Filmmaker Interviews

Interview With James Wan About Being Asian Aussie And His Relationship With Horror

James Wan’s new cult horror film “Malignant”, will be out in Australian cinemas on October 21 – close to Halloween, so it is definitely something to look forward to. Wan is one of the most successful Aussie directors, and he is well known all over the world as the “horror and gore” director. So his new film “Malignant” lives up to this title. Want to know more about “Malignant”? Well….teratoma tumors, parasitic twins and contorted bodies running all over the place sets the scene.

Described by Wan himself as “easily my most violent and gory film”, the movie will not only give you the heebie jeebies and scare you to the point of no return, but it will have you come back for more. That is all I will say about – so as to not ruin it for you all!

During an interview with Wan after a press screening of “Malignant” for AsAm News, we bonded over the similarities we shares. We are both Malaysian Chinese background, both Aussies and both live/spend time in California.

Wan: “Hey! it it is great to see you again, and fellow Malaysian Aussies in the house! It is always great to be able to showcase my Aussie grit when making my films, as its raw and I definitely do not hold back. My Asian-ness shows when I inject the Asian horror story influences I had growing up in both Malaysia and in Australia.”

Watching “Malignant”, there was an undeniable Asian feel to it. It has the vibe of the Japanese horror cult classic, The Ring, as well as Sadako, a 2019 supernatural horror film.

Wan: “I have been lucky to have been exposed to great Asian cinemas and supernatural stories from around the world. I would say even if they don’t outright inspire me from the get go, Asian stories will always be at the back of my mind.”

If I didn’t ask this question, it wouldn’t be me, so in front of the horror legend James Wan, I inquired “kindly” and “innocently” about one of the main characters who was pretty much goddamn gorgeous – “Detective Kokoa Shaw” played by Asian British actor George Young. I asked Wan, if there is a part 2 of “Malignant”, will the cute detective return?

Wan: “Firstly, we all love George Young and he is one of the sweetest guys and such a lovely person. I cannot wait for the world to discover him as he will be a break out star at some point and I will be like “hey, I am the guy who put him out there”. If we are lucky enough for a future installment, you never know – did we really see him die in the film? I will just leave it at that.”

Finally, Wan commented on the labels he gets as being the “torture porn” director and is not shielded from criticism:

Wan: “When I made the first Saw film, I was given the torture porn label, and known as the guru of blood and gore. At that time I felt these labels were unwarranted because I didn’t feel Saw was as hardcore as people thought it was, and to be honest, Malignant is easily my most violent and gory film, so that part of it will turn some people off.”

Malignant will be released in Australia on October 21, so hopefully, you will all go out and watch it!~ Remember, Wan is one of our own!

Leave a Reply