James Wan’s new horror movie Malignant exceeds expectations with its bloody and brutal execution, making for plenty of unexpected shock and fun.
James Wan is one of modern horror’s most iconic directors, having kickstarted two major film franchises with Saw and The Conjuring — the latter even spawned a universe of films. When people learned Wan was directing a new horror film, the bar was set high. Malignant more than exceeds expectations and brings something familiar and new to his horror catalog.
In Malignant, Madison has visions of grisly killings, thus tying her to the murders of several people. This, along with her childhood trauma, leads to Madison’s current nightmare and tormentor. The antagonist is one of the highlights of the film, delivering an intimidating and creepy physical performance — which alone is worth the price of admission. Also, it’s safe to say Malignant has a horror icon in the making thanks to its unique approach to its villain.
Plus, Malignant has weight to it, with any deaths and altercations feeling bone-shattering. No one is holding punches, and thanks to a sound design that isn’t afraid to immerse its audiences, viewers hear how devastating, gruesome and painful some of the more heavy hits are. Malignant isn’t afraid to be brutal and gross at times, and instead of a jump scare eliciting shock from the audience, the unrelenting imagery and action will do the job just fine.
Malignant‘s score blends together the traditional violins of classic haunted house movies with the modern beats of a crime thriller. However, it’s not just the soundscape that creates an immersive horror experience. The cinematography and set designs make an environment similar to a haunted house attraction where one wants to explore while covering one’s eyes.
As for Malignant‘s story, it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible. That being said, the film’s themes are relatable, especially with how its characters are handled. While the film can be a bit expositional and melodramatic, the characters seem to genuinely care and their faults and quirks make them feel real. This makes the nightmare they go through all the more horrific. Whether or not you like the characters within Malignant, you understand them.
At its heart, Malignant blends together genres to create a unique horror movie that’ll especially delight horror fans who love the kind of scary movies found in the back of a video rental store. Rest assured, Malignant is a fun and bloody time, especially for those getting ready for Halloween this year and who are already looking for some unexpected shocks.
Malignant, directed by James Wan, will hit theaters and HBO Max on Sept. 10.
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