Malignant ★★★½

How do you approach watching one of the most divisive movies of the last year? Well I went in with zero pre-knowledge. I’d say that’s the best approach to most movies but it certainly holds true for Malignant. I usually review films without putting too much of a plot synopsis in, after all there’s a paragraph right up there at the top of the page telling you what the movie is about. However, Malignant doesn’t really make sense to me and frankly this is to the films credit.

The best I could say is it’s a surreal psychological horror that in some ways and up to a point, put me in mind of Robert Altman's Images (there maybe better comparison but that's the one that came to mind). Then it takes various about-turns and taps into other horror tropes. Most notably there is some serious body horror is at play (this is an element that really escalates in the final act). And some cop thriller elements that are not entirely removed from Wan's own Saw. And that's just to scratch the surface.

This film is an amalgam of so many ideas and surprise moments that it's amazing it’s even vaguely cohesive. There’s never a dull moment. It doesn’t really make sense but it's made in such a way that this doesn't detract from the playfulness of the film, its sensibilities are pretty consistent. It does seem to me it plays more to horror fans than a wider audience though. It’s so specifically bonkers and keen to reference the genre and Wan’s work as a whole. If anything it goes a little too Uber in the final act and although I was still enjoying it a little bit of my critical faculty did kick-in a little. I decided to ignore my brain and just go with it anyway.

Malignant is absolute batshit, balls to the wall, off the chain, what the heck horror that actually I wouldn't mind seeing again. I just wont be recommending it to my mother-in-law.

Also I enjoyed the reworked Pixies riff that plays at throughout.

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