Directors Who Made One Horror Film & Then Quit


Making a horror movie isn’t always the most pleasant experience. Whether it’s the fact that the whole ordeal is mentally draining or the fact that movie studios don’t usually throw the big budgets at horror movies, it’s hard to find a story of a horror movie that got made without loads of problems behind the scenes.

Knowing that, it’s only natural that some directors would tip their pinky toe into the world of horror movies and then just walk away forever. Let’s take a look at some.

Tomas Alfredson – Let The Right One In (2008)

Right in the middle of all the Twilight craze there was this Swedish movie that suddenly took over the entire horror movie scene. And while the movie turned out to be one of the best vampire movies of its time, Alfredson never did come back to horror. In fact, he didn’t make the movie for the horror but because he was intrigued by the human struggles of the book’s protagonist Oskar.

Thomas Alfredson- Let the Right One In | Directors Who Made One Horror Film & Then Quit | Zestradar

James Gunn – Slither (2006)

While there are horror movies that James Gunn has written after the infamous Slither, he’s never actually directed a second one. It was his directorial debut and despite not tanking at the box office, it wasn’t very well-received by critics. I guess that now that he’s done the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and is helming the entire DCEU, he’s fine with not revisiting his Slither days.

James Gunn – Slither | Directors Who Made One Horror Film & Then Quit | Zestradar

Stephen King – Maximum Overdrive (1986)

If you’re the biggest name in horror books, you’re going to try your hand at making a horror movie sooner or later, right? While the premise of Maximum Overdrive wasn’t exactly bad, King was far too inexperienced in the world of cinema to create anything decent, leading to a movie that completely tanked and made King realize that maybe he should stick to writing instead.

Stephen King – Maximum Overdrive  | Directors Who Made One Horror Film & Then Quit | Zestradar

Stanley Kubrick – The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick didn’t need to build his career on this horror movie, and it wasn’t really something a lot of people would’ve associated with him before making The Shining. While the movie was a masterpiece in itself, Kubrick never returned to horror movies afterwards. 

Stanley Kubrick – The Shining  | Directors Who Made One Horror Film & Then Quit | Zestradar

David Fincher – Alien 3 (1992)

While Alien 3 was certainly an iconic movie, it wasn’t a very good one. It was David Fincher’s directorial debut and he was constantly at odds with the producers, leaving us with a hot mess that makes nobody happy. Fincher has even gone so far as to “disown” the movie.

David Fincher – Alien 3 | Directors Who Made One Horror Film & Then Quit | Zestradar

Jonathan Demme – Silence of the Lambs (1991)

If you’re going to make an iconic horror movie that wins five Academy Awards, there’s no reason to not join in for the sequel, right? Well, apparently Jonathan Demme was disturbed by some of the extreme content in the sequel book, Hannibal, leading to him turning his back on the series. Demme has not gone back to directing a horror movie since.

Jonathan Demme – Silence of the Lambs | Directors Who Made One Horror Film & Then Quit | Zestradar