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David Bruckner’s Movies, Ranked From Worst To Best – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

David Bruckner’s Movies, Ranked From Worst To Best



David Bruckner is a horror film director who rose to fame with his segment “Amateur Night” from the anthology movie V/H/S, which later became a full-length feature film. Although he made a name for himself with short films and segments in horror anthologies, Bruckner has shown signs of moving beyond the horror genre.

His feature-length films, which include literary adaptations, original concepts, and franchise reboots, demonstrate that he is on his way to becoming one of the most respected and reliable names in the horror genre. One of his most notable works is SiREN, a full-length feature film based on his “Amateur Night” segment in V/H/S. Although not technically directed by Bruckner, he was heavily involved in the making of the film.

The Signal, a 2007 horror anthology film written and directed by Bruckner, Dan Bush, and Jacob Gentry, is a remarkable movie that combines elements of psychological horror, dark comedy, splatter, and a post-apocalyptic love story. The film’s three interconnected chapters are presented as transmissions, each following a different character, though they often intersect.

“The Accident,” Bruckner’s segment in the surreal horror anthology film Southbound, is another standout work. The segment follows a man who hits a woman with his car and goes on a bizarre journey to try to save her life. It is a gory and entrancing movie that showcases Bruckner’s creative control.

Bruckner’s first full-length feature film, The Ritual, is based on the novel of the same name by Adam Nevill. The movie follows four friends on a camping trip in the forests of Sweden that goes horribly wrong. The film features excellent creature design, a beautifully spooky atmosphere, and engaging storytelling.

Bruckner’s Hellraiser reboot successfully elevated numerous aspects of the franchise, delivering intense drama from the characters and meticulously crafted sequences of extreme gore involving the demonic Cenobites, who claim new victims through a mysterious puzzle box.

Finally, The Night House, Bruckner’s second feature-length movie as a director, is his most understated and least violent to date. The movie follows a newly widowed school teacher played by Rebecca Hall as she seeks answers regarding her late husband’s secrets. The monster at the heart of the movie is defined by its literal formlessness, allowing for complex and specific concepts to play out in the place of a narrative defined by its kill count.

In conclusion, David Bruckner is a talented horror film director who has produced several remarkable works, each showcasing his unique creative vision and storytelling skills.

David Bruckner is a successful but still up-and-coming director in the horror industry who first achieved widespread acclaim for the segment “Amateur Night” from the anthology movie V/H/Swhich was later adapted into a full-length film. As he first gained notoriety for his short films and segments within horror anthology films before moving on to features, Bruckner is perhaps not known by name, but his work has certainly become well-known in recent years.


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Though he gained fame among horror fans relatively early on in his directing career, Bruckner hasn’t squandered his talents and has even shown signs that he’s ready to move beyond the horror genre soon. From literary adaptation to an original concept to a franchise reboot, the feature-length David Bruckner movies all show that the director is on a clear path to becoming one of the most respected and reliable names within the horror genre.

8 SiREN (2016)

The creature looks down at a man in SiREN

SiREN is the full-length feature film based on Bruckner’s “Amateur Night” segment in V/H/S. While SiREN was not technically directed by David Bruckner, he was heavily involved in the making of the film, including developing the screenplay alongside writers Luke Piotrowski and Ben Collins. Released in 2016, three years after V/H/S, SiREN follows the story of a bachelor party who are led to a seedy underground club where they get more than they bargained for when the man of the hour releases a woman who isn’t quite what she seems.

Despite being based on a highly popular short, SiREN suffers from an underdeveloped plot and a lack of character complexity. While it’s not a horrible film by any means, it’s middling and doesn’t deliver what audiences would expect from a film like this: more backstory and exposition on the siren creature from V/H/S. It introduces an interesting premise with a supernatural-run underground club that trades in memories, but there’s not enough about either it or the siren to really satisfy.

7 Talk Show (2011)

The host and a guest face to face in Talk Show

Made in 2011, the twenty-five-minute film Talk Show explores a sinister talk show host, an advanced interrogation machine, and the bizarre talk show in which this man psychologically tortures and abuses a family in front of a live studio audience.

Described as Harold Pinter’s classic play, One for the Roadmixed with cable news and The Running Man, Talk Show is certainly an interesting premise and one that’s very powerful, but it doesn’t deliver enough on the characters to create that emotional punch Bruckner is looking for. The host is effective and there are definitely some aspects of the totalitarian state and sensational media that ring true to current events in a terrifying way, but the film suffers from its length. More detail and characterization would help the audience connect with the family and make their plight that much more gut-wrenching, but as is, Talk Show falls a little flat.

6 The Signal (2007) – “Transmission 1: Crazy in Love”

Anessa Ramsey in a hallway in The Signal

The Signal is a 2007 horror anthology film written and directed by independent filmmakers David Bruckner, Dan Bush, and Jacob Gentry. The story is told in three parts, following three major characters as they navigate a strange apocalypse caused by a mysterious signal that causes people to hallucinate and become violent.

