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‘Halloween’ Director David Gordon Green Reveals His Favorite Horror Movie: ‘The Night of the Hunter’

Michael Nordine

It should come as little surprise that David Gordon Green has strong thoughts on the horror genre, given that he directed the latest “Halloween” movie. The chameleonic filmmaker, who made a name for himself with indies like “George Washington” and “All the Real Girls” before going on to helm the likes of “Pineapple Express” and “Our Brand Is Crisis,” was asked to name his favorite horror movie by Entertainment Weekly. His answer? Charles Laughton’s brilliant “The Night of the Hunter,” the only film he ever directed.

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“’Night of the Hunter’ is the film from my youth that really opened the door,” Green said. “That was a stepping stone into the more gratuitous genre horror. I guess you’d probably call it more of a thriller, but that was a movie that really affected me in terms of everything from the music and songs Robert Mitchum’s character would sing, and Charles Laughton’s amazing camerawork. It got under my skin, it really disturbed me as a kid, and then I used that as a stepping stone into more obvious genre work.”

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He has other favorites as well, of course. “I mean, ‘Halloween’ was shortly thereafter. ‘The Shining’ was shortly thereafter,” Green added in the interview. “These are the films that I really discovered in the mid-’80s when I was probably a little too young to be processing it, and then a little too excited about the disturbing images that were making their way into my subconscious.”

Green’s own disturbing images have been met with largely favorable reviews and is expected to make beaucoup bucks this weekend, with box-office predictors estimating that it’ll gross as much as $75 million over its first three days.

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