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Review Malevolent (2018): Worth watching because of Florence Pugh!

genre: horror, mystery

Malevolent produced and released by Netflix (should not be confused with the animated horror film with the same title) is what you call a very generic and predictable affair. However there is one element or should I say actor that makes it all worth it. Florence Pugh.

The young actress impresses since she somehow makes all the mediocrity tolerable. Her character Angela and her brother Jackson are con artists who prey on vulnerable and grief stricken people. They do this by claiming that Angela is a medium who can talk to sprits and ghosts. The people buy into this because of their late mother who apparently was popular as a medium. And Angela, her brother and two others make a good show of it with the technology available to them. Thing is that Angela actually has seen something paranormal in her latest job. This freaked her out so much that she decided to quit this scamming operation. Jackson is not too happy with her decision since he is knee deep into debt and already has been beaten up by thugs to persuade him to pay back what he is owed. Since she does care about her brother she agrees to do one last job. 

Naturally this job proves to be extra challenging since for the first time they are confronted with real paranormal events. Although at one point it becomes quite clear what is going on. Unfortunately the film takes it's sweet time to reveal this as if it were something surprising and shocking. Trust me it's not. To make matters worse Jackson and other team members aren't particularly bright. One could say that Angela is not that much smarter. Although I like to think that she is totally distracted and overwhelmed by her gift to the extent that she is oblivious to what they have gotten themselves into. Surprisingly Malevolent doesn't go overboard with the jump scares. But the ones that are in the film are hardly effective. There is some suspense. Although I would have preferred had there been more dread in the same vein as in The Conjuring for example. And yet, Malevolent is quite decent. Granted this is due to Florence Pugh and in small amount to Celia Imrie as Mrs. Green. Still, the climax is pretty disappointing as it lacks impact and meaning. 

So is Malevolent worth your time? As Netflix films go this is pretty watchable. But keep your expectations at a minimum.  

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