Director James Wan
Screenplay Akela Cooper
Starring Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, McKenna Grace, Zoe Bell
Malignant is a film where director, James Wan, takes a step back from the big budget and tries to reconnect with the genre of films that pushed him into the big budget stratosphere. The plot is thoroughly predictable from the first moments, but it does have its moments where his skill with quick cuts and things fluttering by in the corner of the room show through.
The story is about a recently widowed Seattle woman named Maddie (Wallis) who lost her child in the same night trying to recover from the trauma of her loss. Her attempts to move past her dead husband’s abuse are complicated by visions of murders actually happening in the city. She goes to the police with her sister to explain what she is seeing and of course they’re just a bit behind in figuring everything out.
There is a malevolent force that contacts her and gives her clues to her past life, before she was adopted. She acts on these by going back through her history to get more information. Problem is, many of the people in her past are the ones being murdered. And they just found a kidnapped woman in the attic of her house.
There are many of the tropes we are used to with Wan films: long gangly sinister menace, the psychic and some real splattering gore. It’s also got an obnoxious score, bad supporting actors, questionable digital/practical effects and one plucky little sister.
If you like watching people watch videotaped sessions from the ’90’s and have a desire to see creepy things in the dark matched by laughable acting when the lights are on, this would be a semi-decent way to spend just under two hours.
(**1/2 out of *****)