Director James Wan of Saw and The Conjuring has returned to bring us this original artwork. We’re not exorcising demons or playing deathly games today. The real monster lurks deep inside you this time.
Malignant serves a wicked stew of horror, science fiction and psychological devastation leaving you squirming in your seat. It adds buckets of blood and gore to satiate an average gorehound’s appetite.
Wan creates a bizarre character-driven story laden with haunting atmosphere and suspense.
Washington, present-day – Madison (Annabelle Wallis) is a pregnant nurse who lives with her alcoholic husband Derek (Jake Abel). A nasty dispute unlocks many gates to hell opened by visions and savage murders.
Some sensitive topics are touched upon relating to Madison and her family circle. She’s a victim of domestic abuse shown early on. She talks about wanting to leave Derek several times until becoming pregnant. Staying in abusive relationships never turns out good for anyone, so some viewers may relate to Madison.
The importance of family bonds has deep roots here. Blood is thicker than water and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Derek has isolated Madison from her family. Her sister, Sydney (Maddie Hasson), barely knows what’s happening in her life. Keeping close family ties ensures love and support in times of need. Madison will need every last drop where she’s going.
I loved how exquisitely detailed gore was. A strong word of warning – prepare yourself if you’re squeamish near the ending. Even I couldn’t sit still in my chair. Our main entity’s design reminded me of Resident Evil games, Silent Hill and The Last of Us. It’s grotesquely horrid but biological and scientific.
Echoes from The Conjuring series remain in execution. Except for two, Wan doesn’t rely on constant jump-scares purely for spineless tweens. He uses creeping tension to keep audiences on high alert. He really amps up adrenaline and spectacle near the end. Hang on tight as many twists and turns await.
Directors who play with their cameras love finding new ways to approach an ordinary shot. People like M. Night Shyamalan and Wan do this. Look out for one of my favorite sequences shown in the trailer. Madison runs frantically through her home from a top-down perspective. Appropriately, she looks like a panicky mouse scrambling from its predator in a maze.
MY RATING? 4/5. James Wan’s Malignant throws you to hell and back with brow-raising twists, disgustingly beautiful gore and chilling ambiance. It touches sensitive topics while telling a weirdly unique tale. Fans of his work will not be disappointed with his dark magic on display. Enjoy on your Friday night hangout with a packed audience.
IMDb Official Page (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3811906/)