Age: 30
Notable films: Pop Skull (2007), A Horrible Way to Die (2010), V/H/S (2012), The ABCs of Death (2013), V/H/S/2 (2013), You're Next (2013)

If you're a regular visitor to film festivals like Sundance, SXSW, and Fantastic Fest, you should already be familiar with Adam Wingard.

Since making a name for himself amongst horror aficionados with the experimental and impressively ambitious Pop Skull in 2007, the Alabama-born Wingard has been a frequent contributor to festival lineups, particularly their midnight screenings. In 2010, he and filmmaking partner Simon Barrett (the screenwriter to Wingard's behind-the-camera man) reinvented the serial killer film with A Horrible Way to Die, a disturbing look at how a woman (played by Amy Seimetz) deals with knowing that her ex (AJ Bowen) is a Ted Bundy-esque mass murderer. Wingard left that film's coldness behind for more balls-out anarchy in the found-footage anthologies V/H/S and V/H/S/2, both of which he co-directed and executive produced.

Yet none of those films are as creatively triumphant as You're Next, the one-time indie film festival favorite that was picked up by Lionsgate and, if all goes well, could turn Wingard and his fellow indie pals into box office champions. Part home invasion thriller and part slasher movie, You're Next is funny, clever, and engineered to entertain popcorn-devouring audiences. It's pure, crowd-pleasing genre movie bliss. —MB