Director James Wan Loves This Classic Thriller’s Lost Approach: “The eyes of the murderer”

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

Powerhouse director James Wan takes a lot of inspiration from the films of yesteryear. Dead Silence was heavily influenced by Bava and Argento. And it turns out that Malignant was inspired by a giallo-esque chiller from the ‘70s. I’m talking about Eyes of Laura Mars.

During his press tour for Malignant, Wan spoke with SciFi Now about his cinematic inspirations and much more. When the outlet asked about the influence of Eyes of Laura Mars, Wan had lots to say.

“One of the things I wanted to do was hark back to… there was a particular style of late-eighties and early-nineties serial killer stories, Wan said. “It’s that subgenre where you follow the victim or the main character and you follow them through the eyes of the murderer. It’s pretty amazing that it was a genre in its own right. In that period of time, it was pretty overdone, and I just thought, ‘that’s something really cool that I grew up with, and I really enjoyed it back then and no one really makes anything like that anymore’. So I thought it would be fun to go back to something we’re really familiar with and do my own thing to it, which is to completely flip it on its head. I use that as a starting point for inspiration and then I see where it takes me.”

The setup is as follows: Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) is a renowned New York City fashion photographer who features sensual and violent images in her controversial work. Suddenly, Laura gains the ability to see visions from a serial killer’s perspective — and it happens to be her friends and associates that he is stalking. Aided by police investigator John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones), Laura tries to prevent the murderer from finding more victims, but she has no idea who the psychopath could be.

That’s all we’ve got for you for the time being. Be sure to stay tuned to the site for more recommendations from the masters as we uncover them. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter so you never miss an update.



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