10 Great Non-Horror Films by Horror Directors - Dread Central
Connect with us

News

10 Great Non-Horror Films by Horror Directors

Published

on

Knight Riders

Sometimes our favorite horror directors like to expand their horizons and tackle other genres. While some filmmakers are happy to confine themselves to one style for the duration of their careers, others like to try their hand at experimenting from time to time. There are directors who thrive on constantly pushing themselves through genre hopping; whereas, others only abscond from what they’re known for occasionally.

That being said, it’s always fascinating to see filmmakers divert from their perceived comfort zones and try their hand at something new, and this list takes a look at some of the great non-horror ventures from some of directors we typically associate with blood, guts, and terror.

everly-16

The Beastmaster (1982) – Don Coscarelli

Don Coscarelli is responsible for one of the greatest franchises of all time with his Phantasm series. He also gave us Bubba Ho-Tep, which I’m sure we can all agree is one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon mankind. Coscarelli has dipped his toes in other genres as well, and the results have been enjoyable – the best of which being The Beastmaster, a cheap Conan the Barbarian rip-off which saw the director tackle fantasy sword and sandal fare with impressive results. The Beastmaster was a mild box office success, at least enough to justify two direct-to-video sequels and a short-lived television series. As far as camp adventures with men in loincloths go, you can do a lot worse than The Beastmaster. 

Knightriders (1981) – George Romero

George Romero’s legacy will forever be synonymous with zombies, given that his Dead series spawned a trio of movies that still define the sub-genre. His influence on our beloved genre is immortal, but one of his brief forays into less scary terrains is one of his finest outings: Knightriders. It is a drama-heavy action film which fuses Arthurian mythology with biker gangs jousting in a dystopian future, and it’s just as good as it sounds. The film would mark a rare change of pace for Romero, and it was met with warm critical response despite poor box office returns. Thankfully, Knightriders received the Arrow treatment in 2013, giving it a new lease of life with a package befitting of its quality. While it might never truly get the plaudits it deserves due to being significantly overshadowed by his horror classics, it deserves to be acknowledged alongside them in its own right.

Everly (2014) – Joe Lynch

To classify Joe Lynch as a horror director does his films a disservice. While his roots have been predominantly rooted in horror thus far, all of his movies have been a cocktail of influences and genre-mashing treats. Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is like a Rambo movie cross-bred with The Hills Have Eyes; The Knights of Badassdom is what Role Models would be if it engaged in coitus with Army of Darkness; and Everly – his best movie to date – is a mixtape of Die Hard, Assault on Precinct 13, Takashi Miike, and the yakuza films of Kinji Fukasaku. However, despite being a love letter to other kick-ass movies and directors, it marked the first Lynch movie that really felt like his own, boasting a lead performance from Salma Hayek which lends the film an engaging protagonist you can emotionally invest in.

Red Eye (2005) – Wes Craven

There isn’t a Wes Craven movie I can say I dislike; even at their worst they’re still passable and entertaining, not to mention the fact he made films that redefined the horror genre three decades in a row. However, Red Eye – despite being a well-adorned box office success – seems to one of the most overlooked entries in his repertoire. A taut thriller that’s rife with suspense, Red Eye is one of Craven’s leanest movies, enhanced by terrific performances from Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy. While it leans more towards horror than his other non-horror venture Music of the Heart – a moving drama which showed the director of Last House on the Left had a soft side – Red Eye is a well-executed gem that deserves some plaudits thrown its way again.

Four of the Apocalypse (1975) – Lucio Fulci

Lucio Fulci – otherwise known as “The Godfather of Gore’’ – is responsible for some of the horror genre’s most beloved cult classics, including The Beyond and Zombi 2. Although best known for his gore films, he dabbled in other genres as well, such as Eurocrime, comedy, and Spaghetti Westerns – the latter of which is best typified with Four of the Apocalypse, a philosophical redemption tale with a savage mean streak. This movie is every bit as uncompromising as his horror flicks and shows that there’s more to Fulci’s arsenal than he’s perhaps given credit for. It’s one of the best films to come out of Italy’s splendid Spaghetti Western past, despite being overlooked in the director’s list of most revered films.

Fortress (1992) – Stuart Gordon

What’s the one way to make a prison movie better? The answer to that question is to have it take place in the future, with Christopher Lambert playing a wrongfully convicted man trying to make a break for it with his wife and live happily ever after. Throw in one of the world’s greatest villainous actors (Kurtwood Smith) as an evil prison warden, and you have a recipe for a kick-ass action movie on your hands – and that’s exactly what Fortress is. The film was originally supposed to star Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he turned it down in favor of True Lies instead. This is arguably Gordon’s best movie outside of Re-Animator, although his entire filmography boasts a quality standard of B-movie goodness, horror or otherwise.

