Could James Wan’s Malignant be the Next Big Horror Franchise?

Drew Frimston,

To celebrate the release of Malignant to the Fetch Movie Store, we take a look at how Aussie director James Wan has created some of the biggest horror franchises of all time.

Malignant follows Madison, a young woman paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders. Her torment worsens when she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.

Wan revisits his roots in Malignant, stepping back into directing horror for the first time since The Conjuring 2  in 2016. He is exceptional at setting up fear through tension, causing nightmares for millions that have watched his films. He also has an impressive record directing horror, most of which have become massive franchises that are still pumping out new releases to this day.

Here’s a reminder of some of the horror hits James Wan has created.

The Saw Franchise (9 Films 2004 – 2021)

It would be silly to talk about James Wan and not include Saw, his feature directorial debut. This classic of the genre follows two strangers who wake up with no recollection of how they got chained up in a dark decrepit room. They soon discover that they are part of a dangerous game carried out by Jigsaw, a depraved madman, to earn the right to live. Will they earn this right to survive? Or will their new prison become their coffin?

Horror fan or not, there is no way you watch movies and don’t know of the Saw franchise. With a simple concept, James Wan created a blockbuster, throwing twists and turns at the screen to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The original 2004 movie paved the way for a franchise that is currently sitting at nine total movies (with more to come!)

James Wan was playing no games when he created Saw.

The Conjuring Universe (8 Films 2013 – 2021)

The journey of the Conjuring Universe begins with real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who in The Conjuring (2013) work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farm house. The first movie is just the beginning of the horrors this couple encounter. The film has spawned 2 sequels and several spinoffs that include the Annabelle series and The Nun.

As an avid horror fan myself, not many movies can scare me as much as The Conjuring did in 2013 when I first watched it. James Wan lit the spark that created a whole fresh universe of terrors.

Insidious Franchise (4 Films 2011 – 2018)

The original Insidious follows Josh and Renai, a young couple who move their lives for a fresh start, but as their son Dalton falls into a coma, mysterious paranormal events start happening and something evil latches onto Daltons Spirit.

Continuing with his supernatural trend, James Wan directed the first two Insidious films. He seems to excel when delving into those dark spaces on the edge of our minds. Not one for beasts or ghouls, Wan instead works better with the fear in what we can’t see or understand. Insidious is another dark paranormal horror that focuses on the idea of ghostly realms. As always, he builds tension with uncomfortable moments that lead to massive scares. 

James Wan has been crucial in laying the groundwork for several huge horror franchises, so will Malignant be the next universe he creates? Check it out for yourself.

Malignant is now available as a premium buy or rent on the Fetch Movie Store.

What to read next?