were particularly influenced by Hammer horror and by older ghostly films such as The
and The Haunting. If he had his way they would have made the film in black and white. “But today’s kids aren’t into that. It’s weird.”
He has a point. Too many younger horror fans – too many younger movie fans, for that matter – seem to believe that cinema began in 1970. The cause, as Wan agrees, is, perhaps, that there are now too many ways to avoid watching old films. A few decades ago, if a horror classic screened on ITV, you might only have two other channels available. If Call My Bluff didn’t take your fancy, then you almost felt forced to watch Bride of Frankenstein.
“Today’s kids have so much to watch,” he says. “And if there is nothing to watch on TV they go to YouTube. If you are making films in today’s world you have to be educated as to where the film-viewing climate is at. Look, I want to make commercial films. I am not making arthouse films.”
Still, it seems as if the latest young tyro is in contact with his inner old fogey. Prompted to name influences, he is as happy to mention Dead of Night, the 1945 British shocker, as more recent, more blood-drenched entertainments. Where did this taste come from? Wan, born in the late 1970s, is a child of the video generation. At one point, rather poignantly, he says he wished he had been around to experience the unveiling of such ancient classics as Jaws and The Exorcist.
“I can very easily pinpoint the time that I realised I might become a film-maker. I was 11 years old. I came across my cousin’s college guidebook. She was about to move on to university. I picked it up one day and there