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Hollywood's 20 Masters of Horror: The Twisted Talents Raising the Most Hell

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    FILM: James Wan
    Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images
    James Wan
    The Gore Guru

    You might understand if the Australian director, 36, chose to rehash early success. His 2004 indie Saw (co-written by Leigh Whannell) was made for $1.2 million and grossed $103 million worldwide and spawned a seven-title franchise that collectively has generated $873 million while defining modern torture porn — though Wan considers the first installment, about a serial killer who devises a series of grisly traps for his prey, more of a psychological thriller.

    So, while remaining an executive producer on the sequels, Wan explored other subgenres: “After Saw, I got put into a box that was somewhat limiting, so I reinvented myself with Insidious,” he says, referring to his 2011 possession pic that scared up $97 million worldwide — enough to greenlight a sequel, which was released this year, as was Wan’s The Conjuring (which made $305 million worldwide).

    Wan craved yet another challenge — and landed none other than the seventh installment of the juggernaut Fast & Furious franchise, now in production: “I’m trying to stay true to the world that they’ve created but at the same time make it feel uniquely mine.”

    Read THR's complete Masters of Horror list here.

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