Malignant begins in 1993, where we learn Gabriel is some weird entity who kills without remorse and can broadcast his thoughts, following the recorded thoughts of Dr Florence Weaver (good to see Jacqueline McKenzie onscreen, even if it’s not for too long), and then we move forward to the present day where pregnant Madison (Annabelle Wallis) lives with violent boyfriend Derek (Jake Abel) who thinks nothing of shoving her against a wall.
Cue lots of daft jump scares and things going bump in the night, like a fridge door flying open, and the food blender going on the fritz. Is it weird spirits in the house? Either way, it comes across like a home invasion once the police are called to investigate.
Who is Gabriel, and how exactly is he linked to Madison? In her bid to figure that one, she sees the murders being carried out, right before her eyes, and it’s like she’s having visions of the murders being committed, albeit by him.
There is a threadbare reason for why things are happening, but while a revelation in the third act is pretty decent, overall, despite a ton of of money being spent on the SFX, Malignant is largely an utterly pointless, waste of time, and about as scary as an accurate electricity bill.
It does have a decent background score, though, and early on, there’s a nice overhead shot of the entire house with Madison running around, going upstairs, so either it’s clearly shot on a large soundstage, or several shots were stitched together. It was effective, either way.
If you’re a fan of blood gushing in horror films, Malignant features an awful lot of gory, snapped leg and arm bones.
Running time: 111 minutes
Release date: September 10th 2021
Studio: Warner Bros
Format: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (3.4K), Dolby Vision)
Director: James Wan
Story: James Wan, Ingrid Bisu, Akela Cooper
Screenplay: Akela Cooper
Music: Joseph Bishara
Madison Mitchell: Annabelle Wallis
Sydney Lake: Maddie Hasson
Kekoa Shaw: George Young
Regina Moss: Michole Briana White
Jane Doe / Serena: Jean Louise Kelly
Jeanne: Susanna Thompson
Derek Mitchell: Jake Abel
Dr. Florence Weaver: Jacqueline McKenzie
Dr. Victor Fields: Christian Clemenson
Dr. Gregory: Amir AboulEla
Mendez: Mercedes Colon
CST Winnie: Ingrid Bisu
Officer Rubin: Ruben Pla
Officer Lee: Jon Lee
Beverly: Paula Marshall
Scorpion: Zoe Bell
Basco: Dan Ramos
Beta: Shaunte Johnson
Nurse Annie: Natalia Safran
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.