Malignant… a love, or a confusing fan letter to Giallo? – Review

Malignant review: The opening scene looks very 90’s- early ’00’s of a b-horror film, which is not a bad thing.

But then when credits start to appear we have a change of atmosphere, more similar to a sci-fi tv show opening (I’m seeing you X-Files, Fringe). It makes you think this is a homage to those classics.

Then again, everything changes to a very Giallo aesthetic. In that way, you start wondering if the director couldn’t decide which sub-genre wanted to pay homage to or if he wanted to do it to all the sub-genres he loves.

We have the story of Madison, a pregnant woman with an abusive husband. One night she gets attacked by a sadistic killer.

After the attack, it looks like the two of them form a psychic bond. Letting her see, in real-time, when he murders someone.

She wants to stop him, with the help of her sister and two detectives (that from time to time looks more like a cartoonish version of what they are supposed to be), she will start to hunt him.

Everything points to an “imaginary friend” she had when she was a child. But he can make calls to other people, including the detectives, making you doubt if it’s only in her mind.

There are some serious flaws in the movie, the biggest one is the script.

Between some dialogue that makes you scratch your head trying to make sure you heard that correctly because it seems pure nonsense. And some others that are more of filler scenes.

Like the one where the detective saw the face of the killer and then told her it’s all in her head.
Others that can fool you into thinking you are watching a rom-com from a certain channel (well known for making cheesy drama films).

The second is the sound mix and edit. You have a scene building up some good tension, the angst of catching the killer, suddenly you are bombarded with very loud electronic beats.

Same when characters are unveiling the truth. Music doesn’t allow you to get immersed in the movie.

The third one would be the cringe-worthy performances and supporting characters. Most of them are just fillers, don’t have a real purpose other than making this film last longer.

The fourth and final would be the predictability. If you are a horror movie buff, in the first minutes you can tell who is the killer just by seeing the shadow and wig, that wig…

The story reminded me of “Let Her Out”  but with more CGI. Which made the movie look pretty cheesy in certain parts, more like a character in a video game.

It has some good things:
The practical effects are really good,
Splatter and gory scenes are brilliant,
The design of the killer is excellent…
But to have to wait almost an hour and a half for that is not really encouraging.

Overall, if you like Wan’s work and horror in general, it is a must-watch.

Take it more like a campy horror than a serious horror film or than an original idea. Because you could definitely feel disappointed if you expect that.


Leave a comment

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.