Horror movies have been overwhelmingly poor within the past decade, and sadly, “Malignant” is no better than the rest. A combination of horrendous action scenes, poorly written characters and even worse computer generated imagery left me laughing out of pity more so than simply enjoying the movie at the very least. At times, the film was so predictable that I could not only quote what the actor was about to say, but at the same time anticipate the elements of the next scene. With a budget of $40 million, the overall production quality of “Malignant” is appalling and downright depressing.
Annabelle Wallis plays Madison, the main character who is haunted and paralyzed by memories and visions of a man named Gabriel. A classic staple of poorly written horror movies is a senseless killing to start off the film. Gabriel brutally murders Madison’s abusive husband Derek Mitchell, played by Jake Abel, at the very beginning of the film.
Gabriel continues to seek revenge through the murders of two doctors. As the story develops, we learn that the murder victims, minus Derek, are doctors who participated in the botched removal of Gabriel, Madison’s parasitic twin that is attached to the back of her head, when she was a young girl. Gabriel slowly grew stronger and developed the ability to take control of Madison’s body. As the film proceeds, viewers witness an extremely unrealistic pursuit along with consistently terrible CGI and acrobatics while Gabriel continues his murderous rampage.
The one redeeming quality of this movie is its consistency. The entirety of the film is filled with consistently poor acting, action scenes and CGI, not to mention the obnoxious soundtrack that completely took away from any element of horror that could have existed. If it weren’t for the excessive amounts of blood and visuals of the killings, this movie could have very well been a PG-13 movie instead of rated R.“Malignant” sits with a 6.3/10 IMDb rating and a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is beyond me how I am in the minority with this opinion when movies like “Equilibrium” receive a 41% on Rotten Tomatoes while sporting action scenes that far surpass “Malignant’s” nearly two decade newer technology. Spending money on movie tickets is ultimately an afterthought when it comes to “Malignant.” I have little hope that the horror genre will make a strong comeback in the near future based on the direction the industry is going in currently. If patrons spend $15 on an HBO Max subscription, I would recommend that they avoid investing two hours of their lives into director James Wan’s “Malignant.” Wan said in trailer 2 of his “horror” movie that people have been starved of something different from the horror genre. I can say that I am certainly still waiting, with an empty stomach, for that something.