Alright, I don’t even know how to truly start this post.
When I first heard of Malignant I was sort of intrigued. I stress sort of because I don’t think I ever saw a full trailer? I only ever saw clips on Facebook or Twitter that were about 10 seconds long and went right into the title slide of the movie. I am assuming this was an attempt to lure people in, but for me it did almost the exact opposite. I honestly forgot that it was even a thing until I saw it on the front of my HBO. That was when I thought, “eh…I’ll give it a shot”.
Let’s start with the not so great parts of this movie. Horror movies are usually made with a goal of confusing the audience into fear. Malignant did a great job…on the first part of that. There was so much going on in so many different places during the first 40 minutes of the movie, that the audience never got any real answers to anything. However, nothing majorly scary had even happened yet. I say nothing scary had happened at this point because the only glimpses that we had seen of the murderer/creature/monster were things we had seen a million times before. There was nothing unique or new about anything we were exposed to in the beginning of the film.
This leads to my next issue with the movie which was the pacing. There was so much crammed into the first third of the film, that it all very quickly became muddled and convoluted. We didn’t even know what we were seeing, how could we be scared of it? Honestly I was left so confused that I didn’t even start to enjoy any of the events going on until the last 20 minutes or so.
I’ll end with the positives. This movie took a very unique approach to the doppelganger trope. Eventually the film made a full circle back to the beginning of the confusion and set some things straight, which was done really well and made the movie come to a complete and satisfying close. I was intrigued by the approach taken here as it was something I hadn’t seen before, at least not in a physical form. There were also some great moments of cinematography in the film, such as the lighting in the opening scene, the use of found footage in the film, and the birds-eye view tracking shot through the house.
Overall, this wasn’t really a knock out of the park for me. The pro’s don’t really outweigh the cons. The uniqueness that comes from the few positives that I did find are what makes me give it a 4/10. If things like Criminal Minds or X-Files are your thing, you might enjoy this a bit more. My love of those shows is what had me so interested in the good parts of the film. I have nothing but respect for James Wan, as he’s directed some of the most iconic horror films. Many of those are some of my favorites. However, Malignant just isn’t one of those.
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