Monday, September 13, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: Malignant (2021)

The genre of vintage horror-comedy is almost a forgotten art, especially since the quiet death of the blockbuster teen horror series a decade ago. Today, the most successful movies from this genre are those that take themselves very seriously and approach the emotion of fear with meticulous attention. James Wan is one of the key individuals in the grand reimagining of horror movies in this form, with series like Insidious and Conjuring. but his latest movie, Malignant, is anything but serious.

Yet, it also most definitely is not a comedy, which is in my view its biggest shortfall. In the movie, a woman is confronted by a shadowy figure that suddenly enters her life and begins a killing spree that is apparently connected to her tortured past. This unravels a very weird and very 80s-like storyline and mystery that would be a perfect horror comedy, especially with its gory and body-horror elements. However, strangely, Wan keeps the narrative and the atmosphere on the serious side of the equation, building a thing that is entertaining, but also at moments unbelievably silly and over-the-top. But, even with that, I have to say that he continues to experiment and try new things, which is something that the genre always needs a lot more across the board.