All James Wan Horror Movies Ranked Worst to Best

Horror Movie Director James Wan
James Wan Movie Director

Horror Movies Ranked Worst to Best Directed by James Wan

James Wan director who can be counted on to deliver the goods when it comes to horror movies. In fact, he's one of the few horror directors to have successfully transitioned from indie films (Saw) to big budget blockbusters (Aquaman). He's also just getting started with his own horror universe (The Conjuring Universe), which means we'll get plenty more opportunities to see him putting his stamp on this genre for years to come. 

Which of his movies are worth watching? Which ones should you skip? 

Here's all James Wan horror movies ranked worst to best:

25. Saw VI (2009)

SAW VI (2009) - Official Trailer #1

Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) becomes the next in line to carry on the serial killer's depraved legacy as Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) continues to control events from beyond the grave. Hoffman, however, starts a game that is intended to expose Jigsaw's master plan as the FBI closes in.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't occasionally bounce up and down in my seat. Sadly, the plot was a little bit disjointed.

24. Jigsaw (2017)

Jigsaw (2017 Movie) Official Trailer

Law enforcement officers find themselves chasing the ghost of a man who has been dead for more than ten years after a string of murders that have all the hallmarks of the Jigsaw killer, and they become involved in a new game that has just started. Is John Kramer raising himself from the dead to urge people to express gratitude for the gift of life? Or was this a trap created by a murderer with ulterior motives?

You might have anticipated a return to the fundamentals seven years after Saw 3D, but Jigsaw focuses even more on the franchise's detailed storytelling. Even though it just lasts 90 minutes, it seems longer.

23. Saw 3D The Final Chapter (2010

SAW 3D - Official Trailer [HD] (720p)

During a bloody conflict over Jigsaw's (Tobin Bell) horrific legacy, survivors turn to a self-help guru who is also a survivor and harbours his own dark secrets for solace. Meanwhile, Jigsaw's wife and a writer with his own tale are targets of corrupt cop Hoffman (Costas Mandylor).

While the movie doesn't exactly wrap up the series, it nevertheless ranks among the stronger parts. Fast-paced, brutal, and full of "ewwww!" moments that support the movie's purposefully goofy use of 3D.

22. Saw V (2008)

Saw 5 (2008) Official HD Trailer [1080p]

Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who appears to be Jigsaw's final student and heir apparent, sets out to find his secret. Hoffman eliminates each of his adversaries one by one using a series of increasingly strange and gory traps to save the Jigsaw heritage.

The best murder-house dynamic in the series is created by the combination of heartfelt cooperation, atonement, and violent backstabbing. Without Jigsaw, the Saw series isn't nearly as compelling, but discovering ways to incorporate him into increasingly desperate sequels is growing harder.

21. Saw IV (2007)

Saw IV Official Unrated Edition Trailer (2007)

The stomach of serial murderer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is found to contain a cassette recording on which he issues a warning that his grisly games will continue. Indeed, in order to locate two missing colleagues, SWAT Lt. Daniel Rigg (Lyriq Bent) is compelled to trace a bloody trail of murder, torture, and dismemberment. As they solve the mystery of the killer's origins, revealed in gory flashbacks, a couple of FBI profilers keep an eye on Riggs because they think he might be Jigsaw's collaborator.

The tales of the death of torture porn may have been much exaggerated, but this fourth instalment in the series of self-mutilation films adds to what may be the worst genre of the decade: the clumsily "sympathetic" history of a serial killer. Boring to say the least.

20. Insidious The Last Key (2018)

Insidious: The Last Key - Official Trailer (HD)

Elise Rainier, a brilliant parapsychologist, gets a distressing call from a guy who says his house is haunted. The address of the house where Elise was raised as a youngster, 413 Apple Tree Lane in Five Keys, New Mexico, is even more unsettling. In order to face and vanquish her biggest fear ,the demon that she unintentionally set free years earlier, Rainier journeys to Five Keys with the assistance of her two investigation partners.

The portrayal of Elise by Lin Shaye is one of the film's many highlights. She's always fantastic, but because this movie is entirely about her character, she gets a lot of opportunities to shine, and she does.

