A look at 8 non-horror movies made by famous horror movie directors
Genre is a funny thing, an easily thrown-around marketing term that exhibitors and distributors perpetuated to easily sell their movies. But it’s a meaningless word, really. I mean, how do you define a genre? What are the rules?
Truth is, there are no rules and really, the very idea of genre probably does more harm than good when it comes to the actual men and women who work in cinema and whose aim is – or should be — to create good art. Not product, art. This is true particularly when it comes to horror. Because when a director makes a horror film and if that horror film is a hit, then he or she is chained to that genre for life.
But a good horror movie is a good movie first. Look at the iconic horror pictures. The Exorcist is a character piece about a mother trying to make sense of her daughter’s illness. The Omen is about a family man refusing to believe his child could be a bad seed. Night of the Living Dead is about how civilization breaks down internally under external pressure. Jaws is about a man confronting his fears as much as it is a geek show about a killer fish. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre… okay, well that’s about a guy in a flesh mask carving up human meat, but it’s a film whose classic status rests on the fact that it’s a work of great craft and dark humor with not-to-subtle social commentary.
The point is, all the people who made these great works of commercial and artistic horror are locked into horror history. But many of these auteurs also made other kinds of films that didn’t rely on torrents of gore and abstract, supernatural frissons and many of them are among their makers best works, despite the fact that most of these pictures made only a fraction of the money their gruesome counterparts made, thus dooming these artists to the “horror ghetto” forever.
Here, we look at 8 major names in horror who also made at least one non-horror film that, despite its quality, never sits high on their respective resumes, for whatever reason.