Jaume Balagueró

Spanish writer-director Jaume Balagueró is most highly regarded for crafting deeply creepy horror films, like his international hit "[Rec]." After creating two award-winning shorts, "Alicia" and "Días sin luz," Balagueró made the leap to features in 1999 with "The Nameless," a missing child mystery that Balagueró adapted from author Ramsey Campbell's chilling novel. The film did well on the international festival circuit, allowing Balagueró the chance to direct his first English-language feature, "Darkness," which starred Anna Paquin. Despite being released on Christmas day, the haunted house horror film earned a respectable box office and was soon followed by Balagueró's next effort, the Calista Flockhart-fronted thriller "Fragile." But it was Balagueró's return to Spanish cinema that yielded his greatest success. In 2007, he and Paco Plaza co-wrote and co-directed the harrowing zombie-horror feature "[Rec]," which followed a news team's hellish tour through a building inhabited by merciless cannibals. The gritty found footage thriller proved wildly successful, terrifying horror fans worldwide and inspiring an American remake called "Quarantine" in 2008. Balagueró and Plaza reteamed for the sequel "[Rec] 2" in 2009. This was also a hit, but rather than return for the franchise's next film, "[REC]3 Génesis," Balagueró broke new ground, helming the nightmare-centered horror-thriller "Sleep Tight" in 2011. Plaza went on to direct "[REC]3 Génesis" alone.