Behind every great movie there is a great director. Sure, there are actors and a script, which are obviously huge variables in a quality film, but the director is like the conductor who orchestrates these elements into a visual symphony. I could easily choose top 50 of my favorite directors, but in honor of Fascination With Fear’s sixth birthday, I took the challenge and picked my top 6.
The remaining five directors are in no particular order, but be assured that Mr. Lynch is my number one man. I believe the first film his I saw was Mulholland Drive and I was immediately hooked. His films are surreal, poignant, heartfelt and disturbing and speak to me in some indiscernible language that I somehow understand. While I may not always “get” his films, I adore their intricacies and enjoy unraveling them slowly and lovingly. FAVORITE FILM: Lost Highway
The Baron of Blood. I scolded my friend who had me watch Videodrome when I was in high school, but I’m thanking him now for giving me a first look at the wonderfully weird realm of David Cronenberg. His nightmarish imagery is unparalleled and unique, his worlds are frightening and fascinating; Cronenberg knows the darkest regions of the human heart, and portrays that haunted place unflinchingly. FAVORITE FILM: Naked Lunch
I covet and adore this man’s beautiful and expansive imagination. A talented artist, writer, and director and a die-hard Lovecraft fan; his scripts read like dark fairytales and his films flow like poetry. He combines classic clichés with innovative new visions of old tropes. Del Toro is a master storyteller who brings legendary creatures to life for all of us dreamers to revel. FAVORITE FILM: Pan’s Labyrinth.
He has such sights to show you… When I was in middle school I read Barker’s illustrated young adult novel Abarat and loved it. It only excited me more when I later put two and two together that he was also the filmmaker I adored! Since this discovery I have lapped up every form of media that Barker has spat out, be it books, movies, or artwork. He perfectly pairs the elegant and grotesque, and is one of the bravest storytellers the world has known. FAVORITE FILM: Nightbreed
If you weren’t raised on the Master of Suspense I am sorry for youuuu! Okay, that sounded mean, but seriously, I feel so fortunate to have grown up watching Hitchcock films. From The Birds to North by Northwest, he has created so many classics that have shaped the mystery genre. One of my most beloved books as a young girl was a book of ghost stories penned by Hitchcock that I found at a yard sale, which I have since lost but will always remember clutching close on many a rainy night. FAVORITE FILM: Rear Window
The man might have questionable character but he has been through hell and back. If surviving the Holocaust isn’t enough, he also had to endure the brutal murder of his pregnant wife at the hands of the Manson family, and it’s no surprise that his films are highly psychological and often disturbing. No matter what you think about the man, you can’t deny his status as a master director who crafts truly mind-bending and immersive films. FAVORITE FILM: Rosemary's Baby