It’s been five years since our last taste of James Wan in the horror genre. Since then, the Australian film maker made the DC film Aquaman, which was very much a move in a different direction for Wan. Malignant see’s him return to his roots and delivers a new story that isn’t connected to his horror franchises of Saw, Insidious or The Conjuring. Malignant follows Madison (Annabelle Wallis), a domestic abuse victim who is then tortured by an unknown being and is forced to experience it’s brutal murders right in front of her eyes. As Madison struggles to explain her horrific thoughts, she soon realises that these murders are real and that this threat is a force to be reckoned with.

Malignant being Wan’s 11th feature length film, it’s clear that he has a clear vision when making a horror movie. If you were to be shown one of his films without realising, you would know almost immediately that it’s one of his films. Malignant possesses many of Wan’s signature moves. The brilliant build up of suspense, especially within a home setting. His inventive use of new and horrifying characters that keep his films fresh and the old aesthetic look on his set designs. These designs are huge throwbacks to old 70’s horror movies that have clearly inspired the director. These signature trademarks have worked every single time Wan has gone behind the camera, but this time, it doesn’t hit the mark quite like his previous films have. Without doubt, in every single one of his previous films, we have been shocked to the core and biting what’s left of our fingernails. In his new effort, there are too many inconsistencies that dial down what effect the film is trying to have on the audience.

As mentioned above, Malignant has what makes a Wan movie so great, but some questionable performances in the film detract from what is making the film so good. Alongside this, sloppy and lazy moments, that is very rare from Wan, takes away the intelligence and fear factor that is needed to deliver a great horror movie. The examples range from scenes switching from daylight to night time within seconds, even though no time has passed. An E-fit image being scaled from a younger version of Madison to what she would look like now. The E-fit that is produced is just an image of Annabelle Wallis as her character. No E-fit would be that accurate. Moments like these made us laugh out loud at the cinema, and that’s a hugely disappointing thing to admit whilst watching a James Wan horror movie.

Maybe the bar has been set very high in regards to the standards we are used to with Wan but Malignant for us, fails to reach the standards required. Never have we experienced a film that fluctuates so much from potentially being one of the best films of the year to being one of the worst. In the end, it ended up becoming an average movie that will be lost among the successes of Wan’s filmography. 

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3 comments on “Malignant (2021) Review

  1. Cindy Mudd Paz

    after watching, i realized how relaxed i was with all the political horror taking place. lol. Your podcast, btw , is quite comical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cindy Mudd Paz

    watching now


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