Born: December 22, 1917
Died: March 17, 2007
Most Frightening Movies: Paranoiac (1963), Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Creeping Flesh (1973)
Why He Scares Us: Francis directed many stylish, gothic horror movies for Hammer Film Productions, a highly successful British horror production company from the 1950s-1970s, as well as their rival, Amicus Productions. While his work, much of it starring genre legends Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, might seem restrained compared to today’s horror movies, Francis creates an undeniably creepy atmosphere vastly more effective than filling the screen with gallons of gore. In addition to his prolific career as a horror moviemaker, Francis is also an Oscar-winning cinematographer. The critically acclaimed movies he’s shot include: The Innocents (1961), The Elephant Man (1980), Glory (1989) and Cape Fear (1991).