Malignant: 2022 Chainsaw Award Winner, Best Wide Release Movie
Dir. James Wan (2021)
A woman begins to see murders that take place in the future, starting with her abusive boyfriend. What follows is full of crazy twists in one of the bloodiest movies of the year.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
The hottest straight-horror movie of the moment and recent winner of Fangoria’s Chainsaw Award for Best Wide-Release Movie, Malignant is exactly the fun, balls-to-the-wall “creature feature” that the horror industry has been longing for. I had heard that it was a crazy-ass movie, but the first time to watch this film I completely fell asleep about thirty minutes in. Please don’t read anything into that, I was exhausted, working nights is hard, ya’ll.
I figured that it was time to give it another shot, so I turned it on this afternoon. And holy hell, I can’t believe I fell asleep the first time! It’s delightfully bloody, batshit crazy, and a twisty new classic filled with the kind of gore that makes you say wow. Part old-school haunted house, part kung-fu John Wick, Malignant follows the story of a pregnant woman who is being abused by her boyfriend. Shortly after a specific instance of abuse, she sees him being murdered in her dreams and then wakes up to witness it happen for real. She then begins seeing other murders before they happen, which lands her in the crosshairs of the local police. I won’t give away any more here on account of the film being relatively new, but holy cow it’s worth a watch.
Like when this dude gets stabbed in the fucking face.
When all hell begins to break loose, things go from violent to much-more-violent, with bones ejecting through the skin, sharp objects being thrust into people’s skulls, and terribly twisted neck joints. The effects in the movie were fantastic, part fantasy and part Conjuring-style creep factor. It really is a good-if-bizarre way to describe the movie: the first half is set up like a Conjuring movie, with foggy streets, creaky houses, and shadows holding secrets, and the second half is John Wick action with way more blood and brutality. Wan managed to use some of his newfound action direction chops to facilitate in making possibly the most action-packed horror movie of the last decade. If the first half bores you, wait a fucking second, and learn to like horror movies.
Hey guys… I think it’s time to acknowledge James Wan as perhaps the best horror director of our generation. That’s not just from this movie, mind you: take another look at everything the man’s created. Saw, Dead Silence, Insidious, The Conjuring, and Malignant is a good career for any horror director, and Wan has done it in a matter of just over fifteen years. More than likely, he’s got another twenty years at least helming features, and who knows what we’re going to get from here on out.
I mean… we know we’re getting this, but I can’t get too excited over Fish Dude.
Who this movie is for: Modern horror fans, Fans of awesome gore, People who watched the Chainsaw Awards and felt like they were missing out (Cuz they were)
Bottom line: Wan does it again. Maybe his style is not your taste, but this one is enough of a combination between his style and other movies you love that it might be worth a try. This is a must watch in the same was as all of the other movies in the Conjuring Universe, even though this one isn’t. This is one that might drop off the radar from time to time, but it will keep coming back. I’m not going to call it a classic, but if more people see it, it very well could become one. Very deserving of the Saw, check this one out.