Lights Out, freak out
Horror-meister James Wan has produced yet another terrifying flick, and I wish he would just stop
If there is a modern-day Master of Horror, it is obviously James Wan.
The guy's bio is just incredible. Born in Malaysia, he moved to Australia as a child. In his mid-20s, he created a little indie horror flick called Saw which went on to become a global phenomenon.
From there, he churned out Saw sequels and started a couple of more giant horror franchises like Insidious and The Conjuring.
Now with Lights Out, opening here on Aug 18, he will no doubt find similar success. Starring the lovely Teresa Palmer, it is the story of a family haunted by the ghost of an old friend.
Wan served as the producer rather than the writer or director, but under the imprimatur of his Atomic Monster production house, it still looks very much like a Wan joint.
James Wan (above)
Which is to say that it is wicked scary in a way that few other films are these days.
Full disclosure: I am too much of a chicken to watch his stuff.
I was forced to do reviews of both Insidious and The Conjuring, and they basically broke me.
After that, I was done with horror.
Eventually I told my boss that I could no longer review horror films.
That said, I probably can still stomach Lights Out as it looks like a good old-fashioned haunted house movie with a clearly defined haunter.
I prefer ghosts to the more murky and ambiguous antagonists of Insidious and The Conjuring - demonic possession gives me the chills - as you're never quite sure who the antagonist is in those types of films.
In fact, the monster could be you.
There is indeed something insidious about Wan's work.
He is one of those horror meisters whose stories are so pervasively black that you can feel the shadowy tendrils reaching out for your own soul.
With Lights Out, there seems to be more separation between the villain and her victims. It is a more clear-cut case of good versus evil.
For me, this more black-and-white approach - as opposed to black and black - is what separates a fun horror flick from a psychologically scarring horror flick.
Then again, who am I kidding?
Lights Out will give me nightmares for a week.
Thanks, James Wan.