In a new interview, James Wan explains how the fight scene in his upcoming film “Malignant” was inspired by a bump on the head he got from a stuntman.
James Wan is the director of one of the most anticipated horror movies of 2016, Malignant. The movie follows a group of college students who are haunted by a ghost.
Haughty cineastes have often misread and rejected horror films. The genre has always been an easy target for pompous elitism, thanks to the numerous slasher clones and their countless poorly produced sequels.
If you’re a fan of Roger Ebert, you’re aware of his disdain for the genre. However, this can still be seen in today’s cinema journalism. The well-paid critic in a recent review for the forthcoming Halloween Kills made the bold and very incorrect claim that the original Halloween was a clone of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This review wasn’t published by a random blogger; it was written by someone who worked for a major entertainment publication. The rich history of the Halloween series, as well as the slasher genre as a whole, was completely overlooked.
As a horror fan, I’ve always been a strong supporter of the genre, and I’ve been tolerant of many of its more outlandish instances. Not everyone can enjoy the genre’s sillier delights, such as realistic gore effects, for example.
Increasingly complex horror films have become more popular in recent years. Rather of just relegating the genre to a monster or serial murderer on the loose, it was utilized to investigate the terror inside. Whether otherworldly or deranged humans, the evil forces conspiring against the major protagonists were expressions of their inner struggles; a fight as much for their lives as for their sanity. The Babadook, His House, Relic, and, most recently, The Night House, are all examples of this.
These films may be heavy on jump scares and/or ghastly faces, but there’s a lot more to them than that. These aren’t simply mindless slasher flicks to watch and then forget about. These videos will linger in your mind, perhaps haunting you. These are intelligent and unflinching character dramas.
Malignant, on the other hand, is not one of those flicks. No way, no how. Malignant isn’t going to make you think; in fact, it’ll help if you don’t think about the film’s numerous strange illogicalities. If you do that, the entire thing may come crashing down. Yes, Malignant is a complete moron. It isn’t a “thinking man’s horror movie.” However, it’s dumb in the finest sense of the horror genre.
It’s essential to go into the movie with no expectations, since the trailer reveals a key death sequence. We see a mental institution at the beginning, where some monster is causing havoc and murdering many of the staff members. They manage to control the monster, and the chief doctor declares that it is now time to “cut out this cancer.”
After a few years, we meet Madison (Annabelle Wallis), who is trapped in an abusive relationship with Derek (Jake Abel). Derek pushes Madison against the wall during an altercation, causing a bloody bump on the back of her head. As a result, she retreats to her bedroom. Things start to become scary when a demonic monster named Gabriel (Ray Chase) visits the residence late at night.
I won’t say much more since I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t watched it yet. Allow yourself to be taken in by the craziness on show.
When it comes to James Wan’s directing attempts, I’m apathetic. As the director of many successful horror series, none of them have left an indelible impact on me. I used to love Saw and many of its wacky sequels, particularly when I was younger, but my interest has faded with time. I now appreciate them in a much more jaded light. It’s what you’d call a guilty pleasure, I suppose.
His other brands haven’t piqued my interest as strongly. The Insidious films, although technically impressive in terms of dynamic camerawork and attractive graphics, lack any kind of philosophical substance. It has the sense of a shallow haunted home. In that sense, the Conjuring films are interchangeable, while I disagree with the subject matter – I despise any film that mythologizes charlatans like Lorraine and Ed Warren.
In both instances, the horror films are safe, commercially attractive, and inoffensive, with a PG-13 rating to boot. There’s nothing edgy about them, nothing that would jar the establishment.
This is what adds to the intrigue of Malignant. It’s still a shallow chiller, but it’s more unhinged, less controlled, and marketable this time around. Not only that, but the horror isn’t confined by a PG-13 classification this time. No, this is a hard-R, and James Wan goes all out with the blood and gore.
Some viewers will be turned off by the final project’s bizarreness. But, in my opinion, this is James Wan’s finest picture.
The picture also seems like a throwback, a love letter to Giallo cinema, as many have remarked. A couple of the evocative color choices are obviously influenced by films like Dario Argento’s Suspiria. Gabriel wears black leather gloves, much like every other Giallo slasher.
Warner Bros. is a studio that produces films.
However, I was reminded of the blatant, shockingly high-budget schlock of the late 1990s, such as House on Haunted Hill.
The third act has a mind-blowing reveal that must be seen to be believed. Seriously, when it occurs (and you’ll know when), the picture resembles a big-budget Frank Henenlotter film — although without the requisite self-awareness.
It isn’t very frightening. Nothing this film will show you will frighten you if you’re a horror veteran. However, I believe that the horror genre isn’t always about scares. It’s sometimes all about having a good time.
Joseph Bishara’s music is wonderfully loud, with the odd nice synth note. Malignant’s use of music is operatic, with the highlight being the thrilling opening credits song and a track that sounds like a frightening version of The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind.”
There are many flaws in the script. Everything seems to be dumbed down for the most intellectually challenged part of the audience. Every apparent discovery is reiterated many times by characters, as if the author was concerned that we might miss it. This occurred so many times during the film that it bordered on condescending. The rest of the conversation is either inane explanatory nonsense or utterly forgotten.
Characters make extremely irrational choices that defy the sense of disbelief. Madison, the primary heroine, has a character development that isn’t filled out and is just an afterthought. Her experience as a victim of domestic violence might have been a compelling storyline, but it was wasted.
On that note, I find its handling of the subject of domestic abuse to be highly dubious. It essentially feels like a narrative device. She might have stumbled and collided into the kitchen cabinet, and the result would have been the same.
To investigate the narrative holes, I’ll have to give you some spoilers, but trust me when I say there are a lot of them. Watching Malignant would definitely give nitpickers an aneurysm.
Apart from Annabelle Wallis, who does an excellent job with the material, the acting varies from competent to incompetent, one-note to bafflingly awful. George Young, who portrays investigator Kekoa Shaw, is without a doubt the poorest of the group. I haven’t seen an actor with so little charm and so few facial emotions in a long time. I’d label it a wooden performance, but that would be unfair to all the other dependable wooden performers out there.
The horror scenes are handled in a stunning manner, and anytime Wan is on screen, it’s a blast. The film toys with your expectations, leading you to believe that something would happen, only for it not to, and vice versa. However, virtually every scenario outside of them results in a pace slowdown. The script’s flaws have become brutally obvious, and you’re simply waiting for Gabriel to come to the rescue.
Then there’s the shoddy CGI. The Gabriel monster is occasionally well portrayed, but the artificial flaws are glaringly visible at other times, particularly during one pursuit sequence. It’s understandable given the athleticism involved, but it’s still annoying.
It’s worth noting that anytime Ray Chase plays Gabriel on film, the outcome is very effective. Gabriel is an intriguing villain in general, despite the fact that his power and skills are inconsistent – one moment he cuts his way out of danger with ease, the next he has problems battling simply one policeman.
But, particularly in the final act, it’s easy to overlook Malignant’s faults. Once the credits roll, aficionados of the genre will most certainly be fully satisfied. It’s a really insane and tremendously enjoyable ride. It isn’t highbrow art, but that’s okay. It’s just for the wise who can appreciate a good piece of mind-numbing schlock.
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James Wan’s Malignant is a new horror film that was released on April 11th, 2019. The movie stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Reference: malignant 2019.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Gabriel in Malignant?
Gabriel is a character in the game Malignant.
Is Malignant a remake?
Yes, it is a remake of the original game.
Is Malignant based on true story?
Malignant is based on a true story, but the game does not follow the events of the book.
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