'The Lighthouse' Director Robert Eggers Reveals the Horror Films That Influenced Him

Robert Eggers burst onto the scene with The Witch and changed the way we view mermaids with The Lighthouse. Check out the scary movies that influenced him! 

Robert Eggers has now ruined mermaids, goats, and lobsters for us. But we still love him. 

His pure cinematic voice has risen out of the arthouse arena and is doing well by horrifying people on the big and small screens. Eggers recently did an AMA with Reddit where he listed the movies that influenced him -- along with answering other pertinent questions.

Check out Egger's full Reddit Q&A here! We'll talk about a few answers after the jump!

Robert Eggers was super generous with his answers. These are the highlights:

So many stories we read involve kismet or recommendations, it's nice to see that someone applied, was hired, kicked ass, and got more work. I love that there wasn't anything that wowed Eggers about Korven except his talent and skill. 

It's nice to see someone who works hard getting ahead and being credited. Another thing I liked was how Eggers talked about working in horror, but not being defined by it. 

We often want directors to deliver something similar to what we love over and over again. To sustain a career, however, you have to have the willingness to branch out. That being said, it would be very cool to see Eggers tackle vampires. Speaking of...

Back to my original point, we are more than just the genres we work in.

Not many know of Eggers' past experience in theater. It's fun to see how his early jobs help build what we see today. 

Knowing how to talk to actors is the most important part of directing. Control of the set is crucial. Keeping an environment where people are happy and ready to give their all can help foster something intangible that hits the screen. 

One of the old directing adages is "Don't work with children and don't work with animals." Eggers did both. And it was hard. 

Lastly, Eggers got his start in the industry on Sesame Street

Also, check out his link to Brothers. Very cool! 

Now, let's get to the moment you have all been waiting for...Eggers's list of the horror movies that influenced him. 

What are Robert Eggers picks? 

  • Nosferatu, Murnau, 1922
  • The Shining, Kubrick, 1980
  • Possession, Żuławski, 1981
  • Alien, Scott, 1979
  • Psycho, Hitchcock, 1960
  • The Innocents, Clayton, 1961
  • The Piano Teacher, Haneke, 2001
  • Cries & Whispers, Bergman, 1972
  • The Tenant, Polanski, 1976
  • Angst, Gerald Kargl, 1983
  • Rosemary’s Baby, Polanski, 1968
  • Onibaba, Kaneto Shindo, 1965
  • Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Wiene, 1920
  • The Devil, Żuławski, 1972
  • Hour of the Wolf, Bergman, 1968
  • Blue Velvet, Lynch, 1986
  • Lost Highway, Lynch, 1997
  • Mulholland Drive, Lynch, 2001
  • Twentynine Palms, Bruno Dumont, 2003
  • The Exorcist, Friedkin, 1973
  • Don’t Look Now, Roeg, 1973
  • The Birds, Hitchcock, 1963
  • Fall of the House of Usher, Epstein, 1928
  • Repulsion, Polanski, 1965
  • The Hunger, Tony Scott, 1983
  • Häxan, Benjamin Christensen, 1922

What's next? Read 80 Horror Screenplays for Free

From The Shining to Scream, Reddit user Bjiorn Black comprised a list of over 80 horror scripts to download for free. What a gem! 

I came across this Reddit Screenwriting thread from Bjorn Black that had 80+ of the best horror scripts in a Google drive. This seemed like something excellent for our readers to check out. 

I don't want to bog you down with a long intro, so just dive in!      

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Your Comment


Horror film is a genre that aims to create a sense of fear, panic, alarm, and dread for the audience. These films are often unsettling and rely on scaring the audience through a portrayal of their worst fears and nightmares. Horror films usually center on the arrival of an evil force, person, or event.

October 31, 2019 at 3:14AM

Millie Allen

The Piano Teacher is a horror film?

October 31, 2019 at 8:34AM


Nope. But if you didn't go to film school you wouldn't know LOL

October 31, 2019 at 10:25AM

Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer

Am I the only one who didn't like The Lighthouse? What's is the movie telling you? I loved The Witch.

October 31, 2019 at 10:24AM

Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer


November 4, 2019 at 6:07AM

John Buster