James Wan has become a modern master of horror, helping the genre flourish throughout the '10s with his films like The Conjuring, Insidious, and Saw. Now, he's back with a gritty thriller that plays into a different side of horror in Malignant, which just dropped its official trailer earlier this week.
In a new interview with IGN, Wan discussed a few details regarding his new project, centering on Madison Mitchell (played by Annabelle Wallis), a woman plagued with visions of murders that she believes correlate with her past. The trailer revives some of the early '00's horror films with a mix of some crime drama elements, with a very promising taste of what's to come.
Wan was very reluctant to divulge too much to the publication regarding the upcoming film, but he did share, "What I will say [about the film's villain Gabriel] is I'm very aware of the reputation that I have built for myself in the horror genre in recent years. And I'm always trying to find new ways to reinvent myself so that I don't get stale, so to speak. Or rather, I don't want peoples' perception of me to get stale. I don't want people to keep thinking, 'Oh, James is just doing the same thing again and again because he's able to do it. He does it well, and that's all he does.' And I hate that. And so part of the reason, too, why I wanted to make Malignant was that I want people to know that this is not a jump scare film."
Wan continues, "I worked very hard to make a movie that doesn't really have my traditional jump scares because it's not that kind of a movie. And I feel like I know that people now associate me with demonic possessions, and haunted houses, and stuff like that. And so, with that in mind, I knew I wanted to play with peoples' perception of me."
Though Wan admits that he is veering away from making Malignant a total jump-scare film, the trailer does appear to have several of those moments as well. So this sounds like it could be Wan's attempt at reinventing himself and people's ideas of what he's capable of.
Malignant will arrive in theaters on September 10. Will you be checking it out?