You may anticipate the enjoyable scares that these movies have offered over the past eight years, but after four releases, it appears that they are having difficulty reaching the  climax. Providing an ending that is unworthy for a franchise with a good reputation.

19. Insidious Chapter 3 (2015)

Insidious: Chapter 3 Official Trailer #1 (2015)

Teenager Quinn Brenner (Stefanie Scott) seeks the assistance of gifted psychic Elise Rainier when she believes that her deceased mother is attempting to reach her (Lin Shaye). Elise is hesitant to use her skills though because of her unfortunate history. Dermot Mulroney's character, Quinn's father, begs Elise for assistance when Quinn is attacked by an evil force. Elise explores The Further in depth with the assistance of two parapsychologists, where she encounters a formidable monster with an insatiable appetite for human souls.

This charming, but ultimately melancholy prequel contains a lot more backstory but somewhat less thrills than its significantly scarier predecessors, making it more Insidious than the other entries.

18. Saw III (2006)

Saw III (2006) - Trailer

In the latest bloody game played by the Jigsaw Killer (Tobin Bell), Dr. Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) becomes a pawn. She discovers Jigsaw ill and dying after being abducted and carried to an abandoned warehouse. Her objective is to keep the psychotic individual alive long enough for another victim, Jeff (Angus Macfadyen), to finish his own duty. None of them are aware that Jigsaw has much more ambitious and deadly plans in mind.

The third film doesn't cross the line, but it does feel like John is deliberately setting his subjects up to fail. If John really wants people to choose the path of redemption, the game shouldn't be so unfairly set up.

Saw III is a respectable sequel that succeeds on its own terms, while largely adhering to the successful formula of its two predecessors.

17. Malignant (2021)

MALIGNANT – Official Trailer

A woman experiences horrific images that paralyse her with fear; her suffering deepens when she realises that her waking dreams are a terrifying reality.

As he ramps up the horrific carnage, Wan gleefully references the extreme work of horror movie enthusiasts like David Cronenberg and Dario Argento. Malignant is the kind of movie that demands that viewers sit still and keep their mouths quiet right away. You miss something and that’s it…

16. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2 - Main Trailer [HD]

Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren, two paranormal investigators, leave their self-imposed hiatus in 1977 to visit the north London borough of Enfield. They encounter Peggy Hodgson, a frazzled single mother of four who informs them that evil is there in her home. The youngest daughter begins to exhibit symptoms of demonic possession, which leads Ed and Lorraine to believe her claim. The Warrens become the evil spirit's next victims as they attempt to aid the surrounded girl.

Wan is still excellent at capturing vivid, horrifying imagery that sticks in the mind as well as intercutting moments of humour that are shockingly sincere and endearing.

It is a simple task carried out effectively, serving as a prime illustration of what Wan consistently delivers. He's going to keep you on edge since nothing can ever feel completely stable with a moving camera.

15. Saw II (2005)

Saw II (2005) Official Trailer #1 - Horror Movie

Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) and his team are on the prowl for the deranged vigilante and serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), and they need to catch the elusive killer to free eight people who are trapped in an abandoned home before they fall victim to his painful and homicidal pranks. One peculiarity of this assignment is that one of the eight individuals chosen by Jigsaw to be tested for their lack of morality is Matthews' own son Daniel (Erik Knudsen). Every second matters when nerve gas is flowing through the house.

If you've been a fan of the Saw films, II ramps up the brutality without going overboard and it’s a respectable sequel to the first.

They're the kind of elaborate tortures that make you scream and laugh at the same time; they seem to leave behind the real world of agony and suffering for the domain of slapstick in a fun house like this.

14. Annabelle Comes Home (2019)


Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren lock the demonic doll in their home's relics room to stop Annabelle from unleashing additional harm. The couple's 10-year-old daughter, her friends, and their young babysitter, however, quickly experience an unspeakable night of terror when the doll awakens the evil spirits in the room.

This is an exceptionally attractive terrifying film that respects the intelligence of the viewer while providing all the necessary goosebumps and just the appropriate amount of gore.

