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Review Malignant (2021): Go in blind and let the film surprise you! (spoiler free)

genre: action, crime, horror

Out of nowhere Malignant appears with very little to no announcement. And if they did, it completely escaped me. I kept it that way since I wanted to go in blind and let myself get surprised. Best decision ever, since the film does a very good job keeping you guessing and even throwing in a few scares here and there.

To be honest, I saw the title and didn't think much of it. It looked like those generic B titles that get released before Halloween. Then I saw James Wan was attached to it as a writer, director and producer. That was all I needed to know since Wan does always seem to deliver the juicy horror goodness even when he does have the tendency to go a little overboard sometimes. If you were expecting something like Insidious or The Conjuring then I will have to disappoint you. While Malignant is filled with tension, the dread is nowhere near as heavy as in those films. But what it lacks in sheer terror, it makes it up with super creative action and surprise. Naturally I won't spoil this for you but let's say you will never be able to predict what is going on. I have seen many thrillers and horror films, so that is saying something. Mind you, it is expected of you to go with the silliness and obvious fantastical elements. But come on. This is a horror. Those elements are what usually makes these films fun. Especially if it plays around with convention.

Often you will hear people say horror is dead. Those people don't know what they are talking about. Horror is and never will be dead. It's the one genre that can invent itself over and over again and remain entertaining. Because there is a lot to draw from. Besides, when done right horror films will always be able to tap into your fears and worries. Malignant does the same thing. But it also builds on what people usually expect and then misdirects you. It's not perfect, but good enough to do make you doubt until the reveal. Most of the cast go a good job of taking the film seriously. Except at the opening scene, there was a moment where very deliberately one actress hammed up her role. I think that one was a brilliant example of misdirection. 

My overall viewing experience was a happy one. Overjoyed. It has been a while I have seen a good contemporary horror flick that is actually creative and fun. 

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