ByJay Dee, writer at
A Voice For The Die Hard Horror Fans Out There
Jay Dee

I believe that a plentiful supply of excellent Independent horror films along with the recent success of horror at the box office and on television has led us to the Promised Land. A genuine renaissance in the horror genre the like’s horror fans have never experienced until now. Enjoy it my horror fan friends, and don't expect the fun to slow down too much any time soon as 2014 promises to be one of the biggest years for horror films ever. Listed below are 6 of the biggest names in horror right now along with a quick look at some of their best films, works you may have missed, and last but not least, we'll take a glimpse at these young masters exciting upcoming projects

T.I. West

West's directorial work includes the 2001 short The Wicked, and feature films The Roost, Trigger Man, The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers. West disowned Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, citing massive studio interference and re-editing. West appeared in 2004's The Woman Who Split Before Dinner as Old Man Conrad. He wrote, produced and directed the web series Dead & Lonely in 2009 for IFC Films, the first series run ended in October 2009. West was set to direct The Haunting in Georgia, the sequel to The Haunting in Connecticut but in March 2010 left the project. In 2012 he worked with Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg, Glenn McQuaid and the Radio Silence Productions hosts Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Chad Villella on the Anthology Horror film V/H/S. Wests upcoming 2014 feature The Sacrament promises to be a throwback to the old scary cult movies of the seventies.

Best 2: House of the Devil 7/10, The Innkeepers 7/10 Best of the Rest: Trigger Man 6/10,

Total: 20/30

Alexandre Aja

Aja's French splatter flick Haute Tension, was released in 2003 in France and in 2005 in the U.S. The film instantly placed Aja on the map for the horror movie genre. The French slasher film, though sticking to horror convention, pushed the gore and tension envelope. The film is an unauthorized reinterpretation of the novel "Intensity" by Dean Koontz. Favoring make-up effects over computer-generated imagery, the film quickly found respect among horror fans. It was released in the U.S. as High Tension after some editing. The film was nominated for grand prize at the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival and earned Aja awards for best direction and best fantasy film at the Catalonian International Film Festival.

American director Wes Craven asked Aja to come up with a concept for the remake of his 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes after seeing High Tension. Craven subsequently asked Aja to direct the movie, which was released with an R rating in the U.S. after an extensive amount of editing. His next project was a horror film entitled Mirrors, about a mysterious mirror that brings out the worst aspects of people whenever they look at themselves in it. The film is a remake of the K-Horror film Into the Mirror. Aja directed Piranha 3D, a horror movie about prehistoric piranhas in Arizona. His latest release titled Maniac stars Elijah Wood and is a complete reimagining of the cult classic slasher film of the same name from the early eighties. Aja is currently in post-production on his latest film Horns, a dark fantasy/thriller starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Best 2: The Hills Have Eyes 8/10, Haute Tension 7/10 Best of the Rest: Maniac 7/10

Total: 22/30

Adam Green

Green is known worldwide for his Hatchet trilogy. Described as '"old school American horror," Hatchet starred several horror screen legends and was a throwback to the full gore slasher films of the eighties. Green has also directed a handful of other wonderful horror films including Spiral (2007), Grace (2008), and Frozen (2009). Green is currently slated to write and direct the big budget teen adventure film, Killer Pizza which is being produced by Chris Columbus' 1492 Films (Harry Potter, Gremlins, Home Alone, The Goonies, and The Help). Based on Greg Taylor's children's book of the same name, Killer Pizza follows the story of sixteen year old Toby MaGill who gets a summer job at a mysterious Cape Cod pizza parlor only to discover that the restaurant is actually a front for a top secret monster hunting organization. Recruited into a band of heroic misfits, Toby spends his summer battling horrifying monsters and trying to save the world from imminent destruction at the hands of a mythical and deadly monster prophecy.

Best 2: Hatchet 7/10, Frozen 7/10 Best of the Rest: Grace 7/10

Total: 21/30

James Wan

James Wan is a Malaysian Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw. Wan has also directed Dead Silence, Death Sentence, Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2, and The Conjuring. Wan has truly become a cinematic master. A modern day William Castle, Wan definitely knows his way around a camera and an old farmhouse. Wan's latest upcoming project Demonic takes place after the massacre of five college students in an abandoned house. As investigators begin to unravel the murders, they uncover clues to what began as an innocent ghost-hunting excursion but eventually turned into a terrifying escapade involving the house itself.

Best 2: Saw 8/10, The Conjuring 9/10 Best of the Rest: Insidious 8/10

Total: 25/30

Adam Wingard

Wingard was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and graduated from Full Sail University in 2002. His first feature, the horror-comedy Home Sick, starring Bill Moseley and Tiffany Shepis, proved to be a stepping stone to his second feature, the psychotropic ghost story thriller Pop Skull. Made on a total budget of $2,000, Pop Skull had its international premiere at the Rome Film Festival and its domestic premiere at the AFI Film Festival in 2007. A Horrible Way to Die (2010) and What Fun We Were Having (2011) followed.

The serial killer love story thriller A Horrible Way to Die premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in the ‘Vanguard’ section and was acquired by Starz/Anchor Bay at the festival for a North American theatrical and home media release. What Fun We Were Having is a 4-part anthology dealing with the taboo subject of date rape. The anthology had its premiere at the 2011 Fantastia Film Festival in Montreal where Wingard was honored by the festival with his very own sidebar section: “Medicated Monsters – A Spotlight on Filmmaker Adam Wingard”. In 2011, Wingard co-directed Autoerotic with mumblecore icon (and frequent actor in Wingard films) Joe Swanberg. He was selected to direct one chapter of The ABCs of Death, a 26-chapter horror anthology for Drafthouse Films and Magnet. His most recent solo directorial effort, You're Next, a home invasion thriller, premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the ‘Midnight Madness’ section. The film was acquired by Lionsgate, and received a wide release in August 2013.

Best 2: A Horrible Way to Die 8/10, You're Next 8/10

Best of the Rest: Popskull 7/10

Total: 23/30

Eli Roth

Roth burst on the scene in 2002 with Cabin Fever. Roth sold the film to Lionsgate at the 2002 Toronto Film Festival for $3.5 million, the biggest sale of the festival that year. The film was released in 2003 and was Lionsgate's highest grossing film of the year, earning $22 million at the U.S. box office and $35 million worldwide. Lionsgate used the theatrical success of Cabin Fever to raise the money to purchase Artisan Entertainment. Lionsgate stock rose from $1.98 a share at the time Cabin Fever was purchased at the Toronto Film Festival to nearly $6 a share after the film was released theatrically. Roth would go on to direct and produce several more horror films over the next decade including Hostel I and II, Piranah 3D, Aftershock, and The Last Exorcism parts I and II. Roth is currently promoting the 2014 release of his cannibal exploitation film The Green Inferno.

Best 2: Cabin Fever 7/10, Hostel 8/10

Best of the Rest: The Last Exorcism 7/10

Total: 22/30

Well that's all for now horror fan friends, please let me know what names you think belong on this list of young horror masters.


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