chadsabourin’s review published on Letterboxd:
James Wan Film! I go to the movie theater quite often & whenever I would see this trailer, I would tune it out & go on my phone. Just since I knew I would see it. As the release date got closer, I become more & more nervous since there weren’t any early screenings & or early reviews. Friday comes around & it turns out that it’s getting positive review from critics & the internet saying that it’s an insane film. So of course, coming out of the theater today I said to my fiancé “I’m so glad that I knew nothing about this film”. It’s absolutely bonkers. An insane concoction of genres. To list the genres here would be a spoiler in itself. But let’s just say that it’s all my favorite genres & James Wan’s directing of all said genres are beautifully done. I really liked how combined with the writing he made a truly unpredictable & insane story told with interesting plotting. It’s worth noting that The twist will either make or break the film for you. For myself, I really dug it. Especially with how in my eyes, it’s a gift to see a film that is wholesomely original that is also a studio film that has no IP. Wan’s backed up by cinematography that although digital, was really, really good. I liked how the color palette is drained of primary colors early on & then progressively introduce them. Many different styles of camera work are also applied & it truly was something I was eating up. Usage of shadows & lighting are also quite effective. The score is also synth heavy, which I enjoyed. It’s also a very different way of composing then from what I’m use to hearing from Joseph Bishara. So props goes to him. The sound mixing was also something that atypical of a James Wan film knows when to evaporate background noise & when to pump it up. The visual effects are also rock solid. I really appreciated the blend of VFX with Practical effects. It’s slick looking, for sure. Themes & messages dealing with childhood trauma, suppression, miscarriages, family, etc all we’re investing & got me more immersed. In terms of negatives, sometimes the exposition sticks out a bit & there’s one thing that I’m still kind of musing over on if it worked for me. Especially with the twist in mind. It involves an interrogation scene. But honestly, I do plan on researching this film & I’m sure it will work for me. In the end, Malignant won’t work for everyone. But if you’re on the same wave length as it, then I think you will really like it. I know I did & can definitely see myself rewatching it many more times. For everyone else, go in blind to this film. Highly recommended for adventurous film goers.