10 Horror Legends’ Favorite Movies



We all have our favourite horror films and directors, but have you ever wondered what their favourites are? These 10 filmmakers absorbed plenty of films themselves before going on to create iconic work of their own.

The film that gets mentioned the most is Blow-up (1966), with its director Michelangelo Antonioni been mentioned a few times by name. The second most common is Citizen Kane (1941), which may not come as a surprise as it’s already considered to be the greatest film by all time by many due to how it revolutionised storytelling.

Some other directors that come up by name and/or film mention frequently are other well-known pioneers of the horror genre. Find out who else they said…

10. Takashi Miike (Master Of Violence)


Whilst Takashi Miike has made some family-friendly films in his career, he is widely recognised for his extremely violent and gory horror films.

His films have caused controversy and have gained him a cult following. Some of Miike’s most talked about films are Audition (1999), Ichi the Killer (2001) and Lesson of the Evil (2012), which all feature strong gore and violence.

Surprisingly, Miike has said his favourite film of all time is Starship Troopers (1997). He has also expressed admiration for directors Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Gosha, David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Paul Verhoeven.

9. Guillermo Del Toro (Godfather Of Monsters)


Guillermo del Toro is best known for his fantasy films which feature memorable monsters and their connections with romance.

He has worked in the horror-fantasy, sci-fi action and gothic romance genres, and his lifelong fascination with fairytales and monsters is no secret. Del Toro has directed Mimic (1997), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Crimson Peak (2015) and The Shape of Water (2017).

Del Toro is always gushing about his favourite films and has listed many throughout his career. They include the likes of Freaks (1932), Häxan (1922), Goodfellas (1990), Nosferatu (1922), The Seventh Seal (1957), Eyes Without A Face (1960) and Sullivan’s Travels (1941).

8. Eli Roth (Master Of Modern Gore)


Whilst he’s no Cronenberg, Eli Roth has been dubbed part of the ‘Splat Pack’ for creating violent and gory low-budget films.

His films Cabin Fever (2002), Hostel (2005) and Hostel: Part II (2007) has been praised in the horror community, but have been noted to contribute to the torture-porn sub-genre. Although he didn’t write it, Roth also directed The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018), which is his first family PG-13 film.

Roth has listed some of his favourite horror films as Sleepaway Camp (1983), Troll 2 (1990), Creepshow (1982), Zombi 2 (1980) and Pieces (1982). He also praised directors Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Tobe Hooper, George A. Romero and Stanley Kubrick as influencing his career.

7. Dario Argento (Master Of The Thrill)

Eric Robert/Sygma/Corbis

Although Mario Bava is associated with the creation of the giallo film genre, Dario Argento is known for his influential contribution to giallo and the horror genre in general. Films such as Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1972), Deep Red (1975), Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980) have given him the nickname ‘Master of the Thrill’. Many of his films from the 70s and 80s have gained cult status.

Argento has famously said it’s hard to choose his favourite film because he’s seen way too many. However, he said his favourite directors are Alfred Hitchcock, Michelangelo Antonioni, Luis Buñuel, Ingmar Bergman and Fritz Lang. Some films that have inspiredArgento are The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Cat People (1942), Blood and Black Lace (1964) and The Witches (1967).

6. George A. Romero (Godfather Of The Dead)


George A. Romero is widely regarded as the pioneer of the modern zombie due to his zombie apocalypse series. It began with Night of the Living Dead (1968), which had a massive impact on popular culture and its influence is seen in places like Shaun of the Dead (2004) and The Walking Dead. Romero also directed The Crazies (1973), Creepshow (1982) and Season of the Witch (1973), the latter of which Romero considers to be a “feminist film.”

In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Romero has listed his favourite films, which are all from the early 50s. They are On the Waterfront (1954), The Thing From Another World (1951), The Quiet Man (1952) and Othello (1945).

He has also credited Tales of Hoffman (1951) as his favourite film of all time, and the one that inspired him to become a director. Beyond the 50s, Romero’s key influencesare Casablanca (1942), Dr. Strangelove (1964), North by Northwest (1959), Repulsion (1965) and Carnival of Souls (1962).

5. James Wan (Master Of Modern Horror)


Over time, James Wan has proven himself as the master of modern horror. He had his directorial debut with Saw (2004) which gained a cult following.

He later went on to direct Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013) which also became successful film franchises. These three film series have revolutionised modern horror. More recently, Wan has directed the upcoming Aquaman film.

Wan listed some of his favourite horror films in an interview with Loaded Online. They are Jaws (1975), The Exorcist (1973), Poltergeist (1982) and even The Terminator (1984). He has also mentioned Lost Highway (1997) and Ringu (1998), and says he finds inspiration in lots of movies, including those outside of the horror genre.

4. John Carpenter (Master Of Horror)


John Carpenter has as career spanning five decades and is mostly known for his work in the horror and science-fiction genres.

He’s created some of the most iconic films within these genres, such as Halloween (1978), The Thing (1982) and In the Mouth of Madness (1995). Lots of Carpenter’s films have become cult classics, even the ones that didn’t do so well upon initial release!

In an interview, Carpenter listed the following as his favourite films: Vertigo (1958), Blow-up (1966), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Rio Bravo (1959) and Citizen Kane (1941). He says Howard Hawks, director of Rio Bravo, was very influential on him as a young filmmaker.

3. Alfred Hitchcock (Master Of Suspense)

Shamley Productions

Alfred Hitchcock is considered one of the most influential filmmakers in cinema history, but his speciality in the psychological thriller genre gave him prominence amongst the horror community. He’s known for majority of his filmography, including classics such as Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958) and the iconic and influential Psycho (1960).

Having entered the film industry during its early stages, Hitchcock was around to create the first ever British “talkie” which was Blackmail (1929). However, there were still films that inspired him. Some of Hitckcock’s early influences are Thou Shalt Not Kill (1914), Forbidden Fruit (1921), A Ride on a Runaway Train (1921) and Destiny (1921).

He also enjoyed Un chien andalou (1929), Bicycle Thieves (1948), Les Diaboliques (1955), Peeping Tom (1960) and Blow-up (1966).

2. William Friedkin (Godfather Of Possession)

Elen Nivrae Flickr

William Friedkin is known for directing The Exorcist (1974), which is based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. The fact it’s inspired by a real life case of demonic possession in 1949 makes it even scarier.

It’s classed as the scariest film of all time due to its impact on audiences in the 1970s. Friendkin, however, has said he and Blatty “never set out to make a horror film”, but more “a story about the mystery of faith.”

Friedkin has listed many favourite films during his lifetime. Some of them are Psycho (1960), The Birth of a Nation (1915), Citizen Kane (1941), Alien (1979) and Rosemary’s Baby (1968). He’s also a big fan of Michelangelo Antonioni, the Coen Brothers and Vincente Minnelli.

1. Wes Craven (Master Of Horror)


Wes Craven is known for having a massive impact on the slasher sub-genre, especially when it comes to meta horror. He is credited with bringing back to life the slasher genre with Scream (1996) and Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) has become one of the most recognised horror icons of our time.

In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Craven cited his favourite horror films as The Virgin Spring (1960), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), Red River (1948), Night of the Living Dead (1968) and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). He’s also mentioned Don’t Look Now (1974) and Blow-up (1966).

Please wait...

And Now... A Few Links From Our Sponsors