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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Release Date: September 10th, 2021 Movie Release Year: 2021

Malignant - Theatrical Review

Overview -

Horror and James Wan mix perfectly together and over the years, he has continually shown new and inventive ways to scare audiences. His next step into the horror genre is with Malignant, which marks a different path for the impressive filmmaker. Malignant not only delivers in scares, blood, violence, and spooky atmospheric terror, but Wan finally took a cue from Sam Raimi's playbook and added in that iconic humor to boot, blending a great balance of horror and comedy. Adding a few popular horror elements and tropes, Wan continues to reveal he has some magic in his sleeves with Malignant, which is without a doubt the next big cult film. 

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Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
September 10th, 2021

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Wan started with the smart, bloody torture in Saw, which spawned numerous sequels. He then went onto Insidious and tackled possession and other planes of existence, which led him into The Conjuring franchise that delivered a new breed of demonic possession and haunted house elements. After those horror films, he jumped into the action-blockbuster realm with Furious 7 and Aquaman that showcased his filmmaking skills in extreme stunts and action sequences. All of these films that came before him have been added into Malignant, where spooky houses, demonic possession, otherwordly planes of existence, and glorious fight scenes bathed in blood and guts all make their appearance. The comedy element is added in for good measure as well that has Wan exploring new ways to tell a story and it works well in Malignant

The horror begins in 1993, where a team of doctors is treating a patient that has uncanny abilities, not of this world. As this scene progresses, it's clear that the patient's intent is sinister which leads to some brutal carnage amongst the healthcare workers. Cut to the present day where the film centers on a woman named Madison (Annabelle Wallis), who is in an unhappy marriage and has tried numerous times to have a child, all of them unsuccessful. Sooner than later, the scary things that go bump in the night start to creep up through the lamps and other fixtures in the house that culminates in Madison being transported to a stranger's house and watching them being brutally murdered by a malevolent force. As the bodies start piling up and a couple of police detectives take on the case, Madison and her sister try and solve the mystery as to why she's a part of these grisly murders. 

As the film plays out, more crumbs of details emerge, which is where Wan and Akela Cooper's script provide some twists and turns as to what exactly is happening. For a good chunk of Malignant, the comedic elements lay at bay and the horror aspects are in full effect with strange shadows appearing out of nowhere, lights turning on and off, invisible footsteps being heard everywhere, and of course some excellent death scenes. It's not really until the final 30 minutes of the movie where the comedy spills out in excellent fashion. It's as if Wan was truly inspired by Evil Dead II and Drag Me To Hell, and cooked this horror movie with those additional comedic Raimi instincts. Again, the result is fantastically funny, while being ultra-violent and scary at the same time. It's a fine line, and Wan walks it perfectly.

Annabelle Wallis gives a dynamite performance as Madison, both in her emotional struggles as the film plays out and her physical stuntwork, where she has a little help from Zoe Bell (Death Proof). Everyone else has solid roles where each actor plays their character in a serious fashion. This factor only adds to the comedy element later in the film in a wonderful way. Wan still proves he is a maestro behind the camera with excellent techniques of following someone through a house with zero edits while adding in CGI and practical effects in the same shot. Diving more into this, he still manages to enhance the suspense in every scene with a great score and music cues that will have everyone's hairs stand on end.


Video Review


Audio Review


Special Features


Final Thoughts

The Horror genre isn't associated with such a beautiful place as Seattle, but Wan manages to utilize the underground city and the rainy locale to the film's advantage, always having this amazing town look haunting. Malignant's side effects are great scares and huge laughs, and for those horror hounds and gore buffs - this movie delivers bathtubs full of blood and guts for a full-on good time. Highly Recommended!

Buy Tickets for the Theater via Fandango

or Watch on HBOMAX