Director: James Wan
Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young
Release Date: November 30, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Director James Wan returns to his roots with this new original horror thriller. A woman is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Malignant’ tells the story of a woman who after a violent incident with her husband and a shockingly gruesome event thereafter becomes plagued by visions of horrific murders by an unknown individual. Initially believing them to be mere dreams, she soon begins to realize there is something far more sinister occurring when she discovers each of her visions are real events that she somehow witnessed firsthand in a dreamlike state before awaking back at home. Now, she will have to delve into a past littered with secrets and revelations if she hopes to get the upper hand in order to find and stop this killer before it’s too late.
Directed by talented filmmaker James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring) from a screenplay by Akela Cooper (Hell Fest) and a story by Wan, Cooper and Ingrid Bisu, Wan does a magnificent job at the helm of ‘Malignant’ guiding along the creepy and gory fun and excitement with perfect style and clever use of colors. The film also owes some credit to the cast which includes Annabelle Wallis (Annabelle), Maddie Hasson (We Summon the Darkness), George Young (TV’s Containment), Michole Briana White (TV’s BMF), Jacqueline McKenzie (Deep Blue Sea), Jake Abel (TV’s Supernatural), Ingrid Bisu (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It) and more, with the majority each offering pretty fitting performances in their respective roles.
‘Malignant’ is a wildly unexpected horror outing the likes of which we don’t tend to see from big Hollywood studios. Rich with nods to less mainstream horror subgenres and never hesitating to go nuts with the material, Wan delivers a splendidly gruesome, over the top and just ridiculously fun horror film that’s drastically unlike what you’d expect, but in the best way possible. It’s a dark, bloody and beautifully shot throwback to many cult classic, foreign and off beat horror movies with a moderate budget and plenty of talent at its disposal that all help to make this something I honestly never expected to behold. It only benefits all the more from multiple viewings and for those who appreciate those rare big Hollywood films that dare to step outside the norm and do something bold and unexpected, James Wan cannot be commended highly enough for this pleasantly surprising treat. I can’t encourage genre fans and fans of Wan’s horror offerings strongly enough to make a real point of checking out ‘Malignant’ as soon as possible if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of this outstanding film. It’s a fantastic genre offering that repeatedly takes chances and goes so far off the rails that it’s almost surprising to see it released by a massive studio, but thank goodness it came to fruition because this one is a real treat that any horror fan won’t even want to contemplate overlooking.
Overall, ‘Malignant’ is one of the year’s best and most pleasantly surprising horror offerings. An insanely entertaining and wildly insane ride from filmmaker James Wan who never hesitates to take this carnage drenched and almost intentionally silly, dark tale to some shocking and wonderfully crazy places; quickly proving that this is a rare treat of a mainstream horror film that only exceeds expectations in almost every possible way. ‘Malignant’ easily earns of one of my highest possible recommendations, especially for horror fans and fans of Wan’s other horror films who are all sure to find a lot to love about this gory, goofy and just downright delightful good time of a film. If you haven’t had a chance to give this one a whirl just yet, it should certainly prove worthy of a rental at the absolute least and is not to be missed.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Malignant’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and delivers a clean, sharp, vibrantly colored and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish with no unexpected faults to be found along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences throughout, never resulting in anything occurring onscreen becoming negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that shouldn’t have any trouble pleasing both fans and newcomers.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes a great compliment to the onscreen fun and insanity, delivering a crisp, clean and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, eerie and action related effects, along with nature content and more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that never disappoints and sounds great every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Malignant’ includes one extra in the way of the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Malignant: James Wan’s Vision’ (running approximately 14 minutes in length) which explores bringing the film to life with Director James Wan and includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
James Wan’s ‘Malignant’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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