James Wan is a household name at this point. Since his debut in 2004 with SAW, the writer, director, and producer has kept busy. He and creative partner Leigh Whannell have launched some of horror's most prolific franchises; Saw, Insidious, and the Conjuring universe. Wan has also joined the billion-dollar club with Furious 7 and Aquaman. His most recent success, M3gan (directed by Gerard johnstone from a screenplay by Akela Cooper), which he produced, made 30 million dollars this past weekend. He's now set his sight on giving new life to a few 80's classics: Chopping Mall and Night of the Creeps.
In a recent interview with /Film, he had this to say about the projects:
"I have many horror films that I think are just fun that I love, and I'm pretty sure the horror community shares them with me. I love movies like 'Chopping Mall.' I love 'Night of the Creeps.' These, to me, are just sort of fun horror films that I would love to be able to dive into one day, or do them but with the way that I make my films."
Chopping Mall asks, what if mall security robots malfunctioned and went on a killing spree. That question is answered by a group of young adults who decide to party after hours in a mattress store and systematically get picked off one by one. It's simple, gory fun and features two icons of the era, Barbara Crampton (Reanimator) and Kelli Maroney (Night of the Comet). I could see this being updated for modern audiences, but where would you set it as malls have gone the way of the dinosaurs at this point.
Night of the Creeps is a personal favorite. Written and directed by Fred Dekker (Monster Squad), it tells the story of alien parasites unleashed on earth. Entering the body through the mouth, these slugs turn their hosts into flesh-eating zombies. Too bad they had to show up on the night of the big sorority formal. It features genre icon Tom Atkins (Halloween 3: Season of the Witch) in my favorite of his roles. Thrill me! Check out my full retro review here.
Given his most recent collaborations with writer Akela Cooper on Malignant and M3gan, I could see these being an absolute blast, keeping with the themes of body horror and technology gone sadistic. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.