Born: February 26, 1977 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
“We think craft is important, and the irony has always been that horror may be disregarded by critics, but often they are the best-made movies you’re going to find in terms of craft. You can’t scare people if they see the seams.”
Did You Know?
Met fellow collaborator and friend Leigh Whannell at film school in Australia.
His overall deal at New Line includes an option to develop and produce modest budget science fiction, horror and comedy films via his Atomic Monster production company (The Conjuring Universe, Lights Out).
While not everyone might be aware that James Wan played the “Theater Director” in Insidious: Chapter 3 (thus technically qualifying him for an ‘Actor’ Trading Card), fanboys and fangirls alike are very familiar with his growing list of writing, directing, and producing credits which have catapulted Wan to the A-list of movie makers in Hollywood. Mr. Wan has not only earned himself major accolades for creating some of the biggest franchises in the Horror genre (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring Universe), but he has also broken into the mainstream with Furious 7 and the upcoming Aquaman.
Back in 2015 for BBP’s 31 Days of Horror, I re-visited Wan’s breakout film, Saw, and briefly touched on the differences between him and fellow ‘torture porn’ director Eli Roth. Since then, Wan has continued to focus more on supernatural thrillers like The Conjuring 2 (Writer / Director / Producer), Annabelle: Creation (Producer) and this week’s major theatrical release The Nun (Writer / Producer). Buzz is strong on Wan’s latest entry into the Conjuring Universe which also officially kicks off the countdown to Halloween:
Breakout Film: Saw
Next Project to Look Out for: The Nun (In theaters September 7)
Most Famous Scene: Here are just a few of the defining scenes from Wan’s portfolio of scare fare:
Saw, 2004 (Lawrence Saws Off His Foot):
Insidious, 2010 (Red-Face Demon):
The Conjuring 2, 2013 (Annabelle Awakens):
The Conjuring 2, 2016 (The Demon Nun)
Nominated for Best Director (Fright Meter Awards) in 2016 for The Conjuring 2
Winner for Best Wide-Release Film (Fangoria Chainsaw Awards) in 2014 for The Conjuring (was also inducted into the Fangoria Horror Hall of Fame that same year)
Nominated for Best Director (Fright Meter Awards) in 2011 for Insidious
Won for Best Feature (San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival) in 2004 for Saw
Wanna catch up with a few James Wan flicks on your favorite streaming services?
• The Conjuring
• Dead Silence
ONE LAST THING:
For the 10 Anniversary of their breakthrough hit Saw, co-creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell took a look back at the film that re-vitalized the horror genre in 2004: