Malignant – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Malignant – Horror of Dreams: Murder and Mystery

Trapped in a world of mystery, the unknown can be frightful.  The ominous layers that build upon each situation, it creates an ironic sense of brevity within the journey.  In film, when combining mystery with horror (if done right) can lead to an outcome like no other.  In this review, I look at the latest horror film from James Wan.  Through mysterious circumstances, we move along a character journey that pushes the extremes of the genre.  Even with glaring issues, Malignant gives a different dimension of what it means to be … a horror film.

When Madison (Annabelle Wallis) begins to have dreams of horrific murders, she soon realizes that they aren’t just dreams.  Faced with certain truths, will she survive or succumb to the madness.  Director James Wan is known for horror (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring).  With this latest iteration, he provides a new scenario within the genre.  In the beginning, there is a general epilogue that introduces the audience to the central entity, explicit scenes of terror and inciting incident involving Madison.  From here, the directive slowly builds upon the journey of two characters: the unknown entity and Madison.  These journeys are layered with heavy foreshadowing, showcasing ‘some kind of’ connection between the two characters.  As the entity is committing murders, Madison is forced to witness them through unexplained visions.  In each scene, it is a mimicry of claustrophobic atmosphere, darkly sounds and grisly deaths.  By layering familiar tropes within elements of mystery, it allows for a mix and match of genres to create something stifling for the audience.  On the surface, you have a journey littered with plot holes, generic dialogue and forced exposition.  Underneath the basic outline, you are enticed by the ominous question of why this entity continues to wreak havoc on Madison.  As things slowly come to the forefront, the film takes a turn into an unexpected delight of craziness.

When the heavy foreshadow starts to place the pieces together, the film takes an about face on the expectation of the genre.  By turning tropes into a reflection of themselves, the melding of truths between the entity and Madison leads down a path of insane propositions.  Going into any depth of this part of the film would be a disservice to the experience.  What can be said about the third act is that it redefines what constitute the meaning of horror.  Malignant is a film that redefines what it means to be horror.  If you’re a fan of the director, genre or want to see what happens, this is one for you.  It is on HBOMax (limited time) but would a fun time at the theaters.  

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *