Born: April 18, 1972
Most Frightening Movies: Cabin Fever (2002), Hostel (2005), Hostel: Part II (2007), Grindhouse (2007) (fake trailer segment “Thanksgiving”)
Why He Scares Us: After years of working in film and theater production, Eli Roth won the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films’ Filmmaker’s Showcase Award for his first movie, Cabin Fever, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2002. It was released in theaters the following year and became one of the most successful independently-financed feature releases of 2003. The movie also won him critical acclaim from such influential directors as Peter Jackson and Tobe Hooper. Roth went on to direct and produce Hostel, one of the most famously brutal, violent horror movies to come out of Hollywood in recent decades. This young director, who has been called “the future of horror” by friend and frequent collaborator Quentin Tarantino, still has a long career ahead of him to thrill and chill audiences and shake up the horror genre.
Quotable: “In addition to the films from the 1970s, I grew up with the horror films and the teenage sex comedies of the early 1980s: Films like The Burning, The Last American Virgin and My Bloody Valentine. Those films had lots of nudity and that’s what I wanted in my film, just in terms of not wanting to be formulaic. I wanted to show the audience everything I could. It goes back to the idea of the film being funny and scary. Some people think it’s more funny than scary and vice versa.”