The season for frights and spooky entertainment is upon us. And there’s no better time to cue up a steady stream of horror films and shows than the month of October. The looming specter of Halloween aside, any reason is a good reason to fit some quality scares into your schedule. Though there are plenty of horror films to choose from, director James Wan’s Malignant should absolutely be on your radar as the film hits Hulu‘s library in October.
Malignant joins a long line of horror films that pique our curiosity and stick like glue to our memory banks thanks in part to bold and evocative single-word titles like Insidious, Sinister, Smile, Terrifier, It, etc. With a master of horror at its helm and eerie cover art to boot, the film should look promising to the average horror fan. Rest assured, Malignant is unreservedly worthy of your attention.
When you think of horror cinema, larger-than-life figures synonymous with the genre come to mind such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, Alfred Hitchcock, Tobe Hooper, and others who have have been the visual masterminds behind cinema’s most iconic horror films. James Wan is undoubtedly a modern master of terror with films like Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, and The Conjuring under his belt. He never overcomplicates the scares unfolding on screen. In fact, Wan has adopted a “less is more” approach that leans on the cultivated anticipation of viewers to buoy the eventual frights that are delivered.
Malignant is an original story straight from the mind of Wan, much like Saw before it. If you consider yourself a fan of Wan’s work, then let that be reason enough to check out Malignant while its streaming on Hulu.
“Scream Queen” has become an endearing term typically reserved for the final girl of the most famous horror films. Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in the Alien film series, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) in Scream, and Michael Myer’s object of obsession in Halloween, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), are all notable Scream Queens in the genre. But Annabelle Wallis’ Madison might be the antithesis of a final girl. In fact, she’s something even better.
Of course, divulging any part of her narrative would spoil the film, but Wallis offers a compelling and authentic performance in her role as the tortured lead. She’s no stranger to horror films, either. She is easily the best part of 2014’s Annabelle — a spinoff film from Wan’s The Conjuring. In other media, fans may even recognize her as Tommy Shelby’s beau, Grace Shelby, in the Peaky Blinders series. As a performer, Wallis is top-notch. So, do yourself a favor and watch the film, even if it’s for nothing more than witnessing the spectacle of a talented actress.
In the early stages of the film, Malignant feels somewhat akin to a haunting or possession narrative driven by a malevolent force. As such, the fear behind the film’s leading lady, Madison (Wallis), is palpable. Clearly, something is wrong and Malignant manages to curate a remarkable sensation of confounding dread. A sinister force is murdering people and Madison becomes entwined with it as a semi-prisoner being granted a front-row seat to each slaying as if she were the actual voyeur skulking in the shadows.
What ultimately happens is the stuff of critical division among viewers. Whether the third act explosion thrills or disappoints, there’s no denying that it is wholly unexpected and completely original. Regardless of your eventual love or disdain for the wild turn of events, seeing it unfold is worth the price of admission all on its own.
Malignant is now streaming on Hulu.
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