So James Wan is trying again, and this time he’s mixing supernatural elements with medical gore and a bit of mindfuckery. It’s an odd feeling to realize that this is the movie he abandoned The Conjuring 3 to make, considering how similarly these two films turned out, in that they both have a great effort to make the films fresh and original, but miss the mark.

Taco Bell Gore

I actually didn’t realize that this movie was coming out until it was released and I kept getting memes for the film. I put it on the screen on a Friday night, alone in a friend’s apartment as I was dogsitting. I’ll tell you now, the only scary parts were when there was a bunch of blood and gore, and that’s because I was eating Taco Bell that resembled some of the mess on screen. Also when the dog farted during a ‘tense’ scene, that was pretty scary too.

Malignant dances around a fairly demented twist, but if you pay any attention at all, your first guess will probably the correct guess as to the twist. It’s not because Wan is washed, because from a distance, the horror concept is fairly fresh and I hardly ever see medical horror be such a focal point in a movie that borrows so heavily from some fairly executed classic tension inducing tropes that you’ll recognize are classic Wan tropes. The Conjuring 2 didn’t shy from showing us the ghosts as they did their haunting with the lights on and the cops in house. We got to see the crooked man and the nun halfway into the movie in all their creepy glory, and this is more or less in line with how the monster in this film is shown. Unfortunately, I think it would’ve been better if it hadn’t been, as it would’ve provided a little shield to the weirdness that is the poor excuse of a climactic twist.

Seattle Seahawks Suck. So do chase scenes in scary movies.

The film also deviates halfway in by turning into an action-y chase movie with an overzealous cop. It’s… again, it’s a nontraditional little tidbit thrown into the movie that otherwise follows fairly standard tropes of a modern supernatural scary movie. There’s a bunch of gorey fighting as well, and it’s honestly just gratuitous. I have no idea why the creative decision was to have essentially a brawl as a lead up to the climax, only for the movie to end with a classic, “I know you’re in there, you have to fight!” talk-no-jutsu ending where love prevails.

You can skip Malignant as it’s not terribly interesting or engaging, but it is fairly innovative, and some of the sets are very interesting. I’ve always wanted a scary movie that takes place in the Seattle underground. Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen one. 4/10. The dog’s name is Monocle.

He poops more than I do

You can watch Malignant on HBOMax or in theaters.

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