A first-time director is a funny thing—you have to impress, show that you’re capable of leading. You have to strike a delicate balance between good storytelling and visual flourishes, leading many a filmmaker to choose style over substance. The genre is key: crime is an easy favorite, sci-fi can be impressive with the right script, while action and thrillers are nearly impossible. And then there’s horror. Exaggerated through decades of clichés, diluted through numerous sequels, it’s the perfect genre for a first-timer to fail.