It seems that director James Wan is indeed who one should go to if you want to make a horror movie.
Admittedly, this is a director that, although talented, is not one I am familiar with. I have only seen three of his previous films (two of which, Mortal Kombat and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me do it, came out earlier this year), but am able to recognize his influence on 21st century horror films, thanks to movies like Saw (2004), Insidious (2010), and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013).
It should be noted he also has done some blockbuster films, including Furious 7 (2015) and Aquaman (2018). Perhaps if I did see more of his earlier horror films I would have a bit more of an appreciation for Malignant.
That is not to say the film is bad. The story (co-written by Wan) revolves around Madison Mitchell (Annabelle Wallis), who has had to suffer three miscarriages in the last two years. After an incident at home, she starts having visions of gruesome murders, only to find out that they are actually happening in real life when she sees them on the news. With the help of her younger sister Sydney (Maddie Hasson) as well as the local Detectives Shaw (George Young) and Moss (Michole Briana White), they realize it may have something to do with Madison’s past.
Thankfully, the film has a much better second half than the first. Things seem a bit too stylized and unclear in the first half, but the second half is less foggy. There is also a twist that did catch me off guard, and I found to be a solid shock. However, without giving the shock away, the film does suffer from the fact that, when you look back at scenes in the first half, you realize they could not really make sense.
Parents, this film is not for kids. Not one bit. While there is no sexuality/nudity, there is some swearing (a few F bombs). It is the amount of violence and gore that pushes this way into the “Hard R” category. High School and above.
Along with just a bit too much over the top filmmaking for me to recommend the movie, the film also ends in an ambiguous way reminiscent of 2010’s Inception. While intriguing, it does drag out a bit.
While the film does not give me enough to recommend it, it gives me a little hope and interest in a sequel.