PAN'S LABYRINTH, (aka EL LABERINTO DEL FAUNO), director Guillermo del Toro, Doug Jones, on set, 2006. ©Picturehouse/courtesy Everett Collection
With the exception of pornographers, no breed of filmmaker is more pigeonholed than horror directors. It takes incredible skill and oodles of talent to convince Hollywood brass that you have what it takes to tell a story that doesn't involve ten gallons of blood once you've established yourself in the genre.
Sometimes it happens, though, and in an even rarer occurrence it yields truly top-notch movies. A few of the directors on this list never totally made it out of the horror ghetto (and maybe they didn't want to!), but they all proved they could handle storytelling driven neither by stabbings or zombies, be they thrillers, superhero epics, or straight-up comedies.

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