Director Who- James Wan
If you don’t know who James Wan is, you probably aren’t a fan of horror. He is almost single-handedly keeping the genre alive.However, he has broken beyond it into fascinating new territory. Here is a look at what he has done, his new film The Conjuring 2, and his future project(s).
2000- Stygian– Seems to be an above average horror film from Australia. An independent film for Wan. While not many have seen it, the general consensus is that the movie doesn’t suck and considering it is in the horror genre. That is saying something. IMDb: 6.2
2004- Saw– Starring Danny Glover and Cary Elwes, Saw remade horror for the 2000s. It took a unique idea with some disturbing “games” mixed in. There was this mystery to the film, some creative and awful torments. I generally am not a fan of new horror, but Saw is one of the few I respect (less so about the sequels).
2007-Dead Silence– The secrets behind a murder may belong to a sinister ventriloquist doll. This movie isn’t nearly as good as his other horror films. However, if you like a murderous doll in your horror, this one still works well enough. (Chucky may corner the market, but this doll isn’t child play either.) It’s R.L. Stine evil puppet on steroids.
2007- Death Sentence- Breaking a bit from hardcore horror, Wan directed Death Sentence. An above-average crime-thriller featuring Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Aisha Tyler (Archer). An otherwise normal man witnesses a gruesome crime, now he will throw morality to the wind and do whatever it needed in order to protect his family.
2010- Insidious- A family looks to prevent their young child being completely possessed by evil spirits. Starring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins with a story written by Leigh Whanell (Saw). This movie is quite impressive and remains one of my favorite ghost/possession movies ever made. It isn’t very violent, but gives off a creepy vibe throughout. It unnerves you and I think that is what a good horror movie should do.
2013- Insidious 2– Again featuring Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins. Evil isn’t defeated so easily as one family learns. A little bit more psychologically twisted. This movie is more trippy than its predecessor. I don’t enjoy it as much as the original, but it is certainly an above-average horror film.
The Conjuring– A retelling of a famous case taken on by the Warren couple, Ed and Lorraine. Starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens, this film is probably the best horror movie in twenty years (It’s this or Saw.) The film uses a lot of creepy noises in the dark, some legitimate jump scares (where it wasn’t a cat or a person making that noise). It has a really intense ending and is well worth your time.
2015- Furious 7– Furious Seven is the seventh movie in the Fast and Furious franchise. It was struck by tragedy when the beloved Paul Walker was killed in a car accident (off-set). It stalled the creation of the film for several months. However, when it was released, it was like an unstoppable billion dollar beast of a movie. It is tons of fun, but also tons of impossible. It is so strange how this franchise evolved. Safe to say that James Wan who mastered horror movies came out and made the best selling action film of all time (Though let’s be clear, highest grossing does not mean best ever.) Wan really stepped out with this one and impressed.
The Conjuring 2– Wan wanted to make this movie quite badly instead of another Fast and Furious movie (good call, Wan). The Warren’s head to London to take on among their most dangerous and notorious possession/haunting cases ever. Returning are Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. This movie may not eclipse its predecessor, but certainly looks to be one of the better horror films of the last 30 years still.
IMDb: 8.8 * as of morning of June 9th
2018-Aquaman– There has been some rumors that Wan was leaving this project. That would have been a huge blow to this film. However, Wan has assured many that he is quite on board with this project. He wants Aquaman to be both awesome and entertaining. If anyone in the business of entertainment can get benefit of the doubt. I think Wan is the guy. He knows how to work a surreal situation with unique characters. He has a great feel for creating atmosphere. I know many were displeased with Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice, but I enjoyed it (despite its flaws). I think the solo movies of Wonder Woman (2017), Batman (20??), and especially Aquaman have potential to be something special.