Malignant ★★½

have sat on this a little longer and think the primary issue is that, for all its silliness and probing generic sensibilities (it pokes tendrils into the giallo, creature features, serialized tv cop shows, hysterically-pitched family melodrama, etc) james wan's formalism is, despite its heroic stupidity (gestures like the washer/dryer-view and bizarre subterranean gothic fogscapes have a sublime quality of absolute vapidity and absence of decorousness to them), still overdetermined and thuddingly constructed. those overhead dollhouse-type shots could've come out of an ari aster movie, for all intents and purposes. the overflow of energy on display is playing tug of war with wan's muddled conservatism, his sense of misplaced beholdenness to the sopping conventions of the contemporary filial-horror/intergenerational trauma picture becoming especially apparent towards the end. even the bizarre exploitation-anachronism of the jail assault + brawl feels less like the organic expression of a referential craftsman than a studied, ingratiating "they used to make movies like this" film twitterism. sorry! i'm no fun but i wish they let oddball little half-smart craftsmen make movies like this these days instead of being relegated to what the auteur creator of the second highest grossing horror franchise in history does to kill time between making studios billions of dollars

Eva liked these reviews