The film’s three interconnected chapters are presented as transmissions, each following a different character, though they often intersect. Aside from the overall sub-genre of psychological horror, the film also combines elements of dark comedy, splatter, and a post-apocalyptic love story. It’s a very good movie. It doesn’t have a lot of production value and was made by new filmmakers, but it’s impressive for what it is; really, it only suffers from being less great than some of Bruckner’s other offerings.

5 V/H/S (2012) – “Amateur Night”

The Siren's true face in V/H/S

The beloved horror short that spurred the rest of David Bruckner’s directing career, “Amateur Night” is the first segment outside of the framing story in the 2012 found footage anthology horror film, V/H/S. The segment follows three friends: Shane, Clint, and Patrick, who have rented a motel room and outfitted Clint’s glasses with a hidden camera in order to have sex with women and turn their planned encounter into an amateur adult film. Instead, one of the women they bring back turns out to be a demonic creature who kills all three men.

Related: All The V/H/S Movies Ranked, Worst To Best

The entrancing siren character is played by Hannah Fierman, who would go on to reprise the role in SiREN. A large part of the film’s effect is Fierman’s unique look, but the writing and cinematography are also highly effective. Since the audience doesn’t have to care about the characters for the story to be scary and interesting, this short works much better than the full-length film, and presents a great look at a really interesting creature design.

4 Southbound (2016) – “The Accident”

A skeleton creature attacks a man in Southbound

A highly creative and surreal horror anthology from Radio Silence, Southbound has a lot to offer, and David Bruckner’s segment, “The Accident”, is one of the best. It follows a man driving down a road in the middle of nowhere who hits a woman with his car. The segment then details the desperate, bizarre journey he goes on to try and save her life.

“The Accident” is entrancing, gory, and totally awesome, showing a striking difference from SiRENwhich was released the same year, presumably highlighting how well a story can be realized when Bruckner is allowed to have full creative control. All in all, “The Accident” is a great segment, giving the audience just enough to leave them wanting more.

3 The Ritual (2017)

A headless straw figure in The Ritual

David Bruckner’s first full-length feature as a director, The Ritual is based on the novel of the same name by British author, Adam Nevill. It follows four friends as they journey into the forests of Sweden for a yearly bonding retreat and subsequent camping trip that goes horribly wrong.

Though it gained distribution through Netflix, The Ritual remains an underrated gem and features a beautifully spooky atmosphere, excellent creature design, and a really engaging story. The characters are complex and believable, and there are some unique set pieces with Scandinavian culture and themes throughout the film. While the film showcases that Bruckner entered into the world of features with a huge amount of experience already under his belt, it would prove to be a stepping stone to even more ambitious works.

RELATED: The Ritual’s Creature Jötunn & Norse Mythology Origins Explained

2 Hellraiser (2022)

The Priest in Hellraiser 2022

A reboot of the long-running series of Hellraiser movies which began with Clive Barker’s original 1987 film of the same name, Bruckner’s Hellraiser had the task of breaking a long string of disappointing sequels in the franchise. Not only did Bruckner accomplish this, but he also successfully elevated numerous aspects of the franchise. The film delivers both intense drama from the characters and meticulously crafted sequences of extreme gore involving the franchise’s central group of villains, the demonic Cenobites, who claim a new batch of victims through a mysterious puzzle box that allows them to interact with the normal world.

Hellraiser is, in many respects, the natural place that a horror fan would expect to see Bruckner end up in today’s filmmaking landscape, with him making more mainstream movies in well-known franchises for bigger audiences, and he takes to it well. However, its ingenuity with gore and torture scenes can’t really compare to the subtler accomplishments of his previous feature film.

1 The Night House (2020)

Rebecca Hall touches her face in The Night House

David Bruckner’s second feature-length movie as a director is his most understated and least violent to date but has a distinct staying power that many of his other projects can’t quite match. While the siren from V/H/S quickly became cemented as one of the scariest movie monsters from the 2010s, the monster at the heart of The Night House is defined by its literal formlessness, allowing far more complex and specific concepts to play out in the place of a narrative defined by its kill count.

The film follows a newly widowed school teacher played by Rebecca Hall as, while desperate for answers regarding her late husband’s sudden death, she begins to experience paranormal events connected to the other side, which takes the form of a mirrored version of her home. Hall, who also served as an executive producer on the film, gives one of her finest performances as she moves through the stages of grief in the midst of an enveloping mystery that has numerous insights into depression and the philosophical questions that surround death. While David Bruckner has shown that he isn’t quite done with the horror genre, The Night House demonstrates that he could make the jump to drama in the future if he chooses to.

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