Best Horror Director

Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by vampyr789, Jul 29, 2008.

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Best Horror Director

  1. Wes Craven

    3 vote(s)
    3.4%
  2. Dario Argento

    17 vote(s)
    19.5%
  3. Tobe Hooper

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  4. Lucio Fulci

    9 vote(s)
    10.3%
  5. Mario Bava

    2 vote(s)
    2.3%
  6. John Carpenter

    34 vote(s)
    39.1%
  7. George A. Romero

    12 vote(s)
    13.8%
  8. Alfred Hitchcock

    6 vote(s)
    6.9%
  9. Sam Raimi

    5 vote(s)
    5.7%
  10. David Cronenberg

    18 vote(s)
    20.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    Well, you clearly have awful taste.:D
     
  2. Workshed

    Workshed a.k.a. Villyan Shit

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    my DVD collection would agree with you.
     
  3. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    If that's what you think I meant, you're not as good a listener as you think you are. Nor do I think you really understand this whole thing. Maybe that belongs in the Unpopular Opinions topic as well.

    I'm walking away from this discussion because quite honestly, you're talking nonsense. Again simply regurgitating stuff I've already heard before. None of it holding any water whatsoever.

    And as for your accusation that Craven hasn't contributed significantly to the genre, I merely refer you to articles from HorrorDVDs . com which seem to disagree with you:

    http://www.horrordvds.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=59
    http://www.horrordvds.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=140
    http://www.horrordvds.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=619
    http://www.horrordvds.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=7
    http://www.horrordvds.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=6

    Sorry, but if that's not contributing to the genre, I don't know what is and I'm a die-hard horror fan. So I damn well know something. You can try to chip away at me all you want to, but you will not kill my spirit. Nor am I ever backing down.

    Now, good day to you.
     
  4. Angelman

    Angelman OCD Blu Ray Collector

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    I live in the same glass house so I will not throw stones. Bad is good, you know?
     
  5. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Ok then, what exactly did you mean? Wes Craven contributed more films to the horror genre than John Carpenter did? Okay. I agree with you 100%. It's a simple fact. Wes Craven made more horror films than John Carpenter did. (However, in another post you said "Craven has done more quality films for the horror genre". As much as that isn't true, you were arguing quality. I'm still arguing quality, but now you're arguing who made the most horror movies, so WHAT exactly IS your argument?) But what YOU'RE missing is that this is a poll about the BEST horror director, not a poll about "Which Horror Director Made the Most Horror Movies". We're talking about QUALITY here, not quantity. A point you seem to not be getting. And with John Carpenter's 35 votes against Craven's mere 3, I think it's quite obvious that far more people believe that Carpenter's few contributions to the genre were of better quality and had more of an impact on the horror genre as a whole than the several films Craven put out. Not an unpopular opinion it seems, by ANY stretch of the word.

    But yet, I'm talking nonsense, of course. I'm regurgitating points because YOU'RE NOT GETTING IT. You keep elaborating on hollow points that go nowhere. Yes, Craven made more horror movies than Carpenter...SO WHAT? In terms of quality (which is what this poll and topic are about..."BEST" Horror Director) the quality of ONE film by Carpenter outweighs the quality of Craven's films by a longshot. Carpenter's ONE film started a MAJOR trend of horror films that flourished for an ENTIRE decade. A MAJOR contribution the horror genre. Craven's films were simply filler material.

    I'm not trying to chip away at you, nor am I asking you to back down. I'm asking you to stop being so stubborn and realize that you're arguing nothing (the poll results SHOW that!) and that you're getting nowhere by changing your arguments. It's making you look stupid. Do I think you're stupid? Certainly not. In fact, there are many things you've said on this board that I couldn't agree with more. However, here you're jumping from one point to another, elaborating on nothing. You just get so stubborn in your arguments that you can never admit when you're wrong. I was wrong in throwing Deadly Friend into the slasher genre, since it really is based more on Re-Animator, but that still doesn't mean Deadly Friend is more of an accomplishment than Re-Animator, because it isn't. Another prime example that supports my argument (and x-human's) that Craven is simply a follower, not a leader. He contributed almost nothing to the genre other than filler material. (More films, yes, but quality? Not so much.)

    But, none of my arguments hold any water? Maybe THAT belongs in the unpopular opinions thread, because your arguments are drier than the Sahara Desert in the middle of a summer heatwave. In fact, your water broke so long ago that you should probably start mopping the floor. :)

    GOOD DAY.

    ~Matt
     
  6. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    I agree completely. The movie draws you right in. I think Spielberg said it best about Kubrick's films, how "they have a failsafe button that when you start watching one of his films, you cant help but watch the whole thing."

    ~Matt
     
  7. Myron Breck

    Myron Breck BOO!!! Gotcha!

