"Malignant" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
James Wan returns to his horror roots with his new movie, "Malignant". The film follows Madison (Annabelle Wallis), who is haunted by nightmarish visions of grisly murders that take place. As they dig deeper into her dark and twisted past, new revelations come to light as it turns out she is more related to these murders than we actually think.
The cinematography and graphics are perhaps one of the best things about this film. Wan's films are always beautifully shot, and this isn't an exception. A lot of the shots, especially during the intense scenes, are breathtaking and really immerses the viewer into the film. The shots are so haunting and stick with the viewer, even after the credits roll. Like the "Candyman" remake, I honestly enjoy this style of horror better than the endless jump scares with no suspense.
Wallis really steals the show in this film. I enjoyed her acting performance, and thought she had good reactions to the events that take place in the film. Consider the scene where she is forced to revisit past memories to find out more about Gabriel, the evil entity that is committing these horrendous murders. Her character is in a deep trance, and Wallis' performance shows her as genuinely terrified and entranced.
However, the film had to take a very odd turn and present a plot twist that is weird and predictable. Just take the title and the opening scene for example. It's not that big of a shock when we find out the plot twist, and just feels weird as the same twist was used in a certain children's movie almost twenty years ago. The writers could have done a better job at explaining Gabriel, and I think giving him a more twisted and evil backstory would have been better for this type of film.
The plot twist and the ending doesn't necessarily ruin the film, yet it does make the aftermath very dull and strange. The scenes leading up to the ending, especially the long montage in the police station, are excellently shot; yet it feels like when they get down to the final moments of the film, the filmmakers ran out of steam. It's unfortunate as this could have been a really great horror film if the ending was just a tad different.