Malignant ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

A near-perfect merging of the ostentatious, expensive digital trickery Wan's been experimenting with for the last decade at WB (all insane wide-angle lens oners and impossible dolly/crane maneuvers through small spaces) and the unfashionably trashy, high-concept, nu-metal shock genre sensibilities that were popular around the time he got into making movies. Both have been fused here into a delightfully unruly mess that tricks you by pretending to be another polished haunted house trauma movie for a bit, then a serial murder mystery with the kind of surreal, gory, primary-color-lit sequencing you'd expect of Italy; all before pulling the rug on both to reveal... An action movie version of the grindhouse, conjoined-creature splatter-horror of Frank Henenlotter?

It's deeply stupid in retrospect, but it's the kind of stupid that's actually kind of an asset when the goal is to string together a series of horror set pieces as ambitiously literal and goofy and stylish as the ones here are. And I can't help but admire a filmmaker who can clock a billion dollars at the box office and follow it up with an attempt at their own version of a Basket Case/Brain Damage. Was absolutely losing my shit when this movie's version of Belial started doing bloody, unhinged Wachowski ownage on the Zoe Bell prison gang and a bunch of cops.

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