James Wan Praises Free-To-Watch Dark Fantasy as a “Fun, underrated gem”

James Wan
THE CONJURING 2, director James Wan, on set, 2016. ph: Matt Kennedy / © New Line Cinema / courtesy Everett Collection

James Wan spent last Halloween season championing different films that need more love on social media. And that has given us a wealth of content to share with our readers. Among the director’s stellar recommendations is the 1989 supernatural horror film Warlock.

Wan began his post by responding to criticisms that some of his previous suggestions have been labeled too ‘old and obscure’. He then goes on to liken Warlock to a supernatural spin on Terminator. That’s a pretty accurate comparison in my estimate. You have the time travel element and a ruthless antagonist with nearly no weakness.

Wan then continues with: ” Two sworn enemies traveling forward in time to contemporary time (late 80s) — one is an evil warlock searching for the power to undo creation, and the other is the witch hunter hunting him. It’s such a fun, underrated gem with terrific performances from Julian Sands as the Warlock and Richard E. Grant as the hunter. You can feel the genre talent of the filmmakers (in David Twohy’s script and Steve Miner’s direction).”

Wan capped the post off by saying, “Side trivia: I looked into the remake rights for this over a decade ago and got to meet the late, great Arnold Kopelson.”

Wow. I would love to see Wan’s take on this story. It’s a shame his attempts to remake Warlock didn’t pan out. But never say never. Perhaps he will revisit the idea one day.

If you haven’t had the chance to check Warlock out, you’re in luck. The picture is streaming free (with ads) on Tubi, as of the publication of this post.

The setup is as follows: In 17th-century New England, witch hunter Giles Redferne (Julian Sands) captures an evil warlock (Richard E. Grant), but the conjurer eludes death with supernatural help. Flung into the future, the warlock winds up in the 1980s and plans to bring about the end of the world. Redferne follows the enchanter into the modern era and continues his mission, but runs into trouble in such unfamiliar surroundings. With the help of a young woman (Lori Singer), can Redferne finally defeat the warlock?

That’s all we’ve got for now. Stay tuned to the site for more recommendations from the masters as we learn them.



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