James Wan’s feature films ranked in order of magnitude


I am a big fan of cinema and I want to make films in all genres. I wanna do my romantic comedy someday. “- James Wan

Australian filmmaker and writer James Wan has established himself as one of the biggest names in contemporary horror cinema. Known as one of the creators of the Seen and Insidious franchises, Wan found mainstream success and gained immense popularity. His Conjuring The series is the second highest grossing horror franchise with $ 1.9 billion.

In an interview, Wan explained, “When I make a movie, I know exactly how I want to do it. Even though I storyboard sometimes, I’m not necessarily a huge fan of storyboarding, but I just do it for the crew and just to make the producers feel comfortable. Yes, I can kind of share my vision with everyone, but I usually know exactly where each shot will be, where to put the camera, and how to do these things. It’s just kind of what I do.

He added, “It might sound like a cliché, but I’ll also explain why it’s so important. I think creating characters and a story are really the two most important things. I know, like I said, it’s a cliché to say, but it doesn’t matter what genre your work is in, whether it’s horror, sci-fi, drama or whatever. If you have characters that are close to your heart, this is by far the most important thing. You need to take the time to tell their story before you throw all of these scary things out to the audience. Otherwise, it only works at a very shallow surface level.

Here, on the occasion of his 44th birthday, we explore James Wan’s filmography as a celebration of his contribution to the world of cinema.

All James Wan Feature Films Ranked:

9. Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)

The lackluster sequel to Wan’s 2010 film, Insidious: Chapter 2 subjects the Lambert family to new terrors after the tragedies they encountered in the first installment. While the scares are technically effective, the sequel doesn’t add anything new and ends up fading into the shadow of the original.

“It’s funny because from a production standpoint it was a harder movie to make than the first one,” Wan revealed. “That’s how these movies are made, and I think you want to keep it in this model; however, it was very hard to shoot Insidious: Chapter 2, because while it doesn’t look bigger, it was a much more ambitious film.

8. Dead silence (2007)

An example of Wan’s early artistic sensibilities, Dead silence tells the story of a widower who returns to his hometown to investigate the mysterious death of his wife. The seriousness of the premise becomes hilarious when it is tied to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.

“It’s really an old school homage to the old school ghost stories that Leigh and I love and for me, and the way I sold it is a feature film episode of The twilight zone“Said Wan.” I don’t know if kids today will care about our loving tribute, but it really is a loving tribute to Edgar Allen Poe, The twilight zone and the old British Hammer Horror movies which were also a big inspiration.

7. Aquaman (2018)

Based on DC comic book mythology, Wan’s ambitious cinematic rendering stars Jason Momoa as the main character. The film envisions the underwater kingdom of Atlantis and follows in the footsteps of stereotypical superhero films, delivering well-meaning action and adequate drama based on the internal conflicts of the inadequate characters.

The filmmaker explained, “I really wanted the hero to see the different realms of which he will eventually become king, didn’t I? So he needs to see his subjects, and he needs to see that there are all kinds of races of people out there. And one of the races are the people of the trenches. As I walked in, I knew I wanted Atlantis to be very vibrant, very magical and wonderful, and all that. But I also wanted to represent, or rather capture the tone and feel of the ocean for me. “

“The ocean is big and magical and all that, but we’re also terrified of the ocean. I felt that this moment allowed me to dive back into my horror roots and do something like that. But in the end, it allows me to really showcase one of my signature shot shots from the film which is a cross section of the ocean. And you can see what’s above the surface and what’s below the surface.

6. furious 7 (2015)

The seventh installment of the very popular Fast Furious series, Wan’s 2007 action thriller features a star cast including Paul Walker in what would be his last appearance. The film was a huge commercial success, earning over $ 1.5 billion at the box office.

Wan said: “furious 7 It was an incredible experience for me to have the opportunity to go and play on such a big canvas for the studio. Also, having a situation where the producers really trust me to take over such a beloved franchise, and trust me not to ruin everything, is really great. But it was a whole different ball game for me.

5. Death sentence (2007)

Death sentence is an interesting addition to Wan’s filmography. This is the case study of Nick Hume (played by Kevin Bacon), who undergoes a transformation from a normal executive into a hardcore vigilante after his son is gang-murdered.

The director revealed, “One of my influences was action movies from the 1970s. Action movies today, when the action scene starts, they’re so bombastic. I didn’t really want that. I wanted to create [something] realistic and gritty. I want the violence to be really shocking, really hellish in the sense that it’s not meant to be fun.

4. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

A rare case of a sequel living up to the expectations generated by the original, The Conjuring 2 takes the haunted house haunted trope and manages to make it entertaining. The film turned out to be a huge commercial success and effectively uses fear-mongering tactics to destabilize audiences.

Speaking of his actor star Patrick Wilson, Wan is full of praise: “You know what Johnny Depp was like for Tim Burton? Patrick Wilson is my Johnny Depp. I don’t know, I think the guy is such a cool guy and for me in a lot of ways he’s kind of like the incarnation of a lead actor for me as a director, you know, that’s a great actor, he’s a very thoughtful actor, always thinks of his characters.

3. Conspiracy (2013)

One of the most popular horror films of the 21st century, Conspiracy stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators who explore the bizarre events that take place on a farm. It has won several awards and nominations in the horror genre, earning a nomination for Best Horror Film at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.

The filmmaker said, “People ask me, ‘Why do you like haunted house movies? They are so screwed to death. And I say, ‘There’s a reason they’re being killed. If you can make it work, it’s a very effective subgenre! ‘ We can all find our way there. We all live in houses or apartments, and we can all relate to having siblings or having a mom and dad. Right off the bat you have the shortcut of characters entering it. “

2. Insidious (2010)

A supernatural horror film that becomes an exploration of religion and metaphysics, Insidious presents the unique case of a couple whose son mysteriously falls into a coma. They slowly discover that he is possessed by entities from another dimension, complicating their efforts to save him.

Wan explained, “We wanted a lot of the spooky footage to be really quiet. But, what I like to do with the soundtrack is make yourself comfortable with a very loud, sort of atonal, rough violin score mixed in with some really weird piano hits and take that away. and all of a sudden you’re like, ‘What just happened there?’ And then you follow a character into a house and it’s just dead silence. “

1. Seen (2004)

Wan’s most beloved feature film was this cult classic from 2004 that tells the disturbing tale of two men who wake up chained in a bathroom. In order to save their respective families, they are ordered to kill each other. Carried out with a relatively low budget of $ 1 million, Seen grossed over $ 100 million and showed the world that Wan can create magic with the horror genre.

Writer Leigh Whannell revealed: “There is a lot in Seen that were thrown together. It was a cheap movie, and that was the point – to make a cheap movie. But it’s hard for us now to watch it, even if at least we laugh at mistakes. And the success of the film allowed us to do that.


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