Movie Review: Malignant

Angelic Menzel, Co-Managing Editor, Senior

As of September 10, 2021 the new movie Malignant was released in theatres. The film was directed by James Wan, who also directed the first two Conjuring films, Saw, and Insidious. Malignant is a must watch for those who enjoy horror or thriller films with suspenseful plots. Viewers will also appreciate the film’s impressively detailed graphics. One of its noticeable strengths would be its ability to include aspects of mental health in a way that grabs the audience’s immediate attention

Malignant is most definitely not a traditional horror film, it doesn’t focus on obvious jump scares nor is it extremely gorey. “Malignant was an ode to 80’s horror,” stated director Wan. Wan’s intent when directing this movie was to bring its viewers on a journey to the past, wanting to create an experience found in old horror movies. The film’s plot and way of storytelling keeps its viewers on the edge of their seats, with its comical, yet sickening twist at the end. As the story deepens it completely messes with the viewers’ expectations and assumed familiarity, being simply too good to spoil. Marking a new direction in horror, Malignant covers emotional abuse, mental illness, family issues, and creates a terrifying, jaw dropping film.  

Emily, the main character, is shown to be suffering from emotional and physical abuse by her spouse. One night things go too far and he smashes her head into a wall, leaving her bleeding on the floor. Mysteriously, when she wakes in the hospital her spouse is dead. Having no recollection of what happened she goes back home in an attempt to rest and sort things out on her own. From then on she suffers from extremely vivid dreams of people being murdered right in front of her. Living in torment and fear from her abnormality, she, her sister, and two detectives end up working together to figure out the truth behind her terrifying realities. 

Overall, the movie is in no way straightforward or to the point, at times being difficult to follow.  Keeping viewers guessing till the end, Wan does an amazing job with tying loose ends and breaking down the story. There is not one moment of the film that viewers won’t find captivating or intense. The struggles of the main characters in their pursuit to find out what’s happening to Emily, created a strong and lasting impact. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who’s considering giving it a try.