Malignant Review

Story posted September 17, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Jack Freiser .

“Malignant”, written and directed by horror legend James Wan, is the latest film to be released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO max. “Malignant” follows Madison Mitchell (Annabelle Wallis), a woman who discovers that her waking nightmares are a frightening reality.

Wan has directed some of the best horror films in the past decade such as The Conjuring and Insidious. He is an incredible director, who can create genuine scares and tell unique and horrific stories.

This movie may be unique; however, it lacks the genuine horror in Wan’s former films and falls short of being as memorable as his former projects.

This movie can be very boring. The pacing in this movie never feels consistent. Some side plots are rushed, yet other plots seem to be prolonged to the point where they get monotonous to watch. The writing in this film seems very amateur.

The dialogue is not all that interesting and the characters are not given any real character arcs. Most characters seem to be in the same place at the end of the film from where they started.

“Malignant” is ridiculous at points as well. There are a lot of over-the-top acting moments, and some characters make completely unreasonable decisions. Even the tone of this movie feels confused at times. It is as if the writers didn’t know what tone they were going for so they sprinkled in a surplus of genres.

Annabelle Wallis, who plays the lead, does a great job. Although the rest of the actors overact a ton throughout the film, she remains grounded and delivers a great performance. This is not her first time working in horror alongside James Wan, who has also been in “Annabelle”.

Wallis is a phenomenal leading lady. She has the presence and charisma needed to make an effective protagonist. However, Wallis is not given strong enough material to redeem the clunky and uninteresting script.

Although Wan helped with the script, Ingrid Bisu and Akela Cooper took most of the reins when writing the screenplay. This is the first story that Bisu has written and it is obvious. A lot of the story is very cliche and unoriginal. Cooper, who also does not have a ton of experience writing movies, cannot help Bisu with the plastic dialogue and inconsistent pace and tone.

The most disappointing part of this movie is the lack of effective scares. There are a lot of cheap jumpscares, used to trick the audience into believing this is a scary movie when in reality the jumpscares are all lacking genuine horror.

Wan is an expert at making effective scares, yet there is not a single unique scare in this film. Each scare starts the same way and has the same ending result. The movie does not lack incredible gore; however, it does lack the intensity needed for an effective horror film.

This movie seemed hopeless until the final act. There is a ridiculous twist. It is without a doubt one of the strangest twists to be in a movie. This justifies the tone of the film. Although it doesn’t make up for the lack of horror and unoriginal characters, the twist makes this movie a bit interesting.

This movie was created solely for the twist, and although it was interesting, it wasn’t special enough to redeem the rest of this boring, clunky film. The writing in this movie was very weak and other than Wallis, who delivered a strong performance, the acting was lackluster and the characters forgettable.

Wan has directed some incredible horror movies, this was not one of them.

Rating: 2/5

Jack Freiser is a second-year majoring in either media studies or telecommunications. To contact him, email