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Horror Movie Directors Now Dominating the World of Superheroes

By Dustin Rowles | DC Movies | June 4, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | DC Movies | June 4, 2015 |

Before Guillermo del Toro tackled the Hellboy films (or even Blade II, if you want to count that), he was better known for his horror films, Cronos, Mimic, and The Devil’s Backbone. In fact, the director of Pan’s Labyrinth is still probably best known for his work in the horror genre, having created The Strain and produced some of the most popular horror films of the last decade (Mama, The Orphanage and Splice.

Meanwhile, the director of Guardians of the Galaxy and its forthcoming sequel, James Gunn, broke out with his brilliant horror-comedy Slither, after having began his movie career working for Troma (and writing Tromeo and Juliet) (he also co-wrote the book, All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger).

Sam Raimi was arguably one of the the best horror movie directors of the 80s — Evil Dead, Evil Dead II — before he tackled the superhero action film Darkman and later the Spider-Man movies (before returning to his horror roots with Drag Me to Hell.

Zack Snyder may be the director behind Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman, but even before Watchmen, Snyder made a name for himself by directing the phenomenal Dawn of the Dead remake.

And while Joss Whedon was better known for the Buffy the Vampire television series before The Avengers, he also wrote the screenplay for the original horror-ish movie, and he also penned Cabin in the Woods before directing the first Avengers movie. (He also wrote Alien: Resurrection.

And now, James Wan — best known before Furious 7 for directing the first three Saw movies and the Insidious films (as well as Dead Silence) actually might make for a very suitable director for Aquaman, as was announced yesterday. The director — who will next direct Conjuring II — actually makes perfect sense for the dark, humorless D.C. comics universe, and maybe he — and Jason Momoa — can bring a dark edge to a character considered laughable by some (and by “some” I mean “me.”)

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.