James Wan burst onto the scene back in 2004 with his writing partner Leigh Whannell with Saw, which eventually went on to spawn several sequels and start about five or so years of torture porn copy cats. Wan, however, didn’t direct any of the Saw sequels and turned to the lackluster creepy puppet horror Dead Silence as his sophomore effort followed by a hard-edged vigilante thriller in Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon after that. Neither managed to capture much attention.
Then he went back to the horror genre with Insidious in 2010 followed by The Conjuring and Insidious: Chapter 2 this year, with the latter breaking box office records just this past weekend. However, the director now says he’s done with the horror genre, telling Moviefone, “I’m going to go on record and say I am finished with the horror genre. Conjuring and Insidious 2 are my two last scary movies.”
Bold statement considering the success he’s found, but it isn’t as if he’s not looking at the situation logically, adding, “I spent the last ten years of my life doing this. It’s time for a change, for goodness sake!”
Change will arrive in the Fast & Furious 7 with Wan at the helm, which I’m sure he hopes will move him out of the horror box in the minds of studio execs and have them thinking bigger.
Considering his ability to make films for tiny budgets (both Insidious films were made for a total of $6.5 million) I think Wan could very easily stay away from horror for the rest of his career. I do, however, find it interesting he would want to stay away. It seems he likes the genre, but perhaps he’s simply grown tired of filming things that go bump in the night and I’m curious to see where else this “student of cinema” is going to go, because I’m not sure the Fast and Furious franchise is the end of his cinematic education.