While Joey King is currently moving into the world of action fantasy with Hulu’s Princess, the young actor has appeared in more than his fair share of horror films. Almost all actors of course have some horror movies in their filmography. The infamously cheap, profitable, and quick-to-produce nature of horror cinema makes it a gold mine for young actors wanting to make a name for themselves. And Princess The lead role has already starred in a handful of notable horror films since her acting debut at the age of 4.
One of Joey King’s first feature credits as a child performer came courtesy of a small role in the 2008 horror remake Quarantine. Since then, the Emmy-nominated actor has also found success in true crime miniseries, action films and romantic comedies, such as the popular Netflix The kissing kiosk trilogy, but it continued its horror production with film titles such as Wish on, Slender manand The lieas well as anthology TV shows RL Stine’s haunting hour and horror show. Meanwhile, perhaps his most famous film of any genre is still James Wan’s massively successful haunted house story, which spawned horror franchises. Conspiracyfrom 2013.
Not all of the actor’s endeavors in the horror genre are as acclaimed as this Ed and Lorraine Warren-inspired film. Some of Joey King’s horror films garnered very poor reviews and would leave viewers hoping that the actor at least got some publicity and profile from his thankless early roles. Here’s a ranking of Joey King’s horror movies from worst to best.
Overshadowed by a tragic real-life crime involving the stabbing of a young girl and the titular urban mythos, Thin Man was a doomed attempt to bring a famous piece of online folklore to the big screen. Despite the talents of Joey King and director Sylvain White, Slender man is hardly a movie, let alone a good horror movie. A messy and indecipherable effort, it was cut into ribbons by editors overzealous to avoid controversy. As a result, not only does it fail to bring the titular internet boogeyman to life in a terrifying way, the 2018 film isn’t even able to deliver an understandable storyline. Slender manThe trailers warned viewers of the weak, subscribed and indecipherable slog they were faced with, but the film still managed to perform well at the box office.
Wish on has a classic horror movie premise in which Joey King’s heroine is given a magic box, which grants wishes, but wishes come at the cost of the lives of those around her. It’s a solid “be careful what you wish for” parable that could have been a fun, dark teen horror if it had been given a sense of humor, memorable characters, and a fast pace. However, despite the work of annabelle director John R Leonetti, there’s nothing scary about this teenage screamer from 2017. There’s a lot of laughs to be had while watching Wish on like campy, goofy bad horror, but none of the joy produced by the film is in any way intentional.
Joe Hill’s adaptation The black phone proved that a horror movie with just a few locations, a game of cat and mouse between a scary adult and a helpless teenager, and a simple plot could succeed. At Veena South The lie isn’t nearly as successful, thanks to its unnecessarily convoluted plot, but at the heart of this 2019 anthology horror effort is a strong thriller with an effective, mean-spirited punchline. A tense psychological horror film that allows Joey King to display his considerable talents as a dramatic actress, The lie pits him against an unhinged friend’s father in a story that’s a little too clever for its own good, but still manages to get under the viewers’ skin. Dark and disturbingThe lieThe incredibly plausible plot makes its chilling story all the more compelling until the final act pushes things a bit too far to stay grounded in a reality.
Quarantine proves that not all Hollywood horror remakes are insulting, unoriginal slasher movies. Joey King has a relatively minor role in the found zombie movie, but that doesn’t stop this gripping clash from being one of the only alien horror remakes of its time worth seeking out. Quarantine can’t quite recapture the relentless intensity of the original 2007 hit [REC] and, as is always the case with shot-for-shot remakes, there’s an argument to be made that viewers who’ve seen the superior original film needn’t bother with this one. However, judged on its own merits, Quarantine is effective zombie horror, a fast-paced and often brutal chase thriller, and an admirably dark shot at imagining a relatively realistic response to a plague of murderous undead.
The terrifying and brilliant Conspiracy is still director James Wan’s best film to date, a hit that raised the bar for haunted house films and has yet to be surpassed since its release in 2013. Joey King shines in a small role as the one of the children affected by the haunting that plagues an isolated farmhouse, but she is just one of many outstanding stars in a lineup that has no weak link. The chemistry of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farming makes up for the movie — and the franchise that followed — by ignoring the real-life controversies and scandals that plagued the Warrens, while Lili Taylor remains as underappreciated as ever.
However, the real star of Conspiracy is cinema, with Wan’s film dealing a true story to death for all the premise is worth. Wan’s giallo tributes clever maybe more spectacularly bloody, but it’s hard to beat Conspiracy for subtle, slow-burning chills. Thanks to Wan’s smooth, fluid camerawork and ingenious sound design, an old tale becomes spooky again, and a simple game of “hide and clap” becomes a nightmare. With stronger scares in its first hour than some filmmakers manage to manage in an entire career, Wan Conspiracy remains a Hollywood horror classic and the best film that Princess Star Joey King has contributed to the genre so far.
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