Malignant

Malignant

"Giallo" for people who watch those films strictly with English dub tracks. I'm not totally opposed to what Wan is doing here, he isn't contemptuous of his audience, unlike the Elevated Horror Auteurs, to name our popular villains. In a way his problem is the opposite of theirs: he understands the surface of horror and the value of instability (whereas they try to form an intellectual or emotional base but drain horror's form of its vitality, through ponderous, always too symmetrical, aping of influences: Kubrick, Carpenter, etc ), but fumbles badly the emotional execution. Sometimes I suspect he even fears emotion, hiding it behind knowingly bad writing and Ha Ha music stings. And his form, for that matter, is good only intermittently, a nice steadicam trek through shadow here, a clever bit of framing there; just as often, it's acrobatic without any real cohesion (birds eyes, frictionless action long takes). I won't deny that I enjoyed this film, fitted with bells and whistles and light shows as it is, but really no actual perversity exists within its pastiche. It's a rollercoaster recreation of its influences, not a forwarding of their spirit.