Horror Western Directors to Watch


The rise of Edgy Westerns recently makes me yearn for a good Horror Western, but there are so few Horror Western directors that we can only speculate who might be willing and able to take up the mantle (and produce something amazing *claps hands excitedly* *apologises*)

So lets take a look at the few who have given us a Horror Western before we get down on our knees to those we wish would!

Horror Western Movies and their Directors

First and foremost is the director of Bone Tomahawk, the most recent of the Horror Westerns to wet our appetites (?), S. Craig Zahler. With only two directing credits he can take his career in any direction, I won’t argue if that happens to be onto more Horror Westerns, in fact I encourage him to do this. If only to satiate my own need for this sub-genre. 

Now the hard part about this post is the ability to find movies in this genre that weren’t made pre 2000. And whilst I love pre 2000 Horror Westerns (like Grim Prairie Tales) I want new ones to watch!

But there are a few…

Alex Turner produced Dead Birds in 2004 which found confederate soldiers facing supernatural forces. Jimmy Hayward who directed Jonah Hex (yes it’s debatable whether or not this is a Horror Western, some say it is, some say it isn’t, and I’m including it because I liked it). Then there’s Gallowwalkers directed by Andrew Goth and staring Wesley Snipes. And Dead in Tombstone directed by Roel Reiné and starring Danny Trejo. 

Of course there are others, but some are questionable at best and a lot seem to involve zombies…I feel zombies have had their day. In fact, they’ve had more than their day, they died and came back for more days – kinda milkin’ it don’t ya think?

Time for something new – bigger – better! But who could possibly direct a star filled, blockbusting, Horror Western?

horror western

Directors we wish to beg on our knees in front of…

or at least send them a nice pleading letter – it probably stands more chance of getting there. I mean, I get it, It’s a tiny little niche and there are probably very few people writing scripts in this genre (or if they are they’re getting added to the wrong pile). And there are some high standards to be upheld – I mean, it’s got to have the grittiness of a Western, the fear inducing terror of a Horror, and believability. That last parts the hardest for a Horror Western I think.

Now whilst Tarantino has recently produced the splendiferous [The] Hateful Eight, it wasn’t strictly speaking a Horror. And the thing is, Tarantino kinda has his own genre. They might have been influenced by a number of films, and books from way back when but his mixing and re-imagining has put him in a league of his own. The second of two bloody Westerns he’s made, and I hear whispers that he might make his next (last? – not sure I believe he’ll stop) a Western too. Do we want him to make it a Horror Western? Nope! We want him to make it a Tarantino in all it’s technicolor glory.

So what about Eli Roth? Well, personally (and even though he’s done a couple of period movies) I think he’s a more modern guy. Tackling issues, occurrences, and fears that are relative to today’s society – but I’d love him to prove me wrong!

Who else could be in with a shot? – Anyone else considering Tim Burton?

Hmmm, well he has given us some exceptional movies and does lean towards dark and weird. It could work. I mean there was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter & Sleepy Hollow (horses, before technology of the electrical devices kind, although not strictly a western). I definitely think that would be an epic Horror Western…but it might loose the grittiness of traditional Westerns…

Maybe John Carpenter could finally combine his Horror movies with the Westerns he originally wanted to make? His films have always had a kind of grittiness to them and as he’s not as dead as the reports of May 2016 suggested he might be up for it?

Or what about Sam Raimi? He’s done Westerns and Horrors, in fact he’s quite good at both…maybe…

But what I’d really like to see is a younger director with big ideas take hold of this beast and break it to ride!

Perhaps James Wan or James Gunn (sorry, I love Guardians of the Galaxy, I dreamt I was Groot, weird I know) or maybe even the Soska Sisters – that would be a little different.

Who would you like to see direct a new Horror Western?