This past July was a bit crazy here at Dread Central as we covered all the ins-and-outs of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. It was a wild ride, but now things can go somewhat back to normal. Overall, horror movies were more than well represented at this year’s SDCC, with stand-outs being Corin Hardy’s The Conjuring spin-off The Nun, and director Andres Muschietti’s It Chapter Two put together in Scare Diego 2018.
And we also saw lots of love sent the way of Shane Black and Fred Dekker’s The Predator, along with Hulu and J.J. Abrams’ new Stephen King series Castle Rock. And let’s not forget Blumhouse’s coverage of both M. Night Shyamalan’s Split/Unbreakable sequel Glass and David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s upcoming direct sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween. Hoo-ray to SDCC and their love of horror!
But throughout all of the coverage we provided on this year’s SDCC (which you can find by following this hashtag #SDCC18), there were quite a few films we didn’t cover for obvious reasons of not being horror-related. That said, we wanted to take the opportunity not really to cover some of those select films here, but make a point to cast a light on something we found to be very interesting: the love for Horror Directors! Quite a few of the BIGGEST FILMS represented at this year’s SDCC were – while not horror themselves – from some of the best horror directors our beloved genre has to offer.
First, we have Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters starring Kyle Chandler (Super 8), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things). We witnessed a killer trailer for the film which seems to truly capture the epic spirit of the titular King of Monsters (see above). Dougherty is, of course, known to all of us horror fans as the director of the Halloween horror anthology super-classic Trick ‘r Treat, and the Christmas chiller Krampus to boot. Dougherty is one of horror’s most impressive directors, and we couldn’t be happier that he’s making such huge films these days. Now bring on Trick ‘r Treat 2!
Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) was there to represent his big-budget adaptation of Venom starring Tom Hardy. And, of course, writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) was out and about promoting this Split/Unbreakable sequel Glass. All of these guys started in horror, and now they are some of our generations most prominent filmmakers. That said, Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Ruben Fleischer’s Venom, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass are some of the big films we DID cover this year (check out all of our coverage HERE, HERE, and HERE) but now let’s get into some of the movies we didn’t cover much – if at all.
As much as we love the filmmakers in question here, it makes more than a bit of sense that we didn’t cover DC’s big-budget adaptations of Aquaman and Shazam!. These movies are about as far away from horror as movies get, but we want to spread the love, if for no other reason than James Wan (The Conjuring, Saw, Insidious) helmed Aquaman and the charming-as-fuck-looking Shazam! is piloted by one of my personal favorite up-and-coming (arrived?) horror helmers David F. Sandberg. And for those who aren’t an encyclopedia of movie knowledge as I am, Sandberg is the man who directed Lights Out and the recent The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle: Creation.
All of this brings about a killer point for all of you up-and-coming filmmakers out there: Horror is a great place to start as a director! After all, Sam Raimi started with The Evil Dead before moving onto the likes of such mega-films as the Spider-Man trilogy. Oliver Stone began his controversial career with The Hand before moving onto Oscar fare such as Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, and Natural Born Killers. Peter Jackson made zero-budget splatter films such as Bad Taste and Dead Alive before moving onto the biggest movies of our time with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong.
Add to that James Cameron started with Piranha II: The Spawning before Avatar, Kathryn Bigelow began with the classic Near Dark and is now directing such masterpieces as The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Zack Snyder (for better or worse) started with the Dawn of the Dead remake and now makes (it seems) all of DC’s films. James Gunn kicked off his career with Troma and Slither and moved on to Guardians of the Galaxy. Hell, even Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Copolla started in horror with Duel and Jaws, and Dementia 13 before helming some of the GREATEST FILMS OF ALL-TIME like Saving Private Ryan and The Godfather!
Joel Cohen (No Country for Old Men) even started in horror as well. Not directing – unless you consider his first film Blood Simple to be horror- but he began as an assistant editor on Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. The list keeps going and growing. On the horizon, we even have director Adam Wingard’s upcoming sequel to Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island, fittingly called Godzilla vs. Kong headed our way May 22, 2020.
And speaking of release dates, Ruben Fleischer’s Venom bites heads off with glee come October 5th, James Wan’s Aquaman swims for shore on December 21st, M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass twists and turns its way to your local multiplex January 18, 2019, David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! delights bored DC fans April 5, 2019, and Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters stomps into theaters May 31, 2019.
Hoo-ray horror directors!