Age: 29
Notable films: Afterschool (2008), Simon Killer (2013)

Two films into his career, writer/director Antonio Campos has established himself the independent scene's resident Dr. Feel Bad. Devoid of any warmth, his pair of downers make for a traumatic double feature.

Afterschool is the kind of teenager-drive film that'll make you want to home-school your future progeny; in it, Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) plays an Internet-obsessed, antisocial high schooler who films two female peers overdosing on drugs, which, of course, doesn't exactly lead to any Can't Hardly Wait-esque joy. Released earlier this year, Campos' follow-up, Simon Killer, depicts an even less comprehensible protagonist (portrayed by actor Brady Corbet) embarking on a one-man mission to ruin people's lives—and, as a result, discover his fondness for murder—while on a solo vacation in Paris.

Campos' brand of filmmaking isn't all that inviting, but that's the point. He's a provocateur in the vein of Roman Polanski and Lars von Trier, directors who care less about accessibility and more about stylish and narratively uncompromising darkness. —MB