"When you're talking horror or sci-fi, you're working in a genre that has loosely certain thematic elements, or, you could even call them rules. But rules are there to be broken. I think that young filmmakers should go all the way back to the history of horror, from silent films like "Nosferatu", and through to today's horror films, so they understand the history of horror films and what has been done. Understand that, and then add something new or original."
Yes, don't just watch recent movies. And don't just watch movies. (A form of cultural illiteracy.)