nick’s review published on Letterboxd:
Malignant is one of the best horror movies in recent years, and is a testament to director James Wan's ability to flirt with the horror genre with ease and style. It's like a giant puzzle that fools you into thinking that you've learned the big picture until you realize that you don't know nothing at all.
Malignant feels like a perfect mixture of different sub-genres to provide the ultimate horror experience. With its premise of a pregnant woman's murderous visions coming true, Malignant is a mystery solving process from the get-go, dropping breadcrumbs along the way as the story goes, without fear that the audience may have figured out its cunning and highly metaphorical twists and turns before they actually arrive. James Wan, the horror veteran, completely subverted the horror game, by eliminating all the formulaic elements that have tormented the mainstream horror scene for so long, while providing trademarks of his own, from the variety of stylish shots, to all the tricks from the giallo era.
The ultraviolent gore department is another highlight of this project, as Wan definitely leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to slashing and viscera. There are a couple of epic mass slaughter scenes that will shake up even the most seasoned horror lovers.
Acting wise Malignant is also highly impressive, with Annabelle Wallis pulling off the central figure with conviction. Thanks to great writing, even the more marginal characters feel surprisingly vivid, including the protagonist's sister, played by Maddie Hasson, whose presence feels rather genuine and provides much of the heartfelt moments of this otherwise bonkers tale.
Overall Malignant is definitely one of the most impressively unruly mainstream horror movies I've seen in a long time, and a must-see for horror buffs. Its subtle but unmistakable message of female empowerment is also highly applaudable and especially relevant for now. Highly recommended.