Death Sentence

James Wan interview

James Wan James Wan is excited to talk about his new film, Death Sentence. ďThis is what itís all aboutĒ, he says on a recent call from a press day in Los Angeles. ďI still enjoy doing all of this Ė Iím not jaded yet!Ē While itís not a horror film, which is what the Saw director, 30, is known for, the movie deals with some horrific subject matter Ėrevenge for the death of family members. He beams, ďI think itís a great movie. The performances and action are great. This harkens back to the rough action and thriller films but it has a twist. Itís a cool flick.Ē

The Pit's ace interviewer Paul Salfen uncovers more:

How did you decide on Kevin Bacon as the lead?
I knew the role required an actor that was capable of playing light and dark of equal measure and that is Kevin Bacon. Heís played good guys and bad guys great and heís one of the finest actors out there. I hope he wins an Academy Award one of these days. Getting him on this film was a true blessing for me. Having him on board helped me get Kelly Preston and John Goodman, too. He took the role and ran away with it. I know he enjoyed it Ė especially the action sequences.

Your movies are pretty dark. Do you have a light set in contrast?
Yeah. I donít know if Iím a big believer in method directing. It should be fun and the atmosphere has to be good. We had a great time on this film and we all became family and thatís very important to me.

Did you have a hard time convincing Kevin to shave his head?
No, Kevin was all for it. It wasnít in the initial script, but we put it in there and I said, ďLetís go for itĒ and he just wanted to make sure it was at the right time because we shoot out of sequence and you can only do it once.

So are you really retiring from horror films?
I would say more ďtaking a breakĒ. Iím a big fan of horror films, but I think Iím done making them for now. Itís funny Ė when Leigh Whannell and I wrote Saw, it was more of a thriller and now itís considered a horror film, but Iím not complaining. Itís been really well received as a horror film, so who am I to say what it is?

What are some of your favorite horror movies?
As far as the more mainstream movies Poltergeist and Jaws are my favorites. Outside of America, I love the Italian horror films and the British Hammer horror films.

This movie actually is scarier than most horror movies out there, isnít it?
If anything, I fell like this film is a lot more scary and intense because it deals with an average, everyday middle-class suburban family that weíre all used to and I think people can relate to that. When you see bad things happen to a good family, you sympathize with them and the subject matter is a topical one.

I see Jigsawís clown made another cameo, as it did in Dead Silence. [Laughs] Yeah, thatís my Hitchcock cameo, except itís not me!

What do you think of the ever-expanding Saw franchise?
I have very little to do with the sequels, but Iím honored that this little, low-budget student film of mine got onto the worldís stage, but is so beloved by so many fans out there and they keep wanting to see more, so theyíll keep giving them more Ďtil who knows when? [Laughs]


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