13 Horror Filmmaking Duos
Article By: Tyler Doupe
Getting a feature film made today is not easy. If you work outside the studio system (as most genre filmmakers do) it is increasingly difficult to find financing and get a project off the ground. Once you do get a project greenlit, there is the whole conundrum of it still being physically impossible to be in two places at the same time. Those are just a few of the reasons why sometimes, two heads are better than one. Feature filmmakers who regularly collaborate and share a single creative vision are becoming more and more common. In the past ten years, many of my favorite genre pics have been the result of double-teaming.
Today we are spotlighting some of our favorite creative duos and looking back at some of their best collaborative efforts. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on our Facebook Page.
1. Jen and Sylvia Soska
The Twisted Twins hit the ground running with their micro-budget success story, Dead Hooker in a Trunk. And they haven’t looked back since its release. I am increasingly impressed with each of their continued efforts and cannot wait to see what they do with their upcoming remake of David Cronenberg’s Rabid. They proved with American Mary that they had a knack for body horror with American Mary and I do not expect their latest effort to disappoint.
2. Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett
Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard are a very talented writer/director team. They blow my mind (almost) every time they release a new film. I didn’t think it could get better than You’re Next. And then I saw The Guest. They are always pushing themselves and I am always surprised by their trajectory. Granted, Blair Witch was a bit of a misstep but even that held my attention and was (at some points) demonstrative of their incredible talent. I am anxiously awaiting their remake of I Saw the Devil.
3. Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer
Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer’s Starry Eyes landed squarely in my top five films of 2014. It was completely unexpected and it succeeded at both entertaining and providing a commentary on life in Hollywood and the price one pays for fame. The pair also collaborated on the Valentine’s Day segment in the horror anthology Holidays. And they co-directed an episode of Scream: The TV Series as well. I am anxious to see what they do next.
4. Danny Pang and Oxide Chun Pang
The Pang brothers have a great eye (no pun intended) for visual effects and cinematography. They are responsible for the action film Bangkok Dangerous and The Eye and its sequels. They’ve had some misses but when they get it right, they really nail it. I am very much looking forward to seeing what’s up next for the pair.
5. Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan
I really like Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. They are down-to-earth guys and it is obvious that they have fun making movies together. I am a die-hard fan of both The Collector films as well as several of their other filmmaking efforts. I am really bummed that their takes on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Halloween were nixed. They would have brought great creative energy to both of those projects.
6. Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier
I know that their films may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love Todd Farmer and Patrick Lussier. They collaborated on Jason X, My Bloody Valentine 3-D, and the tragically underrated Drive Angry. Unfortunately, Drive Angry and Jason X didn’t really resonate with moviegoers upon release. However, they have both found an audience on home video. And that gives me hope that this pair will have the occasion to work together again.
7. Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard
Mike Flanagan and his writing partner Jeff Howard have been responsible for several spooky tales of terror that truly prove two heads are better than one. The pair co-wrote Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil together. And they also have a series of exciting projects in development, including a redux of the ‘90s slasher picture, I Know What You Did Last Summer.
8. Ben Wheatley & Amy Jump
Husband and wife team Ben Wheatley Amy Jump have been behind several standout releases in the past several years. From Kill List to Sightseers and High Rise, the pair is on a roll. Wheatley is at the helm of the three aforementioned titles and Jump has written or co-written each of them. Working with a spouse can be a challenge but these two make it work and the proof is in the results. I am eagerly anticipating their latest effort Freakshift.
9. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead burst onto the scene with their feature film debut Resolution and have continued to deliver impressive results ever since. The duo has since collaborated on a segment for V/H/S Viral as well as their critically acclaimed horror love story Spring. I am very much looking forward to their upcoming projects The Endless and Beasts.
10. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Filmmakers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg singlehandedly defined the rom-zom-com subgenre with their collaborative efforts on Sean of the Dead. The duo then went on to co-write the screenplay for the genre bending Hot Fuzz. Most recently, the pair co-wrote the screenplay for the 2013 film The World’s End. Their next collaboration is sure to be epic.
11. Lottie Pharriss Knowles and John Knowles
Husband and wife filmmakers John V. Knowles and Lotti Pharriss Knowles teamed up for the bitingly funny horror comedy Chastity Bites. It was perfectly summed up by Film Threat as taking a John Hughes high school world and putting a decidedly black spin on it. Lotti Pharriss Knowles penned the screenplay for the flick and John Knowles was at the helm. Their combined efforts led to a feature film that flips the paradigm and sees its antagonist targeting virgins. No word on what their next combined effort will be but I’m sure it will be worthy of note.
12. James Wan and Leigh Whannell
James Wan and Leigh Whannell have teamed up to create some of the most suspenseful and terrifying films in recent memory. They have been behind the launch of the Saw franchise, the Insidious series, and the underrated feature Dead Silence. The pair has taken on a variety of roles throughout their collaborative history. Both have helmed installments in the Insidious franchise and both have been involved with the screenwriting process behind several of their feature film efforts. In addition, Wan and Whannell have both executive produced multiple entries in the Saw series.
13. Neveldine and Taylor
It’s safe to say that the filmmaking efforts of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are not for everyone. But I certainly enjoy their work. I admire both Crank and its sequel, Crank 2. Hell, I even enjoyed the critically derided Gamer. Their neo-grindhouse filmmaking style is right up my alley. And I appreciate that the directorial duo does not seem to take themselves too seriously. They appear to have branched out on their own for the time being but I am looking forward to their next collaborative outing.