Notable films: Merantau (2009), The Raid: Redemption (2012), V/H/S/2 (2013)
At this point, Welsh writer-director Gareth Huw Evans might as well be a genre film demigod. He's given both action heads and horror die-hards some of the best filmmaking they've seen in, well, lord knows how long.
Last year, Evans' The Raid: Redemption kicked, punched, and wall-flipped its way into the action movie history books. There's no CGI, explosions, or visual trickery as S.W.A.T. team members work their way through a gangster-occupied apartment building in Indonesia—every hand-to-hand fight is authentic. Evans continually tops himself, staging one see-it-to-believe-it round of one-versus-many fisticuffs after another, to the point where Hollywood action extravaganzas like those Expendables movies seem flaccid.
Adding onto the goodwill earned through The Raid: Redemption, Evans teamed up with Indonesian horror maestro Timo Tjahjanto to give scary movie fans an epic short film. Included in the found-footage anthology sequel V/H/S/2, "Safe Haven," also set in Indonesia, shows what happens when a camera crew steps inside a Jonestown-like compound housing a doomsday cult. Once all hell (literally) breaks loose, Evans and Tjahjanto hold nothing back in a continuous, no-cut-aways sequence of escalating insanity.
The bar is set sky-high for Evans' next film, a sequel to The Raid. Considering how the explosiveness of his films keeps increasing, the screen may damn well explode when that premieres. —MB