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An Ode to Our Fright Masters: James Wong

Written by Frank Acosta, April 24, 2016, at 8:39 p.m.

Death, time and time again has been portrayed by many actors/actresses in different forms. It is the one villain, we know we all ultimately have to meet and sometimes even attempt to negotiate with. While some have been depicted as humorous others have been characterized as an emotional turmoiled aspect.

But there’s one that comes to mind represented in the nine-to-five work schedule. One that channels Principal Rooney’s dedicated, headstrong, work ethic in trying to simply catch that pesky Ferris Bueller. Just like Rooney, this Death is simply doing his job. But unlike Rooney…he succeeds every…single…time. So accompany me as we pay an Ode to Our Fright Master:

James Wong, April 20th, 1959


Mr. Wong started off right in the heart of nerdgasm central in the early early 90’s on the show that made us want to believe.

tooms1Throughout the course of the series run and counting up to the newest season, Wong wrote 16 episodes and directed two. While the two that he directed were adequate enough, the episodes he wrote were far more superior.

Who could forget “Squeeze”The serial killer from 1903 who can hibernate for 30 years after devouring five human livers and with the ability to stretch out his entire body into the smallest compartments ever. Or “Ice,” a perfect T.V. homage to the novella and it’s film and remake respectively; Who Goes There?, The Thing from Another World, and The Thing. 
The X Files Home Perhaps his most ambitious and shocking episode written was “Home.” Chronicling the American dream in a mocking demeanor, exploring motherhood nature and nurture, and the concept of worldwide integration, this episode pits our beloved agents against a family of inbreeds.

It was so intense that even as the concept was being brought into fruition crew members deemed it “awful, even for us,” and actor William B. Davis who played the antagonist cigarette smoking man aforementioned that some fans after viewing it questioned whether or not they should continue watching the series.

In 1994, an X-Files spec script, written by X-Files super fan Jefferey Reddick, told the story of Scully’s brother having a premonition of a fatal accident. It was meant to be centered around Mulder and Scully and her relationship with her brother while the concept of the episode was a backdrop.

James Morgan and his writing partner became interested in the script and agreed to rewrite it and direct it. Remember when I spoke about Death?


The concept was rewritten to the form we know now. A group of friends are traveling to Paris for French class when the Little Giants quarterback has a premonition of the plane exploding. Any airline really has this sort of rule where if you yell the plane is going to explode and we will all die, they kinda kick you off the plane. So five of the students and a teacher un-board the plane and wouldn’t you know it…the plane explodes. If this movie taught me anything, it is to listen and believe to whatever the hell our young generation spews out. Because it can save lives!

Well…I mean…some of those were just bound to happen. Moving on.


While he didn’t direct the sequel, he did return for the third one, where this time it’s a roller coaster doomed from the git-go. Now, there are five of these movies, and all of them are the same in terms of story-ology. Whether it be a plane, a highway accident, a roller coaster, a Speedway, or a bridge; a premonition follows. The teens and some adults then try to make sense of what is happening but always remember that one kid Alex from the plane who in a way started it all…kind of a dick move, bro. Well, except for Part 5 because Part 5 has a Shyamalan twist.

But then in the middle of his Outback Steakhouse dinner with Mrs. Death, he has to leave, opting out to give his nonrefundable Opera ticket to his bum of a brother Steve rather than letting them go to waste even though he paid David, his co-worker in the Fathom department who really doesn’t do much anyways, 200 bucks a pop all because the Precogs once in awhile let people see when they are going to die. Anyways, here are some pictures.

From the start to present time dates of American Horror Story, Wong has written some more scripts for the deeply loved series. He has written for every season from “Murder House” to “Hotel.” He’s also gone to write for Ryan Murphy’s other horror show:


And while some episodes are decent, I miss his work on The X-Files. And yes he did return when the series was brought back earlier this year but we only got six episodes. There are talks of bringing back more. If they do, it would be a smart move to bring in Wong again.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 4.54.34 PMHe has only directed four features and the last one being about dragon balls or something. It’s definitely not the live adaptation of the beloved series, because that was a piece of shit.


Hmm…how ’bout that?

So while his movies haven’t been praised much for acclaim, it still is impressive that he managed to start up a franchise where the budget for all five movies put together is $154 million and and the worldwide box office gross stands at about $665 million. Not too shabby. So please, continue writing, James Wong. Maybe it’s time to give it another crack on directing horror because without you, no one would never have guessed that Death is the most upstanding and on point office worker ever. Happy birthday, good sir!

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