“Malignant” Embraces ‘90s Horror and Falls Flat

James Wan’s anticipated film features great scenes of horror but fails at being able to capture an enjoyable story.

By Jaina Gedeon, Film Critic

“Malignant” is the newest movie by critically acclaimed horror director, James Wan. “Malignant” tells the story of a woman that is being flooded with paralyzing visions of stranger’s deaths. She ends up finding out that they are real life murders.  

“Malignant” is a direct homage to ‘90s horror movies by showing over-the-top monsters and gore. I love a great ‘90s horror film, but “Malignant” was just not my taste.  

The plot of the movie drags on longer than necessary. At times I felt bored and unfulfilled by the unnecessary background stories and boring dialogue sequences. The acting is also not that impressive where a lot of the jokes feel cheap and unemotional. Many of the one-line jokes fell flat when delivered.  

This was a bit of a disappointment for me with how much I enjoyed James Wan’s previous films including “The Conjuring” and “Insidious.” I can tell that a lot of time and preparation was put into this film, but I felt that  something was lacking, and I wanted to get more out of my viewing.  

There were many plot points and twists that felt corny or awkward and the big plot twist towards the end was extremely predictable. The ending also left a weird taste in my mouth with its very apparent set up for a sequel.  

Not everything in this movie was bad. “Malignant” has a very interesting concept of showing murders through the eyes of someone else, which can be hard to do in a visual sense, and I thought the sequences were done impressively. Some of the CGI did fall flat in these scenes, but it can be easily overlooked when watching. 

I also thought the action sequences and gore were done in a great way where I could see James Wan’s vision come to life. The final 30 minutes of the movie are a complete bloodbath of violence and horror that I reeled into.  

Overall, while watching “Malignant” I wanted something more and left feeling a bit disappointed. While the horror and violence sequences were great, the lack of plot and corniness of acting was too much to be desired. I do not regret watching this movie at all and if you are looking for a horror movie to watch for over-the-top action sequences, this is the one for you. 

“Malignant” features many scenes of violence, intense language and disturbing imagery that may not be suitable for all audiences. 

Grade: C