A young woman begins to have visions of the murders being perpetrated by the same killer that attacked her.
Spoiler Level: None
Sometimes it seems like someone puts a pin in a dictionary and whatever word it pierces is the title of the next film. James Wan, master of the one-word horror genre, has struck again. Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, Annabelle, Jigsaw, and Malignant are all films that James has either written, produced, or directed. I would say that things are getting monotonous (wouldn’t surprise me if that were a title of an upcoming James Wan movie), if he weren’t so good at delivering entertaining stories and Malignant is no exception.
The plot is simple. Maddie (Annabelle Wallis), a young woman in an abusive relationship, after a particularly brutal incident with her husband Derek (Jake Abel), they are both attacked by a creepy murderer who appears to be more shadow than substance and who moves with a non-human cadence. Soon after, she begins to see visions of the killer’s other victims as they are being murdered. The police are suspicious of Maddie, so along with her younger sister, Sydney (Maddie Hasson), the sisters begin to investigate the mystery behind this vengeful being. Who or what is this thing? How is she connected to the killer? Watch and find out.
I am a big fan of horror movies that have a mystery to be solved before the story can be resolved. It is fun for me to try to figure out what is happening by the clues given. James Wan is particularly good at crafting these types of stories. He feeds us enough information to lead us down different paths, usually with several twists and turns to keep one guessing at what the real truth is. Malignant has a great mystery to be solved, but even more than that, it has a very special energy and a very outside the box, over the top story. Other reviewers have used the terms, “WTF energy”, “Bonkers”, “It’s silly, it’s outrageous, and it’s a blast.”, and “go-for-broke energy”, but most of them agree that this works and makes the film exciting and fun to watch.
The acting is good, but there were a couple parts that were a bit too campy, specifically in the beginning of the film. As already mentioned, the storyline is expertly crafted with lots of action, intrigue, and quite a few scary moments. The rhythm of the film flowed smoothly, with no real slow or boring parts. Although I did not find the plot confusing, I have been told that some of the scenes felt convoluted and confusing. This may be attributed to much of the exposition happening very quickly. If you miss even a single line of dialogue, it can mean you miss an important piece of the puzzle and you won’t fully understand why certain things are transpiring.
The original music is well composed and adds to the suspense and action and really adds to the energy of the movie. Visually the film is appropriately creepy with great use of fog, light and shadow with some very nicely done camera tracking. The special effects were good in the beginning, but some of the fight scenes were blatantly computer generated and did not look real at all. One thing that some people will probably like but I am not a fan of is gore. The film had a few too many gross out shots for me, but this is personal preference as does not take away that this is a finely done movie.
This is a frenzied, over the top, WTF story and was so much fun to watch. Best horror film I have seen in a while!
Malignant: Cut the Cancer Out
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 9/109/10
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