Malignant Review: A Crazy Visceral Splatterfest


In between the successes of Aquaman and Furious 7, Wan always seems to give back to the horror genre that put him on the map. In his new film, Malignant, Wan uses everything he has learned through his entire filmography to create a bonkers flick. Malignant certainly proves that Wan still knows how to push the genre where he became a household name. 

Although Wan has created a hugely entertaining horror film, it’s also a movie that doesn’t frighten you as much. For the most part, Malignant hits you relishes in its “genre blends” and outlandish surprises. Wan describes the film as a “genre-blender” saying, “It really is a blender of a whole bunch of stuff that has influenced me over my years growing up loving these kinds of movies, from science fiction to science fiction horror to psychological horror to monster movies.” Mix that with a Giallo tone and Dario Argento’s harsh color aesthetic, and Malignant is easily one of the wildest films I’ve seen this year.

It’s difficult to give a short rundown of the film’s plot without giving away spoilers, so here’s the official synopsis: “Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.

With Malignant, James Wan realizes that horror can be playful and give the audience a good time beyond scaring them half to death.

With most horror films, you can probably guess the destination, but probably not the specifics. Akela Cooper’s script makes sure that audiences are kept on their toes by constantly barraging you with scares and revelations. But what makes these twists work so well is that Wan fully embraces them for what they are. He goes all out so that the rest of the film is on the same wavelength as Cooper’s script. Unfortunately, other filmmakers mistakenly take a fun concept and ground it. Unfortunately, it also sucks out the pleasure of a would-be-fun movie. As they say, Wan clearly understood the assignment. 

He realizes that horror can be playful and give the audience a good time beyond scaring them half to death. While Malignant isn’t particularly scary, it gets unnerving through its reveals and gore. By leaning into the fun, Malignant is a terrific albeit messy experience. 

However, if you can step outside of Malignant’s craziness and dissect its storyline, it’s as ridiculous and convoluted as a Fast & Furious film (an admitted guilty pleasure of mine). It’s one of those situations where each revelation will leave you thinking, “WTF?” However, it’s these crazy revelations that keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Avid movie watchers know what they’re getting into, but Malignant takes those expectations and throws them out of the window.

Overall, Malignant is not a perfect horror movie by any means. With studios releasing a prestigious horror movie on a monthly basis, Malignant isn’t the kind of film that stays with you past the credits rolling. However, there’s something is refreshing about Malignant. There’s just something about seeing a horror auteur like Wan go completely berserk with his loaded arsenal. Malignant is a stellar and terrifying fusion of everything James Wan has done up to this point. From Death Sentence to even Furious 7Malignant feature scares and thrills that’ll entertain a wide array of people.

Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

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