7 Best James Wan Movies
James Wan is a fixture of modern-day American horror. His film Saw continues to be touted as one of the best horror films of the 21st century so far, as well as inspiring eight sequels with a box office total of almost a billion dollars. In more recent years, he has been the hand behind the first two Insidious films as well as the central thread of The Conjuring franchise, which is now an extended universe of five films with at least three more to be released in coming years. Wan is not tied just to horror, however. He also helmed the acclaimed entry to the Fast & Furious franchise Furious 7 (the final performance of the late Paul Walker and the first of one of the series’ latest mainstays Jason Statham). He is also directing the upcoming DC Extended Universe film Aquaman, which will star Jason Momoa as the eponymous water-based superhuman. He is a talented filmmaker with a lot of mass-market appeal. Here are his seven best films so far.
Saw, the now-ubiquitous horror film begins this way: two men (Saw’s writer Leigh Whannell and Cary Elwes) wake up to find themselves chained in a foul, abandoned bathroom. The two men are instructed via cassette tape to kill one another as a means of escape. The film, Wan’s feature-length debut, was met with much acclaim which continues to this day.
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Furious 7 (2015)
In Furious 7, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker) and their crew of highly-skilled drivers and computer technicians are recruited by the enigmatic Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) to track down a mysterious hacker in exchange for his help finding the elusive Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham). It is an extremely fast-paced and exciting film, perhaps the best in the franchise, as well as a heartfelt goodbye to the late Walker and his character Brian.
The Conjuring (2013)
The Conjuring and the series of films surrounding it features Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren and their supposed experiences in their line of work. In the first film, which takes place in 1971, the couple is invited to a farmhouse by the new owners Roger and Carolyn Perron (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and their five daughters who have been experiencing paranormal activity since their relocation to the estate. The film’s high production value and genuine fear factor have been remarked upon by audiences and critics alike.
The Conjuring 2 (2016)
The sequel to The Conjuring continues the embellished story of the lives of the Warrens. Taking place in 1977, the couple travels to the London suburbs. They are invited there by a single mother Peggy Hodgson and her four children, one of whom has experienced possession by the former owner of the home. Together the Warrens and the house’s occupants work to expel whatever supernatural force is at work there. The film was met with a similar volume of acclaim as its predecessor.
Insidious marks the third collaboration between Wan and Saw writer Leigh Whannell. When Dalton, the son (Ty Simpkins) of Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) suddenly falls into a coma, strange happenings begin to occur in the household. Josh’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Hershey) arrives and calls upon Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye). The film was acclaimed for its production design.
Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013)
Insidious: Chapter 2 continues the story of the paranormally cursed Lambert family and the characters and demonic figures surrounding them. Though the film was met with not-as-warm opinions than its predecessor — it nonetheless had a great performance at the box office.
Dead Silence (2007)
With Dead Silence, the minds behind Saw worked together for a second time. Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten)’s wife is found dead after the couple receives a ventriloquist dummy. Inspired by Mary Shaw, a familiar name found on the dummy’s box, he returns to his hometown to unravel the mystery of Shaw, a ventriloquist who died there years prior, and hopefully find closure on the loss of his wife as well. It was something of a critical and commercial disappointment but it has its own loyal cult fans.
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