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An absurdly violent hidden gem from a first-ballot horror hall of famer wages war on streaming

It's been swept under the rug in the wake of further successes.

death sentence
via 20th Century Fox

James Wan might have dipped his toes into blockbuster waters to multi-billion dollar success with Fast & Furious 7 and the DCEU’s Aquaman franchise, but his career had already long since marked him out as a first-ballot candidate for entry into the horror hall of fame. Prior to his big budget excursions, the filmmaker did broaden his creative horizons with an old-school vigilante thriller, but 2007’s Death Sentence arguably remains the most unheralded entry in his back catalogue.

Having created two of the most lucrative properties in the history of horror via The Conjuring Universe and Saw, it’s understandable that blood and guts are often the first thing that comes to mind when reminiscing on what Wan has brought to the Hollywood table over the course of the last two decades.

death sentence
via 20th Century Fox

Death Sentence‘s status as a hidden gem is amplified by the fact it flopped at the box office after failing to recoup its $20 million budget, without mentioning a 20 percent Rotten Tomatoes score from critics being comfortably outshone by a 60 percent user rating further reinforcing is credentials as an unsung fan favorite

15 years on from its inauspicious debut, and the story of Kevin Bacon’s grieving father taking justice into his own hands after witnessing the murder of his son has been surging on streaming, with Death Sentence cracking the Starz Top 10 most-watched list in both the United States and United Kingdom, per FlixPatrol.

It may not be Wan’s best, but it’s definitely in with a shout of being his most underrated.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.