13. Insidious Chapter 2 (2013)

Insidious: Chapter 2 Official Trailer #1 (2013)

The Lamberts, Renai (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Patrick Wilson), are eager for their lives to get back to normal after their battle with the demonic forces that were possessing their son. But something is still very wrong, particularly with Josh, who Renai is unaware is also possessed. Lorraine Lambert (Barbara Hershey) and her ghost-hunting pals look into the past in order to free Josh's spirit and finally fight the evil forces around them in order to protect her family's future.

Although Insidious Chapter 2 is quite frightening, the film's frightfulness comes from the numerous head-bangs and protruding-face effects it employs. The actors do a good job, but the film's very grating history revelations nearly make the spooky original seem less terrifying.  There might be something here if you're seeking for straightforward, old-fashioned scares.

12. Dead Silence (2007)

Dead Silence Official Trailer #1

Jamie Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) goes back to their eerie hometown of Ravens Fair to solve the murder of his wife after she meets a horrible end. Once there, he learns about the phantom ventriloquist Mary Shaw (Joan Heney), whose spooky presence is said to still hang over the town. In his search for answers, Jamie comes upon the curse that claimed the life of his wife and puts his own life in danger.

Even though I'm probably in the minority, I sort of liked it. Because I'm fearful of dolls or puppets coming to life, this movie terrified me. I've seen so many horror movies that nothing scares me anymore, except for puppets and dolls.

11. Lights Outs (2016)

Lights Out - Official Trailer [HD]

Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) believed her childhood anxieties were behind her when she left home. She never really knew what was real when the lights went out at night as a young kid growing up. Her younger brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is currently going through the same horrific, unexplainable things that put her safety and sanity at danger. A demonic force has come back to afflict the entire family because it has a sinister connection to their mother (Maria Bello).

The basic idea is that the monster will only move when it is completely dark and will avoid any light. This sort of reminds me of the Weeping Angels from the Doctor Who series. Though, the film manages to frighten viewers a few times. Look for it. Then, for the love of God, get a nightstand lamp.

10. Annabelle Creation (2017)

ANNABELLE: CREATION - Official Trailer

Sam Mullins, a former toymaker, and his wife Esther are delighted to receive a nun and six orphaned daughters into their home in California. The couple's 7-year-old daughter Annabelle perished in a horrible auto accident years earlier. As soon as a child enters a prohibited chamber and discovers a doll that appears to be innocent but is alive, terror ensues.

I was taken aback by this film. I got an interesting horror film instead of the mindless horror movie I was expecting. Contrary to the first Anabelle, this one focuses heavily on tension, and it does so masterfully. I was shocked by how much I felt for the characters, particularly the two main girls.

9. Demonic (2015)

Demonic Official UK Trailer #1 (2015)

Five people who died while making phantom calls are the subject of an investigation by a police officer and a psychologist.

Demonic is therefore haunted by its own paradoxical narratology, creating something deftly deceptive and profoundly irrational, even as it masterfully delivers all the bumps in the night that fans of this genre enjoy.

8. The Curse of La Llorona (2019)


The fabled ghost La Llorona stalks the night,and the kids  in 1970s Los Angeles. An anxious mother's ominous warning is disregarded, and a social worker and her own children are sucked into a terrifying supernatural world. The only person who can save them from La Llorona's lethal vengeance is a disillusioned priest who uses mysticism to ward against evil.

But the ritual of creaking doors and wind howling through windows does grow old, but Raymond Cruz's exorcist played the part well. I enjoyed this movie a lot. It has just the appropriate amount of horror and frights, in my opinion.

7. Annabelle (2014)

Annabelle - Official Main Trailer [HD]

With a vintage doll wearing a lovely white frock, John Form (Ward Horton) believes he has found the ideal present for his pregnant wife Mia (Annabelle Wallis). They are violently attacked by devil worshipers who break into their home one dreadful night. The cultists use Mia's doll as a conduit for supreme evil by painting a bloody rune on the nursery wall and dripping blood on it as they attempt to call a demon.