Pacific Rim (2013) – Guillermo del Toro

If there’s one thing we horror fans can appreciate as much as a good scare, it’s giant robots and monsters smashing the holy hell out of each other on a blockbuster scale. This movie bears no pretenses: It’s an affectionate tribute to Japanese kaiju movies and the Saturday morning cartoons del Toro grew up watching, delivering grand scale amounts of destruction and absurdity. If this doesn’t remind you that cinema is the most magical thing in the world, then nothing will. Like all of del Toro’s work, Pacific Rim has an unabashed love for what it’s representing, and in this case it’s otherworldly creatures and heart-stopping action. Whether you love or hate his movies, del Toro is a fanboy like all of us, seemingly having the time of his life making the movies he wants to make and like-minded folks want to see.

Cold in July (2014) – Jim Mickle

Jim Mickle is one of those up-and-coming genre filmmakers that continues to go from strength to strength with every movie. Having unleashed three acclaimed independent horror films with Mulberry Street, Stake Land, and We Are What We Are, he would branch out into Southern-fried crime thriller with Cold in July. Based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale, it stars Michael C. Hall as a family man who gets entangled in a situation that spirals out of control after his kills a home invader. It’s an intense neo-noir full of twists and turns throughout, infused with black comedy to complement the film’s nail-biting moments – of which there are many. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks through into the mainstream, and supposedly that’ll happen with his next project, rumored to be Esperanza – a disaster movie produced by Legendary Pictures, based on a book about a great wildfire by John Maclean.

Death Sentence (2007) – James Wan

James Wan is a director who can’t quite break away from the shackles of horror, even if he has tried to distance himself from the genre in recent times. Like Michael Corleone, just when he thinks he’s out, he gets pulled back in, as his movies tend to make lots of cash money and require sequels. His horror output speaks for itself, but he’s a damn fine action director as well, and his success with Furious 7 – along with his involvement with the upcoming DC Universe release Aquaman – has solidified his place as one of Hollywood’s A-list directors. However, a movie that seems to have found itself lost in the shuffle of his career trajectory is Death Sentence, a revenge thriller starring Kevin Bacon as a grief-stricken father pitted against the criminals who murdered his son. Death Sentence is an intense, gritty action movie with an emotional heft that gets the blood pumping, and it’s the unsung gem of Wan’s impressive filmography.

Rabid Dogs (1974) – Mario Bava

The Eurocrime sub-genre was prominent in Italian cinema during the late ‘60s and carried over into the next decade. Inspired by the hard-boiled crime films coming out of Hollywood at the time, in addition to Italy being a country facing much political and social unrest, native filmmakers were making their own edgy crime flicks with scathing social commentary, including horror directors like Fulci and, of course, Bava. Up until Rabid Dogs, Bava’s films leaned towards Gothic horror with lush visual tapestries, but here he’d abandon all of that in favor of a gritty, ugly car heist film. Rabid Dogs is a tour de force in tension that bites and snarls. Not only was Bava mad at the state of the country at the time, but he was pissed at the film industry as well. and this was the product of his frustrations. It might be unapologetically cruel, but it’s a master class in filmmaking and a bona fide masterpiece of genre cinema.

 

Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Dread Central Presents

Dread Central Presents The Lodgers – Vegas Screening and Wider Release

Published

on

Last weekend fans got their first taste of the next Dread Central Presents film, The Lodgers (review); and we’re not done yet! There’s another Dread Central Presents screening TOMORROW, February 22nd, at 7:00 PM at the Eclipse Theaters in Las Vegas, Nevada (tickets here); and then the flick will be opening wider the very next day!

To see if the film will be playing near you, click here for a list of cities The Lodgers will be haunting!

Directed by Brian O’Malley and starring Charlotte Vega and Bill Milner, the film made its worldwide premiere at 2017’s Toronto International Film Festival and has since won many awards across multiple festivals.

Make sure to follow and “like” Dread Central Presents on Facebook to stay in the know regarding this and upcoming titles!

Synopsis:
In this Gothic horror tale, a family curse confines orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) to their home as punishment for their ancestors’ sins. Bound to the rules of a haunting childhood lullaby, the twins must never let any outsiders inside the house, must be in their rooms by the chime of midnight, and must never be separated from one another. Breaking any of these three rules will incur the wrath of a sinister presence that inhabits the house after midnight.

