Malignant ★★★★

I actually loved this for some reason.

(very minor spoilers)

There's a scene where they're asking the main character who the killer is, and the camera slowly zooms into her face, so dimly lit as to be floating in the pitch-black background with her eyes in shadow, and she says, "The Devil."

I LIVE for this shit, man. I giggled in excitement.

This film looks gorgeous, with rich reds so bright as to nearly blur the entire screen, and perfectly placed shadows to create the exact environment needed for whatever scene is going on.

Speaking of scenes, there's not a wasted one in the film. I kept looking for a good spot to take a bathroom break and never found one. Something important is always going on, and it never gets boring.

The film does unfortunately suffer from an overabundance of cheese. This thing lives and dies by the strength of its scares and visuals, because the script must have been written using an auto-generator pulling from TVTropes. No attempt is made at unique or fresh dialog or characters, likely because Wan has no interest in these things, and is instead focused on delivering his freaky imagery as effectively as possible, without wasting a bit of either his or the audience's energy on new ideas.

I won't get into themes, because that's a bit of a spoiler, but they're pretty basic and won't surprise or challenge anyone. That's to be expected, I suppose, but I'd hoped for something a bit more interesting, given the concept.

I'd watch this again just for the visuals alone. Catching all the fun details and tricks used to create this visual identity is honestly more fun than the kills themselves. Excellent slasher movie, would recommend.

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