The premiere of ‘Evil one‘(Malignant, 2021) is the 11th feature film in the career of James Wan |, being considered a twice renovator of horror cinema, and a good director of genre and action for his forays out of the world of torture, ghosts and demons for which he is famous. We review his career, film by film, with a top from his first jobs to his last foray into psychological horror.
Directed with Shannon Young, James Wan’s debut in the cinema is, today, unfindable, and it has not been possible to see her to make this list, therefore, it should be in a separate order. The only thing that is known is its synopsis, about a young couple are trapped in another world known as Exile and the boy must find his girlfriend in this reality, a plot somewhat reminiscent of the adventures on “the other side” of ‘Insidious’
James Wan’s worst movie and probably one of the worst in the entire DC universe. A constant assonance hyperbole of tacky and loud CGI. Neither the aquatic designs, nor the cinematic references, nor the goofy backfire justifies his accumulation of embarrassing moments of forced humor during his very long two hours. A botillo of hollow references, caked with the same schizophrenia that his tone changes in each sceneSometimes he wants to be Shakespeare, sometimes the little mermaid, sometimes Power Rangers. Disenchantment.
Fast & Furious 7 (A todo gas 7, 2015)
His first outing out of terror was a demonstration of technical muscle and display for mastery of the action. Appreciated by fans of the saga, it actually maintains all the flaws of this, its vulgar tuning and an extra bit of family kitsch that had lurked in some of its previous works. A competent commissioned work, which bears some nod to B-series cinema from the 80s, like that jump between buildings taken from ‘Black Moon Rising’ (Black Moon Rising, 1986), written by John Carpenter, but which has no traces of the personality of his best cinema.
Maligno (Malignant, 2021)
After stating that he was giving up terror to do other things, Wan took a break between blockbusters to return to his roots. A psychological horror story inspired by the giallo, the Brian De Palma films. and the new Cronenberg meat. Another hodgepodge of everything he likes that shows his best version at times, but shows an author who has passed through the abyss of blockbusters without appearing to be the same again. It amuses you the more insentata it is shown, but it is more ‘Gothika’ (2003) than ‘Phenomena’ (1985).
Insidious 2 (2013)
Out of all your horror work, this direct sequel to the 2010 film is the most dispensable. Its digital texture weighs heavily on it (after having lived through ‘The Warren File’ that year) and some ghosts that look more like a costume party, despite its interesting status as an annex to the previous one, it ends up quite generic and remains as the worst of the four deliveries. Of course, it is the first time that Patrick Wilson became a Jack Torrance, which he would repeat in ‘In the tall grass‘ and ‘Warren File 3‘.
Death Sentence (Death Sentence, 2007)
A foray into wild and dark vigilante cinema, a James Wan closer to the breeding ground torture porn where it came from and that it infected genre cinema with ultraviolence. Closer to those video store blood shows only found in Jim Van Bebber movies than Charles Bronson, Kevin Bacon embroiders a father intoxicated by the feeling of revenge that goes into a very black spiral. A masterfully shot grindhouse that only comes out of the pot with some of those cheesy details that occasionally appear in the Wan filmography.
The film with which he broke into the commercial landscape, a exploitation low cost of ‘Seven‘(1995) to which he tried to introduce some of his signature stamps, such as the influence of the giallo and the disturbing porcelain dolls. The rage with which the traps of his villain Jigsaw were shown on screen continued the ideas of graphic torture seen in ‘Fear dot com’ (2002), but Wan’s It is considered the great icon of torture porn of the 2000s, especially because of the repetitive saga that it originated.
‘Expediente Warren’ (The Conjuring, 2013)
The inaugural film of the Warren universe, or conjuringverse, enshrined Wan as one of the great masters of modern horror cinema with a mastery of the staging and the tempo of the scares that created a trend and contained a palpable and breathable evil in what must be one of the best films based on real events of all time, basically because it manages to turn one of the Royal Warren marriage scams in a 70s horror comic adventure with influences from Japanese horror to ‘The Others’.
Over the years, covered by the shadow of the promotional apparatus and the successive sequences of the Warren horror multiverse, but without ceasing to be the film that really surprised and restructured the findings of ‘Paranormal activity‘for commercial cinema. With a ridiculous budget of $ 1.5 million, Wan changed the landscape of the genre, this truly being his most influential film. A kind of remake of ‘Poltergeist’ that gave what we all wanted to see in that one, the other side, the infernal dimension where demons take children. Terrifying and without barriers to the imagination, it created an irregular saga but much more interesting than it seems.
‘Warren File 2: The Enfield Case’ (The Conjuring: The Enfield Case, 2016)
Greeted with some disappointment among fans of the first, this sequel amplifies, improves, refines and corrects the findings and defects of the previous one with an engineering of haunted house horror never seen on screen. Wan makes supernatural horror a beautiful and resourceful spectacle, reinventing tropes, creating a geographical play space that visually explores through a virtuous and inspired direction, full of surprises and horror codes ranging from expressionism to gothic. Masterly.
Silence from Evil (Dead Silence, 2007)
Outside of the prestige of his ‘Warren Files’, James Wan’s best film is ‘Silence from Evil’ the movie passing between its horror era of the era torture porn and his most cared and commercial supernatural encore. Without reaching the technical filigree of his Files, that is, a delightfully stylized story, pure Gothic overloaded and full of creative freedom, not only with a great work of atmosphere and beauty indebted to Mario Bava in each shot, but also without limits in his recreation of the deaths, full of gore, ghosts, creepy dolls and darkness, everything that his version of blockbuster must contain. It is the Wan version unleashed, the best Wan.