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Review Malevolence (2004): How not to do a slasher film!

genre:slasher, horror

A title that gets both praise and gets slammed down.Which is true?One capital flaw, that makes every argument in favour  of the movie redundant, is the fact that it fails to grab you from the start. The suspense starts after 40 minutes or so the moment when the killer makes his appearance. And by that time I couldn't care less what would happen to these annoying characters. When I say suspense, I mean the one that is standard and obligatory. With other words predictable like there is no tomorrow. Then there is the fact there are only a handful characters.

Mister Director please stick to some basic rulesSlasher101:

  • High body count
  • Creative killings 
  • Good build up in tension and atmosphere
  • A compelling story or mystery attached to it (like they do in giallo's).
  • Or any other element that compensates the lack of thrills and kills. 
The last two aren't necessary when the first two are present but in this case they would have improved Malevolence considerably.

Maybe there is something to be said about the attempt in a throwback to eighties horrors. Attempt? Yes, attempt! Since in my opinion Malevolence doesn't come close to capturing the essence of even the worst slasher titles made in that wonderful era. To call it a tribute or rip off to Halloween frankly is giving this title too much credit. Ok. Maybe I am a little harsh since it was his first time directing. Then I saw the prequel Bereavement (2010). Which for the most part was worse than Malevolence. Except for one of the redeeming factors, Michael Biehn. The other one that it looks better visually. Nice imagery but no distinctive style. Nothing that stands out or comes across as creative. So it seems I wasn't harsh enough. I am willing to forgive an inexperienced film maker when he shows some progress or improvement during his career. But even if he doesn't, it is inexcusable to rehash the exact same mistakes as before and on top of that come up with new flaws that take out the joy of watching. Stay clear from both!

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