James Wan Calls His Return to Horror "Comforting," Shares Influences for 'Malignant'

James Wan Calls His Return to Horror "Comforting," Shares Influences for 'Malignant'


In an interview with Total Film, James Wan opens up about his return to horror. 

“To go back to what is my place of love… it was comforting. I felt like it might be cool to make something under the radar, that’s not based on any IP, an original story. Keep it as low-key as possible and make it really fun. The goal was to go back to my indie horror roots but at the same time, do something that I’ve never done before.”

Malignant centers around a woman named Madison (Annabelle Wallis) who is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities. The cast of the film includes Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Mckenna Grace, and Michole Briana White. The film is penned by The 100 writer and producer Akela Cooper and is based on a story by Cooper, Wan, and his spouse Ingrid Bisu.

“It’s my take on that particular ’80s trope of storytelling where a victim starts seeing through the vision of a killer,” grins Wan, who reveals a few of the inspirations for the film:

“There was a period where there were a lot of movies like that, and I’m a big fan of that particular sub-genre. Movies like The Eyes of Laura Mars. I wanted to do my own version, crossed with my love of [Brian] De Palma and [Dario] Argento and [Mario] Bava.”

Based on the interview and trailer for Malignant, you can tell this is straying away from his usual style, even down to the lack of Patrick Wilson (who might as well be Wan’s muse due to their collaborations across a ton of his filmography). It is very refreshing to see Wan return back to his roots with an R-rated horror that’s completely original and not based on any of his own IP. Though he has just recently co-wrote the latest Conjuring entry The Devil Made Me Do It along with David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, which released earlier this summer, it’s great to see him take the director’s chair once again to give us a new nightmare for our minds.

What’s Next for James Wan

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