(Photo by Warner Bros.)
Director James Wan and creative partner Leigh Whannell broke into the industry with their 2003 short Saw, which they remade a year later as a feature-length Lionsgate film. Introducing horror icon Jigsaw (the moral and vengeful escape-room architect with lots of time on his hands, played with aplomb by Tobin Bell), Saw‘s high-concept, extreme-gore thrills found its audience of young, increasingly desensitized viewers. Wan and Whannell branched out early from Saw, remaining on the franchise as executive producers.
Dead Silence and Death Sentence came and went before Wan struck upon on more franchise horror gold with Insidious. Wan would direct the first two films, as Whannell made his directorial debut on Chapter 3 (and from there would climb to Upgrade and The Invisible Man). After Insidious for Wan: Directing horror opus The Conjuring, a blockbuster 1970s-style scarefest, reminiscent of The Omen and The Exorcist.
Wan was given the keys to the Fast & Furious series, with Furious 7 pulling off the action, the heists, and the proper, emotional family tribute to star Paul Walker, who died late in production. F7 remains the best-reviewed and highest-grossing Furious of the franchise. The Conjuring 2 came pretty close to capturing the magic of the first, and Wan’s sojourn into the DC Extended Universe yielded Aquaman, the first DCEU movie to top $1 billion worldwide.
Wan is back again to his smaller-scale horror roots with Malignant. To mark the occasion, we’re ranking all James Wan movies by Tomatometer!
Adjusted Score: 23836%
Critics Consensus: A nonsensical plot and an absurd amount of violence make this revenge pic gratuitous and overwrought.
Adjusted Score: 22470%
Critics Consensus: More tasteful than recent slasher flicks, but Dead Silence is undone by boring characters, bland dialogue, and an unnecessary and obvious twist ending.
Adjusted Score: 43650%
Critics Consensus: Insidious: Chapter 2 is decidedly short on the tension and surprises that made its predecessor so chilling.
Adjusted Score: 55892%
Critics Consensus: Saw ensnares audiences with a deceptively clever plot and a myriad of memorable, nasty set pieces, but its lofty ambitions are undercut by a nihilistic streak that feels more mean than profound.
Adjusted Score: 87116%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
Adjusted Score: 72552%
Critics Consensus: Aside from a shaky final act, Insidious is a very scary and very fun haunted house thrill ride.
Adjusted Score: 91159%
Critics Consensus: The Conjuring 2 can’t help but lose a bit of its predecessor’s chilly sting through familiarity, but what remains is still a superior ghost story told with spine-tingling skill.
Adjusted Score: 94040%
Critics Consensus: Serving up a fresh round of over-the-top thrills while adding unexpected dramatic heft, Furious 7 keeps the franchise moving in more ways than one.
Adjusted Score: 95495%
Critics Consensus: Well-crafted and gleefully creepy, The Conjuring ratchets up dread through a series of effective old-school scares.
Read More:All James Wan Movies Ranked