James Wan's Malignant starts out as a normal horror flick, then transcends into an absolute bonkers third act. You won't know what hit you.
Malignant: "(of a disease) very virulent or infectious."
This wacky approach Wan uses in the third act to eventually let the gates of hell break loose, works incredibly well for the film as a whole. I was already intrigued by the film's creepy and slow-burning approach, then was completely gobsmacked at what transpired next. I will reveal no spoils in this review. Only to tell you that if you love horror, then you should drop everything and watch this movie immediately. Wan is known for making some great horror pictures in the past. Most notably Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013). I had a great experience in the past watching The Conjuring on the big screen. I took my younger sister to see it with me and the theater was sold out. I distinctively remember this group of rowdy jocks walk in and sit directly behind us. They were a bit rambunctious at the beginning and then shut up less than halfway through the horror feature. After the movie was over, all of them got up in a single file line and walked out in complete silence. It was glorious.
That's who Wan is as a skillful horror director — he can make a picture so scary that it numbs your bones. Now, Malignant isn't particularly scary — like The Conjuring — but it was always thrilling. Our film follows Madison (a strong Annabelle Wallis), who has become paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders while she sleeps at night. Madison's torment worsens when she discovers that these dreams are, in fact, terrifying realities. This is about as much as I want to reveal in the plot. I'll let you discover the wacky outcomes on your own. I also enjoyed the '80s horror throwback early on in Malignant. My one complaint about this movie would be, that if it wasn't for the insane third act, then Malignant might have just been an average horror feature. But because Wan lets all hell break loose towards the end, the movie reeled me back in with uncontrollable excitement. Malignant is definitely an enjoyable film, delicate in craft and eerie with its environment. Plus, Wan's dazzling camerawork added to the film's overall tension. So, have fun with this horror movie because, in the end, you won't know what hit you.
Malignant is rated R (Restricted) Language | Gruesome Images | Strong Horror Violence.\
Stream it now on HBO Max and see it in theaters.
Directed by James Wan
Starring Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Jean Louisa Kelly, and Susanna Thompson.
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