Born: September 7, 1940
Most Frightening Movies: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), Deep Red (1975), Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980), Tenebre (1982)
Why He Scares Us: The so-called “Italian Hitchcock” makes horror movies unlike any other. His movies are renowned for their inventive, sinuous camerawork, elaborate, intense set pieces that build to acts of graphic violence and strange, unreal atmospheres in which everything seems dream-like and slightly illogical. Argento’s movies are beautiful nightmares—colorful yet grim, stylish yet brutal. With their odd acting, blaring soundtracks (usually by long-time collaborators, Goblin) and shocking violence, his movies take place in a surreal otherworld, one in which Argento is the demonic puppet master, pulling the strings of eager-to-be scared horror fans all over the world.
Quotable: “I’m scared by the things that happen on the street—the real things. The others [on film] are just fantasies… I’m scared much more by what I see in life than movies.”