In its defence, I really like this Conjuring spinoff. The elevator scenes are pretty spooky. The doll itself is quite creepy.

6. Saw (2004)

Saw (2004) Official Trailer #1 - James Wan Movie

While tethered to pipes at either end of a filthy bathroom, photographer Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) and oncologist Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) recover consciousness. Flashbacks reveal the fates of the two men's prior victims as they come to the realisation that they have been trapped by a vicious serial killer known as "Jigsaw" and must solve his strange riddle to survive. While this is going on, Dr. Gordon's wife (Monica Potter) and little daughter (Makenzie Vega) are made to watch on closed-circuit video while he is tortured.

The enormous revelations continue to come as a genuine shock, and the sound of Jigsaw's solemn voice emanating from the tape recorder is as foreboding as one might expect. The plot of James Wan's brutal horror flick Saw is filled with bizarre turns and actors who appear guilty.

5. There’s Someone Inside Your House (2021)

There’s Someone Inside Your House | Official Trailer | Netflix

Sydney Park's character, Makani Young, relocated from Hawaii to a tranquil, small-town Nebraska where she will reside with her grandma and complete her senior year of high school. But as graduation approaches, Jane and her friends are being followed by a murderer who wants to expose their darkest secrets to the entire community. The killer terrorises each victim while donning a lifelike mask of their own face. Makani, who also has a murky history, and her pals need to find the killer before they also become victims.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, which captivated me right away. I never once caught myself checking my phone or doing anything else you do when you become bored watching a movie.

4. Conjuring 3 The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) 


Even seasoned real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were horrified by the harrowing tale of terror, murder, and unknown evil revealed in "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It." One of the most dramatic cases in their archives begins with a battle for a young boy's soul and goes far beyond anything they had ever seen to become the first murder suspect in American history to use demonic possession as a defence.

This one was great! Even though it's the weakest of the franchise's main films, it's still excellent and horrifyingly scary! It outperforms all the Annabelle spin-offs!!

3. Insidious (2010)

Insidious (2010) Official Trailer #1 - James Wan Movie HD

When it appears that their new home is haunted and that their unconscious kid (Ty Simpkins) is being controlled by a malicious spirit, the parents (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) take extraordinary measures.

In this film, director James Wan demonstrates his mastery at creating dramatic suspense and having you worry about what's happening in your peripheral vision. Insidious is a terrifying horror film staple that will thrillingly haunt you when the lights go out thanks to its chilling soundtrack, eerie visuals, and refreshing lack of blood.

2. The Nun (2018)

THE NUN Trailer (2018)

The Vatican sends a priest with a troubled background and a novitiate who is about to take her final vows to investigate when a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania commits suicide. Together, they learn the evil secret of the order. They face a malicious power in the form of a demonic nun, risking not only their lives but also their beliefs and very souls.

The Nun, the most recent instalment in The Conjuring series, is a horrifying horror movie. Both Taissa Farmiga and Demian Bichir deliver terrific performances, and director Corin 

Hardy does a particularly fine job of setting a mood that is suspenseful and evocative. A terrifying supernatural suspense thriller.

1. The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring - Official Main Trailer [HD]

In 1970, Carolyn (Lili Taylor) and Roger (Ron Livingston) Perron's home is visited by paranormal investigators and demonologists Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed (Patrick Wilson) Warren. Recently, the Perrons and their five kids moved into a remote farmhouse where a paranormal presence has manifested itself. Even while the manifestations start out mild, they quickly turn frightening, especially as the Warrens learn about the house's spooky past.

Wan makes blithe use of every cliché associated with the horror genre. If the effects are robustly constructed and not overly literal, he is aware that no one is immune. The Conjuring's use of tension, mood, and suggestion demonstrates that what scares audiences the most isn't what they see, but rather what they don't.

We hope you enjoyed this selection of horror films by James Wan. We suggest watching The Conjuring, Insidious, and The Nun if you want to see the prime examples of his work. They are all excellent films that have received appreciation from both critics and viewers. This year, Wan has several films coming out, so be sure to take some time to go see them.

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