Ranking (most) of James Wan’s horror films from worst to best
Despite some chilling moments and stunning atmosphere, Insidious fails to live up to the height of his other films. It’s good – but the film goes massively downhill in its final act. The film uses every trick in the book – and it falls prey to several clichés because of it. The film lacks the gritty realism of Saw or the sophistication of his other films. I do recommend to watch it – but don’t expect it to be his best film.
4. Insidious: Chapter 2
Insidious: Chapter 2 is a rare horror film that betters the original. The film is very good – however at times the film is predictable – which holds the film back from greatness. It provides some great jump scares but lacks that haunting sting shown previously in The Conjuring.
I feel guilty for putting Saw at number 3 – really, it’s great. Saw was James Wan’s directorial debut and holds up as one of the best (and most influential) horror films of the 21st century. While the next two films didn’t break new ground into the genre, Saw inspired a wave of torture films for years to come. The original isn’t actually torture though – more of a serial killer thriller. Saw breathed life into a seemingly dead genre – for that alone – Saw deserved to be viewed by horror fans.
2. The Conjuring 2
After going slightly downhill with Insidious: Chapter 2 and leaving the genre with Furious 7, James Wan came soaring back in the genre with 2016’s The Conjuring 2. The film is a fantastic sequel to a fantastic original and packs a lasting punch. The Conjuring 2 is Wan taking bits from his previous films, bits from other classics and adds his own originality, creating one of the most haunting films of the 21st century.
1. The Conjuring
The Conjuring is a perfect example of a horror film – scary, shocking, well crafted and memorable. The Conjuring is the scariest film of the 21st century (and there’s some competition.) Wan shows how much he progressed from films like Insidious and actually all his other films. Saw is great – however this film more well-crafted and is a whole lot more frightening. Wan showed audiences that horror still had a future, that it still had hope. This is certainly his best film and it is extremely hard for him to better it.