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Robert Eggers’ favourite horror movies of all time

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Mon 4 December 2023 14:00, UK

Robert Eggers may only have three feature films under his belt, but he has already established himself as one of the most exciting filmmakers on the market. With their overwhelming folkloric influences, ambiguous endings and the presence of several frequent collaborators, each project feels unmistakably like an Eggers film. He gives viewers a different, equally rewarding viewing experience every single time.

His most recent film, The Northman, was a rage-filled, hauntingly intense revenge epic set in Viking times. The picture really felt like a Norse legend come to life, and this excellent movie, which undeservedly bombed at the box office, was a satisfying display of Eggers exploring new genres while still exploring folklore and mythology like his previous efforts. Nonetheless, he is still most closely associated with the horror genre – and not without reason.

The 2016 movie The Witch and The Lighthouse, which followed three years later, remain two of the finest horror films of the past ten years. They are very different as movies – The Witch is a restrained, dread-laced slow-burn horror that quietly destroys the viewer. The Lighthouse, meanwhile, is a maximalist, demented and brilliantly insane swing for the fences that terrifies from start to finish. Nonetheless, both are equally great, and both also have outstanding visuals, mesmerising performances, and rich historical detail.

Thanks to the passion and creativity running through every frame of both of those movies, it is easy to see just how much love Eggers has for this particular genre, and he also displayed this enthusiasm when asked, as part of a Reddit Q&A, to reveal a selection of his favourite movies.

His list of favourites was strikingly eclectic and diverse. The films selected range from beloved and famous classics to obscure cult faves, from German expressionism to Japanese horror, from Alfred Hitchcock to David Lynch, from tales of demonic possession to terrifying descents into madness. With directors like Eggers behind the camera, the genre’s resurgence in recent years only looks set to continue.

It’s also striking that one of the first films Eggers mentions is 1922’s Nosferatu; after all, his next directional effort – to be released in 2024 – will be a remake of that very film, a long-gestating passion project for Eggers that will reunite him with several past collaborators, including Willem Dafoe and Ralph Ineson.

See the full list below.

Robert Eggers’ favourite horror movies:

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