Malignant

Malignant ★★★★★

James Wan, man. Everyone else right now should be embarrassed.

This is a psychological body horror/crime procedural/campy aughts horror worship/wackyshit action movie and somehow it never feels at odds with itself. It's so nice in the current state of bigger budget horror to have a film that feels like it was made by a person.

Dig how a lot of this feels out of time. Like, there are iPhones, but it's never so explicitly current year. The sets are so weird, there's a De Palma-like overhead shot of the main house and it's so apparent how deliberate the layout was.

Wan is as confident as ever in relying on sound as an instrument for tension, but also really kitschy sound cues that actually land as a love letter to 2000s horror when they could've been totally hack in the hands of anyone else.

This has one of the most fist-pumping finales of anything this year and I'd love to see something top it.

Wan has conquered the genre film. Furious 7 is the best of its kind, Aquaman stands as one of the most audacious capeshit efforts, and before this, Saw defined and influenced an entire generation of horror. Give the guy his flowers already.

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