Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
You know I did have this aching feeling in the back of my head that I knew where this movie was heading ... but turns out I had to see it to believe it!
"Maddie, who are you talking to? ... Gabriel ... Is he your imaginary friend? ... He's the devil!"
I had heard all the buzz about how campy Malignant was, but for most of the film I was left thinking what the hell are they talking about. Once again Director James Wan delivers a new concept in horror with this story about a woman that has some kind of psychic connection with a killer, that allows her to witness visions of murders playing out. The camera work and special effects were really engaging throughout like the overhead shot we see of the protagonist running through her house, and how the room she is in will transform into the active crime scenes.
With all that being said, there comes a moment during the third act where we are thrown a moment of silliness, followed by a barrage of bat shit insanity! At this point the serious tone Malignant had built up, is thrown to the wind in favor of a ridiculous horror-action fest ... and I thought it was pretty fun.
Some of the elements like being able to manipulate electricity or being able to fight like they just had a program upload in 'The Matrix' did not make a lick of sense. But the amount of nutty stuff we see leading up to that made it simple for me to not get overly hung up on these implausible details.
I know some people can get put off by drastic tonal shifts like this in movies, but I personally enjoyed experiencing Wan take us from one extreme side of horror to the other. Plus the moments of freaky slasher style gore were intense, while the scene where a chair gets thrown across a room and knocks two people out was amusing.
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Skål! 🍻
P.S.: It has been interesting to see political commentary about Malignant being about a woman losing control of her own body. That important topic being presented in this movie about an evil conjoined twin bursting out of the back of her head, and turning her into a super killer is pretty nuts. The visual of her locking it up at the end reminded me a bit of what Danny does in 'Dr. Sleep'.