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    I voted for Carpenter. And Cronenberg. :)
     
  8. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Adda boy! :D (In my honest opinion, I think Cronenberg contributed the most to the genre out of anyone on there. Cronenberg all the way. Carpenter directly behind.)

    ~Matt
     
  9. DVD-fanatic-9

    DVD-fanatic-9 And the Next Morning, When the Campers Woke Up...

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    Wow: 26-year old me made a lot more poop jokes, apparently. (Also, I made a lot of these posts on my Birthday... What a fuckin' waste of such an important day.)

    Anyway, I rewatched Christine a few years ago and I see I was wrong. (I mentioned this here somewhere. Maybe in 2014, don't remember what year.) I'd even agree it's better than The Thing now. And I've rewatched The Thing at least twice since 2008... it's still the same messy, messy movie.


    I have a rewatch of this coming up soon and I hope every time I see this again, will be the time it clicks. But... this is a rough one. The little girl's robotic performance doesn't help any. Nor does Oliver Reed. On the best of days, I usually can't stand that guy.


    So... 8 years later, and plenty of rewatches under my belt, it's still Argento. Not even close. No competition. The man puts everything into his films. Other directors tend to flirt with ideas and even if those ideas are amazing, they don't hit you. Argento works those ideas into every last scene with a character, and he writes emotional ideas as much as intellectual ones. Tenebre is all intellect, for example. Opera is all emotion. Deep Red is a great early mix of the two, Daria Nicolodi's performance in that film... there's nothing like it. Not a lot of male directors let a woman come alive like that. She never does fall into the convenience slot of being a male character's support system. She's not selfish. She's funny. She doesn't let anger overtake her when her male co-hort tries to brush her off with incidental sexism (just to prove it's a card he can pull out whenever he wants). She has a good eye.

    Plenty of examples. But, my point is that his films are much larger than any other horror director. And he's made so many of them without losing his grip (until 1998). Other directors have made better taut films than him. He's never actually made an American slasher, so, sure Carpenter's Halloween is a better American slasher than Deep Red. But... come on, Deep Red is at least every inch the perfect Italian horror film as Halloween is the perfect slasher. Same with Suspiria being every inch the perfect supernatural horror film, international or American. Though, yeah, Suspiria is quite hard to categorize if you don't apply the giallo label. Phantasm is probably the single best comparison, since Don Coscarelli describes it as a kind of living fantasy-nightmare. Like an entity and a world at the same time. But, then, no other director can really say they have their Suspiria... and then their Deep Red, their Tenebre, and their Opera. With a safety net of: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Cat o' Nine Tails, Inferno, Phenomena, and The Stendhal Syndrome.

    Just... find me another director with 9 films as damn good as those 9 films, collectively. 9 films as big. As wide. As stirring. And then... find me 2 middle-of-the-road, or even mediocre, films as good as Four Flies on Grey Velvet and Trauma. After you think you've found a director with a front row of films as good as Deep Red, Suspiria, Tenebre, and Opera, and a 2nd row as good as Bird, Cat, Inferno, Phenomena, and Stendhal. The only way to come close would probably be to pull Hitchcock out of suspense or Spielberg out of fantasy / sci-fi / adventure and pit Argento against them.

    My usual process after Argento is to basically find the director with the highest number of films I rate an 8/10 or higher. Argento has 4 films that are clearly 10/10. Who other than Argento can come close to that? Only 3 directors after him have more than 1. (My opinion, of course.) One of those directors, in my opinion, has a solid genre career (a track record of solid or underrated horror efforts) = Joe Dante. Another is more of a fluke = Tobe Hooper. That damn Who-Directed-Poltergeist argument just destroys that film's ownership, however. I'd like to think it was Hooper since it was a darker film than anything Spielberg has done in the realm of fantasy, period. (Also, did Spielberg ever have the balls to have characters smoking pot and reading Reagan jerk-off books? I know he directed some great gutsy stuff in the Indiana Jones films, but... Hooper had dark ideas. And almost every time he had a less-than-100%-family friendly idea, he usually passed it off to another director- i.e.: The Goonies.)

    Argento = 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 9 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + ...at least a 7 for Four Flies. I think Trauma nets a safe 6. And then there's his phenomenal half of Two Evil Eyes. Like the 2016 Presidential Election... this one's called. It's clapped. Argento wins. No contest.

    After Argento, it's pretty much Romero vs. Bava. This one's tricky.

    Romero has 2 10's = Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. Bava has 1 = Kill, Baby, Kill.

