James Wan wants to remake Chopping Mall. Yes, just yes, no matter what. A lot of people are bound to look confused when the name of this 1980s horror movie comes up, but that’s expected. It didn’t do well with audiences when it was released and has faded into obscurity. But, despite that fact, it feels likely that James Wan can work his magic and bring it back.
The story isn’t that complicated, in all honesty. It was titled Killbots initially before the title was changed. But let’s face it; the 80s produced several great movies and a lot of schlock. People still love the schlock though, and thanks to nostalgia, a lot of it is coming back. Given James Wan’s style, Chopping Mall could remind people why it’s not a terrible idea.
As mentioned, the story isn’t that tough to understand. A mall with a new security system that involves three robotic security guards is the main focus. A freak accident with a lightning bolt that messes up the electronics predictably mucks things up. And because of this, horror ensues in the most cringe-worthy manner.
For someone like James Wan, that’s a hotbed of ideas to work with.
Keeping the robot idea sounds wise
Seeing that this movie took place in the 80s, it’s easy to understand why the effects are cheap and cheesy. The budget for this movie wasn’t that great, and it’s easy to think they worked with what they had. But with James Wan running the show, it’s fair to think that AI would play a big role since the kind of budget Wan can command is typically impressive.
The use of AI for a story such as this feels necessary, given how the original played out. Artificial intelligence already creeps plenty of people out, so it feels easy to inject it into a horror movie. Wan would likely use another angle to make this story even more intense.
The types of death scenes used might end up as disturbing and even ridiculous. However, keeping a few of those scenes as accurate as possible could work to an advantage. As ridiculous as they can get, some scenes still remain effective over time.
Trying to predict what Wan would do is tough
One has to remember that Wan has helped with and created several different types of movies. He’s not a one-trick pony that can only fixate on a single narrative. So trying to predict what would come from this project is a little tough. One might think that horror in a shopping mall is simple. But really, it could go many ways.
The great thing about the setting is that there are a lot of ideas that come to mind. Given the number of different shops, materials, and uses of the various equipment, someone like Wan could come up with a great horror story. But that’s assuming he kept strictly to horror.
Thinking of this as a comedy isn’t tough at all. In fact, it does feel likely that this movie would lend itself better to the horror/comedy angle than anything else.
Would the movie use known actors or unknowns
This is a good question to ask since trying to remember the actors in this movie is tough. In fact, it’s tougher than remembering the movie. But it could end up working to the movie’s advantage to use actors that aren’t as well known.
Using well-known actors could also work, but it feels as though elevating the movie using known actors is a risky idea. Good actors can’t always elevate a bad movie, as their reputation tends to take over. A great cast can elevate just about any movie, especially if they have a worthy director.
There are those who can take any type of cast and make a great movie. But there’s no doubt that Chopping Mall would still present a challenge to anyone, even Wan. The budget alone would need to increase in a big way to accommodate whatever Wan would do. However, that would likely make the movie even better.
A mall is still a great setting for a horror movie
Quite a few malls are prime locations for horror movies for a number of reasons. For one, there are plenty of places that serve as blind spots. There are a lot of different areas to utilize. Malls can serve as great spots for ambushes, for jump scares, and a lot of other stuff.
Some folks think that malls are an antiquated thing, at least until the holidays. The truth is that malls were threatened by the pandemic and almost made useless. But now, it feels that this institution is bound to stick around for a while. A movie set in a mall is still a worthwhile project.