Malignant ★★★

“You'll always be Emily to me.”

Due to James Wan's mastery, I was almost tempted to give this film a rating of 7/10. There were some nice touches like playing an old VHS tape or the phrase “Jeffrey Dahmer's workshop in your attic” that was actually used as a piece of dialogue.

However, the violence toward women was just too tedious for 2021. Maddy's (Annabelle Wallis) husband hits her, smashing her against the wall, but don't worry folks, it's the inciting incident. I did find it to be too much. Even though a man is brutalized every once in awhile, we usually see the aftermath, but women are chased, haunted, and terrorized... why? Do women scream better? Are they more vulnerable? Empathetic? Easier targets? Or are they perfect vessels for saying lines like, “By the time I got the courage [to leave him], I got pregnant” (WTF? So she can never leave him now?????).

In addition, an adoptive mother is referred to as a "fake mother". Another mindboggling thing is when Maddy and her sister Sydney (Maddie Hasson) try to explain supernatural elements to the police. WTF!?!?!? Did they think they wouldn't think they were crazy!?!!??!?!? Like give me a break.

This movie really has everything. Without giving it away, it really feels like James Wan saw Parasite and said, "I'll show you a film about a parasite" (FWIW, Bong Joon-Ho's movie is better).

“It was always my body.”

Still, Maddy builds up the strength to eventually takes control of her life, but this is a film that will have you scratching your head for a long time. I sure have been thinking about it ever since I saw it this morning.

Trigger warning: victims of rape and violence

Watched on: HBO Max

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Allison M. liked these reviews