James Wan

Insidious

Despite producer Jason Blum’s initial comments that he wouldn’t get behind a sequel to 2010’s possession horror, Insidious, unless he was presented with a story that really made sense, it always seemed like a sequel was going to be inevitable anyway. Not only is Insidious one of the mostly widely well-reviewed horror movies of the last decade, but it also managed to make a whole bunch of money without having a very big budget. That’s too good of a formula for the Hollywood money-making machine to abandon. So, sure enough, last February we got word that director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell were both coming back, and Insidious 2 was officially in the works. The press release issued for the film today [via ComingSoon] brings a couple of more surprises with it as well, though. Despite the fact that the original Insidious ended with a situation that looked pretty grim for the family that it featured, and you might have imagined that a sequel would introduce us to a whole new cast of characters battling a similar evil spirit, the money men behind this sequel say that Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins will all be back for this new film, reprising their roles from the original. Is it likely that Wan and Whannell have come up with a great story that will bring these characters back for more hauntings and manage to make sense in the process, or can we take the returns of the […]

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James Wan

While we’re all busy dreaming of a new MacGruber movie, New Line has gone ahead and started to put together the pieces of their new MacGyver feature like so many bits of paper clip, string, tiny plastic animal figurines, and un-popped (but still lusciously buttery!) popcorn kernels. According to Variety, the studio is currently in talks with director James Wan to take on helming duties and– wait, what? James Wan? Like Saw James Wan? Insidious James Wan? What kind of MacGyver flick is this? Well, despite Wan’s decidedly horror-flavored resume, let’s get real, a MacGyver feature is not going to be scary (at least, not in the Saw sense). Beyond that, we don’t know much about this new take on the classic ’80s television series, other than that its script was given a first draft from Jason Richman with a recent pass by Brian and Mark Gunn. Variety also helpfully adds that star Richard Dean Anderson‘s involvement is “not known.” The outlet also provides some clues as to why New Line would pick Wan to direct the film: he’s reportedly a “go-to guy” for the studio, thanks to “through the roof” test screenings for their latest film together (The Conjuring) and his reputation as “a frugal filmmaker.” Hey, MacGyver was nothing if he was not frugal, so that’s something.

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In 2010, Patrick Wilson got haunted in Insidious. In 1999, Lili Taylor got haunted in The Haunting. Now the two are heading back into the haunted house together with Vera Farmiga and Ron Livingston in James Wan’s The Warren Files. Now they’ll have children to look after as ghosts chase them around in New England. According to Variety, Mackenzie Foy (Twilight) and Joey King (who will play young Talia Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises) have both been tapped to play young members of the based-on-real-life Perron family who claimed they were living with spirit from beyond in the 1970s. Taylor and Livingston play the adult members of the family, while Wilson and Farmiga play ghost investigators The Warrens. So, for those keeping track, with Insidious, The Warren Files and Insidious 2, James Wan is going to be telling ghost stories for a long time.

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James Wan is back. Leigh Whannell is back. Insidious is back. That loud burst of discordant music you just heard is all part of the plan to scare you out of your seat. The cat that just ran by isn’t part of it; your house is just infested with cats. According to Variety, the green light has been given to Insidious 2 which means a continuation/birth of a horror franchise that genuinely delivered excitement to a big audience. It’s screenwriter Whannell’s goal to have the main players from the first film return. That also means that Whannell has what he and the team assume to be a solid creative idea for the next installment. Last year, producer Jason Blum claimed they wouldn’t move the massive moneymaking beast forward simply for more large checks. Looks like they’re smart enough to do it for the right reasons and to strike when the iron is hot. Now what would spell story success for the sequel?

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline. Synopsis: No matter where Josh and Renai run to, they can’t escape the terror pursuing their family. With the horror threatening their son’s life and their sanity, Josh looks into his past and goes to hell and back to search out what has taken residence in his boy.

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The rules vocalized by Notorious BIG regarding the amount of money you have and its direct correlation to the amount of problems you have also applies to movies. It’s no doubt that someone, somewhere is aching to see a sequel to the ridiculously high-grossing Insidious based solely on how much gold it brought into the coffers. Fortunately, producer Jason Blum doesn’t seem too keen on jumping into the deep end just for the sake of cashing in. He had this to say to Shock Til You Drop: “I wouldn’t say we’re not considering it. “There’s no plan, no release date, nothing like that. I think James [Wan] feels the same as Oren [Peli]. Oren was very skeptical about doing a sequel to Paranormal Activity until Michael [Perry] pitched an idea and it made sense. If Leigh [Whannell] comes up with a story that’s inventive and you feel like there’s a story to tell – as opposed to ‘let’s make another movie and make money’ – and he comes up with something James feels is worth making we would do it. And if Leigh doesn’t, we won’t.” Always pleasing to hear. It doesn’t mean that a sequel (if one ever gets made) will be good – it’s not like Paranormal Activity 2 was anything special, and they apparently waited for “an idea” that “made sense.” But, at least it shuns the practice of shoving a sequel into pre-production and setting a release date regardless of whether the creative types want to […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It too slays vampires and zombies. Not in a top hat, mind you, but it slays them nonetheless. It also believes strongly that it will be assassinated (by /Film’s Page 2) while attending a revival of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. “There’s something in the American psyche, we want our presidents to be warriors. We’re giving that to Abraham Lincoln, sort of posthumously in this case.” That’s what Seth Grahame-Smith had to say A in an interview with The New York Times. It’s part of NYT giving the world its first look at Benjamin Walker as Abe Lincoln, the ax-wielding, vampire slaying 16th President of the United States. It’s a neat article that gives away a lot of details about the project, but nothing that you wouldn’t get having read the book.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr recovers from a full day of watching Armageddon back-to-back to crawl back to the multiplex. He re-lived the last eight minutes of Source Code over and over, thoroughly confusing himself. Then he stumbled into the theater next door to learn about the true meaning of Easter from Russell Brand and James Marsden. Things take a decidedly creepy turn when he watches Insidious and wets himself more than once. This led to a very unfortunate scene while he watched the sexual-predator cautionary tale Trust. No one would believe him it was just wee wee.

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When Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) move into a new house with their three children, they see it as an opportunity for the life they always wanted. Renai can get back to writing music and be a full-time mom for her family, and the kids have all the space they could ever want. Unfortunately some of that space appears to be occupied by malevolent ghosts. What do they want? How can this family rid themselves of their worst nightmare? Why does that ghost look like Darth Maul? On the one hand, writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan have given us a solid film with some remarkably unsettling imagery sure to haunt the nightmares of even the most jaded horrorphiles. On the flip side, they have given us one of the loudest, most obnoxiously lazy horror films in years. This paradox eats at me as I desperately wanted to like Insidious and frankly the potential it displays alludes to a film that could have easily made my list of favorites of the year. Sadly, that potential is squandered in cheap thrills and hackneyed conventions.

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February has been a time for horror. New project announcements, new concept art, new trailers. In that last category, James Wan has decided to join the love-fest with the trailer for Insidious. The flick already made a few waves last Fall during Toronto International Film Festival, and it sees theaters on April 1st – the perfect day for horror. It has a strong cast with Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Barbara “No more wire hangers” Hershey. Check out the haunting trailer for yourself:

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castlevania-header

Saw director James Wan is in final talks to direct the live-action adaptation of the Konami video game Castlevania.

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