Werner Herzog: The images found in vampire films have a quality beyond our usual experiences in the cinema. For me genre means an intensive, almost dreamlike, stylization of screen, and I feel the vampire genre is one of the richest and most fertile cinema has to offer. There is fantasy, hallucination, dreams and nightmares, visions, fear and, of course, mythology… For me, Nosferatu is the greatest of all German films…
Jacques Tourneur: Nothing is more fantastic than the human brain. Fear, horror, terror are in us. Rightly or wrongly, we all carry in us a feeling of guilt. Cruelty flows in our blood, even if we have learned to master it… Now, a good horror film is one that best awakens our old dormant instincts.
John Carpenter: Horror films are a universal genre in that they appeal to the entire world. Whereas, say comedy, that doesn’t really travel sometimes. But horror does. What scares somebody here in Los Angeles probably scares somebody in Hong Kong. People have tried for years to think ‘what is it that scares people and I’ll make a movie about that.’ Well, it’s not that simple… The question is: what is it that you have as a storyteller? What do you have to give to the audience that makes your story compelling?
Kiyoshi Kurosawa: I find ghosts in Japanese horror much more terrifying. In the standard American Horror canon, because a ghost violently attacks you or comes after you, at least you have the chance to fight back. And what you’re fighting for is the idea that you can beat the bad thing and go back to the good old days when you were peaceful and happy and there weren’t any ghosts hanging around. But if they don’t attack you then the best you can do is figure out a way to co-exist with them. I find the idea that one just has to live with this thing much more terrifying. You have no chances of running away or fighting it; you’re stuck with it forever.