top of page


THIS SPRING, courtesy of Shudder and Vertigo Releasing, two titans of 21st-century British horror return to the genre they carved their names in. CHRISTOPHER SMITH (Creep) delivers a haunted house mystery with a difference in THE BANISHING, while fellow filmmaker NEIL MARSHALL (Dog Soldiers) directs the rip-roaring witchunting chiller THE RECKONING.

Here’s a look at the horror careers of these two acclaimed directors, whose subject matter often overlapped, and whose stirling filmographies - featuring werewolves, plague victims, subterranean creatures, hooded killers and more - show just why they were the reigning UK kings of genre cinema in the noughties, all set to reclaim that status with their splendid new releases.


At the turn of the century the horror genre was seriously in need of some new blood, so to speak… it didn’t need to wait long. First came Neil Marshall’s fantastic twist on the werewolf film, DOG SOLDIERS, in 2002, the marvellously gruesome and often hilarious account of a group of squaddies out on manoeuvres in the Scottish Highlands, who run into some seriously scary beasties. The low budget film was a huge box office hit and has become a firm fan favourite (with rumours of a sequel in the works), and proved to be one hell of a calling card for Marshall.

In 2004 Christopher Smith wrote and directed the nasty shocker CREEP, putting Franka Potente (Run Lola Run) front and centre as a woman stuck in the tunnels of the London Underground, pursued by something you really wouldn’t want to meet in the dark. Run Franka, run!


In 2004 Marshall wrote and directed THE DESCENT, a nerve-rattling horror about a group of female cavers who run up against a gaggle of fearsome underground ‘crawlers’ (perhaps the country cousins of the creature from CREEP). It made an eye-watering forty million pounds at the box office, spawned a sequel, and prompted none other than Jeremy Clarkson to declare that it was ‘the scariest film ever made’! Marshall had well and truly arrived.