horror but I just don’t hear much. Of course we all know and love Jen and Sylvia Soska, but then they have only released two features thus far. But they’re definitely a duo to keep our eyes on in the future.

        One other new female director that has caught my eye is Emily Hagins, who gave us the short, Party Killer, and the features, My Sucky Teen Romance as well as Pathogen and The Retelling. I’m not saying she is a “master” of horror, but definitely a new female director to keep your eyes on in the future.

        If a friend asked me for some new horror directors, I would totally hand them Herner’s list. These guys have unleashed some instant classics, and therefore they’re new masters of horror.

      22. Dread World (@dread_world) May 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

        Sweet Pandoras Box…let’s all settle. The fact that some folks are reaching back to Freddys Dead or Slumber Party Massacre to try and find a female horror director says a few things. First, no one out there knows what “new” means. Those films are 20 years old…and they are not very good. Second, while there are many talented females out there making films, very few have really dug their heels into the horror genre and built a, lets say 4 or 5 film body of work like many of their male counter parts have. I certainly would have thought about Emily Hagins for this list, but who comes off? What has she done that is better than say Martyrs or The Devils Rejects. Jennifer Lynch also deserves much consideration, but again who comes off – if indeed this is a finite list. And isn’t the thought that a female director needs to be included strictly for gender equity purposes sort of counter progressive.

        Certainly this list will look different in a few years. The a fore mentioned Hagins and Lynch would both be on it I think. So would Angela Bettis, provided she makes more films. Same deal with the Soska ladies. American Mary hasn’t even been released (legally) here in the states yet. Then again, a few years ago Ctherine Hardwicke would have been all over this list, but then you make Twilight and Red Riding Hood…and there you go. Women as maistays of the genre is a fairly new thing. Lets see how it plays out, but stop trying to convince me the women who directed Carrie 2: The Rage is the next Scorsese just becasue she’s, well, a she.

      23. DirtyGirl (@DirtyGirlReview) May 30, 2013 at 4:02 pm

        Instead of altering the list, I would love to see a new one of the best female directors both new and old. Or perhaps best movies by a female director. I think we have plenty of suggestions for an excellent list!

      24. Survivalist May 31, 2013 at 1:20 am

        Seriously people need to read the damn article before jumping in on this ass first.

        “On Facebook earlier I asked OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS who do YOU consider a new Master of Horror which was a preparation piece for this editorial.”

        so this wasnt his personal list, but (as CLEARLY stated, a collective list based on the opinion of ” the community”.

      25. Dani Carnage. May 31, 2013 at 2:39 pm

        Yet again Dr Blood you show your narrow mindedness. George Clooney is the only one who began in indie horror and became a Hollywood superstar? Do the names Billy Bob Thornton(Chopper chicks in zombie town), Shannon Elizabeth (Jack Frost), Kevin Costner (Sizzle beach U.S.A), Martin Scorcese (Mean Streets), Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets), Tarantino (Resevoir Dogs), Jake Gyllenhall (Donnie Darko) etc mean anything to yoy? Nice post, and some awesome comments here.

      26. Dani Carnage. May 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        Admittedly, some of those aren’t horror indies, but the fact remains, the indie scene, be it in horror or any other genre, is a breeding ground for talent. The fact more women are making a name for themselves as directors is definitely a good thing, and I am sure in time, they will receive as much acclaim as their male counterparts.

        • Herner Klenthur May 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

          I have no doubt there are hundreds of talented female directors and the fact that they are apparently not getting the same opportunities as their male counterparts as was pointed out by a great blog on QuirksandSplatters is really quite sad.

        • Herner Klenthur May 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm

          Dani out of curiosity what women in the indie scene would you single as stand outs?

      27. Dani Carnage. May 31, 2013 at 4:15 pm

        Right now? Erica Summers is definitely a name to watch. She directed the awesome Mister White. Obviously The Soska Sisters are a name worth watching, as their first two movies will attest, they have considerable talent of crafting horror movies. British director Toni Harman, who directed Creedo, is also a name worth keeping an eye on.

      28. hannahneurotica May 31, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        johnny depp= nightmare on elm street!

        • Dani Carnage. June 1, 2013 at 11:47 am

          Thank you Hannah. I really don’t get how I missed Depp OR Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th.

      29. Josh HW June 11, 2013 at 2:40 am

        Highly agree with James Wan, Neil Marshall and Rob Zombie, all 3 are making very interesting and different horror films

      30. Zander June 11, 2013 at 3:05 am

        Love the lists on this website, and the work that goes into them whether I agree or disagree they are usually quite insightful and help me discover great works of horror. dont normally comment but people should chill a little haha, anyway thanks for all the work guys,


      31. Cliff Hightower July 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        Frank Merle is a new director to watch, his film The Employer is amazing. I picked it up at wal-mart, its is great!

      32. LittleKrystalGirl@100 July 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        OK, even though I’m a girl, I’m certainly not going to talk about how females should have been on the list. (Maybe a Top Ten Mistresses of Horror would be another good list? I don’t know.) I’ll just point out the two obvious ones – Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock. Technically, Stephen King is a novelist, but his horror novels are amazing. And Alfred Hitchcock? Frenzy? Psycho? Dial M for Murder? I think that they both should have been on the list. :)

        • Goon July 18, 2013 at 3:29 am

          This list was made for “new” masters of horror.. The paragraphs leading into the list mention that this is for new directors.. Otherwise this list would have had John Carpenter, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and George Romero.. Then Hitchcock would have been considered.

      33. Robert January 17, 2014 at 3:30 am

        I can live with Eli Roth on the list cause I kind of like “Cabin Fever” and it is unique.

        I have to disagree with Rob Zombie being on the list. I don’t like “House of a 1000 Corpses”. It feels like a mishmash and style over substance. I did go into the “Halloween” remake with an open mind, and the sound & camerawork are solid, but the plot and script are horrible. Movie was a burden to sit through and none of the characters were likeable.

      34. moviemaniac1268 August 9, 2015 at 8:12 pm

        Good list, terribly written.

      35. Lana de Lint September 30, 2015 at 12:16 am

        I’d just like to recommend Mike Flanagan for his slow burns Absentia and Occulus. As for all the contention in the previous comments, the positive take is that we’re all passionate about Horror. Stay strong, Herner, and thanks for giving me some new directors to seek out. Brief aside, while I haven’t seen The Divide, I just filmed a small role in a comedy called Chokeslam. Both movies have actor Michael Eklund in them – a fantastically nice man. There’s a free interview on ITunes with him in which he talks about filming The Divide, which he really seemed to enjoy, and which sounded very intense. Seeing it here on your list has me very intrigued. I’m absolutely looking forward seeing this Gens gem. Thanks, Herner.