Malignant ★★★½

Wan's most Wan film yet, as he combines the erratic editing and pacing he used on Saw with the steady buildup of tension and terrifying demonic POV shots from The Conjuring, but what's really unexpected is that he also includes the wide-angled one-takes he used to shoot action in Aquaman to stay connected with the movements of the scene. The result is a film that is perhaps less "spooky" than the expected horror, but significantly "scarier;" with all the excessive unsettling gore allowed in an R rated horror film, Wan sets up a classic creepy slow-burn and gradually morphs it into something completely different. As the film progresses, it goes from a film designed to subtly get under your skin to a film that overtly assaults your sensibilities, relieving the mystery element and instead viciously attacking any hope for redemption. It's not Wan's best, but he is without a doubt the most exciting mainstream horror filmmaker, a writer/director who understands the fundamentals of the genre enough to play around with them and create something both refreshingly original and comfortably familiar.

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