While Edward is committed to this ill-fated life, he’s becoming more unhinged due to the fact that Rachel is not. Smitten by a local soldier (Eugene Simon), Rachel grows skeptical and begins to rebel, desperate to escape the oppression and misery of their captivity.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Exclusive Clip: Primal Rage – Bigfoot Causes Chaos!

Published

on

Ever been driving in the woods and see or hear something that you cannot explain? Something so shocking that it makes your skin crawl off of your spine? Yeah, those moments, that usually chalked up to something completely innocuous, can be mucho unsettling. Such is the case with our bloody exclusive clip from the latest sliver of Sasquatchploitation, Primal Rage, which illustrates what can happen when you play with your food.

Directed by Patrick Magee, who co-wrote the film with Jay Lee, Primal Rage stars Andrew Joseph Montgomery, Casey Gagliardi, Eloy Casados, Justin Rain and Marshal Hilton. You can also catch this one of the big screen as on February 27th, Fathom (tickets here) will be hosting a one-night theater event for Primal Rage.

Enough talk! Get your Squatch on!

Synopsis:
Lost deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley and Max Carr are stalked by a terrifying creature that might be Bigfoot. Soon they find themselves embroiled in a strange land of Native American myth and legend turned real. Hopelessly trying to survive, with a handful of unsavory locals, they must fight back against this monster in a desperate battle of life or death.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

The Strangers: Prey at Night Set Visit Part 2: Screams and Flames

Published

on

[SPOILERS] As mentioned in our earlier set visit story, The Strangers: Prey at Night maintains the same feeling of isolation as the original. Even though a full-fledged production was going on in Gatlin Lake Getaway, it is hard to shake that feeling of being totally alone once wandering away from the set lighting. The dark surround woods start to close in and threaten to swallow any who stray too close to the tree line. Then the silence is broken as a beat-up 1972 Ford Ranger’s engine revs and a scream slices through the night.

Back on the lit street, the familiar looking truck has collided head-on with the side Wagner County Sheriff’s SUV. At the driver’s seat of the Ford is a man sporting a white cloth bag as a mask. The Bagman has returned. His appearance has not changed. The empty sockets of the mask still glare ominously and the painted smile poorly hides the stranger’s murderous intent.

An air of frustration surrounds the Bagman as he attempts to free the truck from the SUV. In vain, the Ford revs and struggles to no avail. Bad news for him, but good news for whomever the Bagman was pursuing. The law enforcement vehicle, with its lights flashing, had been driven by a young woman decked out in a black Ramones t-shirt and blood-splattered jeans. Her hair is jet black. The woman’s skin is streaked with dark blood and open slash wounds. The dark punk eye makeup is running, but the wearer is not.

It is obvious that this woman has been through a lot as she limps from the wreck. The context of her current state is not clear, but the shrieking that emanates from her as she produces a lighter and throws it to the ground under the collided vehicles speaks volumes. It can only be assumed that she has been chased, slashed, and emotionally beaten for hours. The scream is packed with emotions from fear to outright spite and rage. It is so powerful, in fact, that the crew members uttered stunned laudations.

As the gasoline ignites, the flames climb and spread of the mangled metal of the two collided vehicles. The Ford’s engine still violently revs as the Bagman emotionlessly tries to break free. The young woman is slowly backing away, unaware of the chain reaction occurring. The darkness of 1 AM is broken by two giant fireballs that erupt, engulfing the metal mayhem in the middle of the street. The surroundings fall silent, cut is called and the crew erupts in exclamations at the awesome spectacle.

This powerful moment was brought to us by Bailee Madison (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark).

The Strangers: Prey at Night was now on its twenty-second day of shooting and only eight more days remained. The cast and crew are well accustomed to their routines and the late night shoots have become second nature. When asked if the constant schedule of night shoots had been difficult, Madison elicited some of the virtues that the darkness has to offer, “There’s something very vulnerable about night shoots. You are emotionally in a different place when you’re awake and rested in the daytime. I think for something traumatic like this, you need to be able to access different emotions; at night you’re a lot more capable.”

At this point in production, Bailee’s character has seen a lot of action. A heavy amount of blood adorns the actor’s arms and a thick clotting mass of the red stuff covers most of her forehead. Keeping track of that damage for continuity from day to day looks like a grueling task, and makeup department head Jodi Byrne dropped some details about the process, “We have continuity photos and we take pictures of Bailee constantly throughout the day … We have to determine which takes are actually going to be used in the film and we move from that point.”

Synopsis:
A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive..

Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!
Advertisement

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC