Tag Archives: James Wan

Insidious: Chapter 2 is lost in the after life

17 Sep


James Wan may have now established himself as the King of modern horror with SAW, Insidious and The Conjuring under his belt. He knows how to keep his audiences on edge and screaming for more. The sequel to the 2011 surprise horror hit brings back the cast and pick up right where they left off at. The Lambert family (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) seek to uncover the secret that has them attached to the supernatural.

The film does give some better scares than the first one, but also makes some predictable choices that would bore the avid horror fan. Writers Wan and Leigh Whannell bring some welcomed creativity to the story but at the same time overreaches and leaves too many unanswered questions. John Leonetti deserves some recognition for his brilliant camerawork as he frames the film’s haunting atmosphere. Insidious: Chapter 2  will frighten audiences, but the story does not live on in the “after life” of Chapter 1.


Adam’s Grade: C+

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

The Conjuring will scare you immensely

23 Jul


The Conjuring is based on the true story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren who your parents would know from their work on the infamous Amityville house. It has been some time since I have seen a horror film that delivers the kinds of chills that The Conjuring does. I was scared, even though I am old enough to know better.

I love director James Wan’s filmmaking style. His camera movements are executed with precision and contribute to overall performance and production. The film does a fine job at developing the characters simultaneously. When Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) move into a farmhouse with their five daughters, their family is terrorized by a spirit and must ask for help from Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga). The Conjuring uses some old-school horror film tactics to make audiences shriek, which I think is a good thing and a nice change of pace.


Adam’s Grade: B

Chuck’s Grade: N/A (too scared)

SAW but no one saw this coming

22 Oct

SAW is one of those rare indie horror films that found its way to mainstream audiences and stuck. This film not only created a multi-million dollar franchise from a paltry budget and brief shooting schedule, it opened the gates to a once unacceptable horror style that features sadistic and masochistic torture as its principal method of killing. A serial killer named Jigsaw decides to teach his victims about the value of life and the meaning of death by forcing them to take diabolical “tests” with one answer being bad and the other being even worse. The film gains momentum from these timed “trials” that usually have the victims inflicting pain on themselves in some horrific manner.

These films are too much for me, but I can appreciate something when it is done well, and SAW is done very well. Director James Wan delivers a great horror film that has to be considered one of genre’s all time bests.


Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: B-