James Wan, director of modern horror mainstays such as the first "Saw" film and "The Conjuring," has just signed on to direct an Aquaman movie, and thus completes the gobbling up of another horror director by the movie business.
Wan is certainly not without his stumbles (Insidious 1/2 and Dead Silence were no masterpieces), but he's proven himself on several occasions to be a more-than-capable director with a passion for horror, but horror movies and good filmmakers don't mix. Not forever, anyway.
Any filmmaker who is worth his salt won't stay in horror. The genre lacks the cash flow of action, the prestige of drama and the appeal of comedy. Money may be the most important factor: 16 of the top 20 highest-grossing horror films of all time didn't even eclipse $150 million in domestic gross, a number that, even if achieved, would rank it at a cool 21st on 2014's list.
Keeping with James Wan, his latest film "Furious 7" is about to make twice as much money worldwide as all seven movies in the "Saw" series combined. I'm getting the feeling that, after "The Conjuring 2," James Wan is done with horror. Can I blame him? No. Do I wish the horror film genre had more hospitality to keep good filmmakers? You bet.
I'm just counting the movies until the industry snatches up the other good working horror directors, like David Robert Mitchell ("It Follows") and, my personal favorite, Adam Wingard ("You're Next," "The Guest"). Talented filmmakers will always be offered projects that require talent, and that's not horror.
My plea to Mr. Wingard: Please don't leave me alone with Eli Roth.