Malignant is James Wan’s latest horror creation. The film has caused ripples following its release in theatres and on HBO Max on 10th September 2021. Wan’s reputation for building dread before unleashing the gore makes him one of the most respected horror-genre directors. So, how did he perform in Malignant?
We’ll try to answer the above without giving away too much about the film. Annabelle Wallis stars as Madison Lake-Mitchell – a pregnant woman plagued by constant miscarriages and an abusive husband. In his rage, Madison’s husband smashes her head against a wall. Madison dreams that her husband died in the night and wakes up to find him violently murdered.
Malignant is not scary, but it is worth a watch due to the twist at the end
Justice was served, you may think. However, the mysterious murderer also attacks Maddie, causing another miscarriage.
After Maddie returns home, she starts envisioning murders as they happen. She begins fearing that she is possessed by something that’s forcing her to kill people.
However, she finds out that her parasitic brother, Gabriel, who was attached to her as a child, is responsible for the killings. For fear of revealing too much, we won’t give more about the story.
Malignant features the usual horror archetypes: creepy homes with creaky doors, a web-infested psychiatric hospital, underground tunnels, and fountains of blood. The murders aren’t particularly brutal, but James Wan didn’t hold back with the blood.
However, Malignant is not scary. It builds little dread to accompany the gore. Nevertheless, most critics opine that it is one of James Wan’s best works.
The film features an out-of-this-world twist at the end, which is too good to reveal in print, per Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times. She writes:
“None of this is especially scary, but, if you’re patient, Wan delivers the kind of hilariously sick climax that only a sadist would spoil. Or envisage.”