James Wan, the film director behind popular classics such as “Saw,” “Insidious” and “The Conjuring” has delivered yet another bone-chilling cinematic experience unlike any of his previous projects.
On Sept. 10, “Malignant” hit theaters and was also made available on HBO max for streaming at home. With a runtime of 151 minutes, “Malignant” offers a refreshing take on the classic murder-mystery genre with use of slasher-horror and even science fiction elements.
The film opens in a chaotic hospital of some kind, where we meet a powerful unknown creature that seems to be some sort of otherworldly being. Jumping ahead, the film centers around a woman with a mysterious past, played by Annabelle Wallis, who is married to an abusive husband.
One night after complaining about a headache to an uncaring husband, she turns the television off which the husband, played by Jake Abell, was watching the game on. He reacts aggressively and threatens her, pushing her into the wall behind her. After cracking the drywall and injuring her head, they both notice the blood from her head injury. He rushes to get a towel. She locks herself in the room and cries. After returning there is a rapid banging on the door, twisting of the knob to get in. Later that night is when the movie begins its descent into obscurity and the cliches kick in.
While the movie starts off like many other horror flicks with eerie music, paranormal occurrences around the house, people getting killed by mysterious figures and the whole nine yards, it quickly begins to pick up as the story starts to unravel. I became much more invested than I had personally anticipated. I found myself on the edge of my seat eagerly, yet inaccurately, predicting what would happen next; thinking about it, I probably annoyed my friends.
Overall, the story had solid writing and the horror integrated with the murder-mystery quite well. I personally went into the movie expecting something entirely different, more spooky and based on ghosts or demons. What we did get was amazing and it truly felt unique and interesting.
This movie is gripping from the start, but is definitely the type of film you just need to sit and watch all the way before even asking any questions or making any assumptions. You will get all the answers to every question you have.