What Spooks the Masters of Horror?

I recently came across an article published by Jason Zinoman of the NY Times discussing what makes horror fans and horror directors tick. With the increasing number of horror films that have been packed into the theater this summer, especially this month, its clear that horror movies have been in the mainstream eye a bit more so than usual. However, to many of us seasoned horror fans, we've seen so many throat slashing, stabbing and torture scenes that it takes a lot to truly scare us. With all that horror directors have seen and done with their own films, they are no different. The NY Times takes a look at a very diverse group of horror directors and explores the challenges they face in coming up with what makes a horror film truly scary. Mr. Zinoman polls 12 different horror directors (James Gunn, Ti West and Herschell Gordon Lewis to name a few) on what has been the scariest movies they've ever seen. Their answers differ from horror classics to gritty grindhouse type films but it's clear that they are all passionate about the genre and the movies that inspire them.

Stanley Kubrick’s absolute control over the medium turns his rock-solid framing and tense timing into real weapons pointed directly at the unsuspecting audience of “The Shining.” No one has ever used the Steadicam as perfectly as he did in the tracking shots behind Danny Torrance’s tricycle. He uses the soundtrack brilliantly, fusing concrete music with sound effects and score to unsettle and position the uber-mannered, hyper-real performances of his actors. And, refreshingly, Kubrick is not above moments of Grand Guignol: the elevator doors spilling blood, the axe on the chest, the Grady twins bathed in blood or the old undead crone festering in the bathtub. He proves that great horror can be both shocking and a highly artistic endeavor. - Guillermo Del Toro

You can view the full article along with a supporting video featuring scenes from some of the horror movies mentioned by the directors at the NY Times Official Site. Take a look and feel free to chime in on the movies that you've found truly scary over the years.

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