    Both have a 9 to follow that up, Romero's is arguably stronger = Creepshow vs. Hatchet for the Honeymoon. (In fact, here's why I originally argued that Craven easily dwarfed Bava - before I rewatched almost all of Bava's horror films this year: Craven's top 3- The Last House on the Left + Scream + A Nightmare on Elm Street beat any combined 3 of Bava's.) (Sorry, Matt89. They do.) (As does Dante's Gremlins + Gremlins 2 + The Howling combined.)

    The tip of the scales...might be the 8 and 7 categories. Romero's filmography is incredibly sketchy after his 3 big ones. I like his half of Two Evil Eyes. But, it's that + The Crazies + Martin vs. Bava's 5 Dolls for an August Moon + Evil Eye/The Girl Who Knew Too Much + Shock + A Bay of Blood + Baron Blood + "The Wurdalak/Wurdulak" segment of Black Sabbath... (+ maybe The Whip and the Body...I could fuckin' kill Shudder! Their upload of the film out-of-sync'd the fuckin' audio and so I wasn't able to watch the whole thing. But I was highly impressed with the first half hour.) That ought to be a totally fair call for Bava to win 2nd best horror director after Argento. (Especially since Joe Dante really didn't commit to horror as a genre. Put him in the same category as Peter Jackson, whose Bad Taste + Braindead/Dead Alive are as good a 10 + 9 combination as almost any other horror director.)

    Due to the Joe Dante/Bob Clark/Raimi/Jackson Factor, we should probably use a 5-film system to determine who're the best horror directors.

    In a Romero vs. Craven, Romero will take the Top 5 with Night, Dawn, Creepshow, Crazies, and Martin vs. Craven's Last House, Scream, Nightmare, The Hills Have Eyes, and The People Under the Stairs. But... then, where does Romero go? I thought his Season of the Witch was a pretty fair 6. But Craven still has the underrated Swamp Thing, Deadly Friend, and Serpent and the Rainbow all sitting at solid 7's or straddling 6-7's (high 6's if nothing else), and an impressive string of solid 6's: New Nightmare, Scream 2, and Cursed (shut up!). And he has a really fun 5/10 with Scream 3. Romero falls extremely hard after Two Evil Eyes and Season of the Witch - Monkey Shines and The Dark Half are godawful. Day of the Dead is better, but not by much. Even Tobe Hooper's string of low 6's and solid 5's (Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, Salem's Lot, The Funhouse, Eaten Alive, Invaders from Mars, and the goofy-ass Spontaneous Combustion is due for a rewatch- I expect it to fare well) wipe the floor with Romero's 4's.

    If we stick to the 5-system, Romero wins. If we extend it to 5's, 6's, and low-7's, Craven wins.

    Oh, yeah... I guess we have to deal with this Carpenter and Cronenberg thing sooner or later...

    The 5-system: it's Carpenter's 10 + 9 + 6 + 5 + 5 (Halloween, The Fog, Christine, The Thing, In the Mouth of Madness) vs Cronenberg's 9 + 8 + 8 + 6 + 4 (Videodrome, The Fly, Rabid, The Brood, Scanners). You see the dilemma. Carpenter's top 2 obviously beat Cronenberg's at 19 vs 17. But Cronenberg's B-squad beats Carpenter's at 18 vs 16. So, I guess it really is a tie in the greater sense. (Especially since both point-total 35.) (And, no, They Live and The Dead Zone are not horror films.) (Though, if they were, Cronenberg would take the win then at 9 + 8 + 8 + 7 + 6 vs Carpenter's 10 + 9 + 6 + 5 + 5.)

    Oh, yes... And, uh... boundless that most of us were going to forget one of the most important names in the genre...

    Roger Corman. He was a director once... figure that. And a good one, too. With The Masque of the Red Death, The Haunted Palace, Tomb of Ligeia, and The (Fall of the) House of Usher, he clearly has enough clout to deserve serious consideration above Carpenter and Cronenberg. (Again, my opinion. But I do take my ratings very seriously and stand by them fully.) I do have to rewatch Tomb, House, Pit and the Pendulum, Tales of Terror, and The Raven. But I remember Pit and the Pendulum being much too slow, draggy, and dialogue-heavy. Like... yeah, more than House of Usher. (Hey: rewatch The Haunted Palace sometime, Corman did a lot of great zapping the little scenes with some spooky stuff. He kept most of the Poe movies pretty lively.)

    Then: Larry Cohen totally deserves a mention. Even if he was mostly a 6-7-8 guy in all his better moments. He was still a quite consistent, reliable director. The guy also has 5 solid horror films: Q the Winged Serpent, It's Alive, God Told Me To, The Stuff, and Island of the Alive.

    Also... I forgot that Polanski has 2 10's as well - Rosemary's Baby and Repulsion. I'd give him an official nod but I don't consider any of his follow-ups to be horror beside The Ninth Gate, which I do love.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016

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