Running time:112 minutes
Director:James Wan
Release date:10 september 2021
Madison Mitchell's life is disrupted when terrible visions come to haunt her. What is this malevolent creature that pursues her and commits these heinous murders? A new original story by James Wan, the master of horror.

Mulder's Review

The director and screenwriter James Wan never ceases to surprise us with his undeniable will to bring his contribution to the horror genre, whether it's modest productions perfectly mastered (Saw (2003), Dead Silence (2007) Death Sentence (2007) or productions calibrated for Warner Bros studios like The Conjuring 1&2 (2013, 2016). While we could have expected his new film to be directly Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (announced for December 14/16, 2022 in France // in the United States), James Wan comes back with a production in the spirit of his first films and still. While the two blockbusters he directed, Furious 7 and Aquaman, were major worldwide successes, it's interesting to see that director James Wan returns to his favorite genre with a true love for the genre and above all, once again, a scenario of a formidable efficiency.

If we look closely at the structure of this film, it is not without reminding the one of Dead silence. So after a first scene taking place in the past in a psychiatric hospital in which a deformed creature that we can't clearly identify massacres many people. The action starts again in the present with almost no obvious correlation at first sight. We discover Madison (Annabelle Wallis) who is pregnant and is raped by her husband who in turn is killed by a ghostly creature. The latter will also at first sight attack Madison who will lose her child. Paralyzed by the fear of shocking visions as if she was witnessing bloody murders in spite of herself, Madison will have to reconstruct her past to better understand the reason for her waking dreams which are terrifying realities. 

Malignant is meant to be a real cinematic experience capable of making you jump repeatedly in your chair. Between Madison's nightmare scenes and a killer who seems to take great pleasure in tormenting her and killing people who seem to relate to the mental hospital in the opening scene of the film. The scenario of Akela Cooper put in image in an inspired way by James Wan allows to approach different themes as the family, the abused childhood, the evil children and the evil spirits. As in Dead Silence, James Wan seems to take a malicious pleasure to play with the nerves of the spectators and to find new tracks and issues. The result is a film that seems to mix the paranoid thriller, the slasher and the horror film. The presence of the two actresses Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson brings an obvious charm to the film and reminds us once again the importance of having not only a scenario conducive to different twists and turns, but also an inspired director and an engaging cast.

The last act of Malignant may remind some of the scene in Terminator (1984) in which the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes on a rampage in a police station. Certainly James Wan is as effective at directing action scenes as he is at directing more dramatic and horrific moments. As a result, Malignant easily fulfills its mission of being an effective horror film despite limited budget constraints. We can easily understand that Malihgnant is for its director a real recreation and a way to find a genre that he masters to perfection and thus frighten the spectators.

Directed by James Wan
Screenplay by Akela Cooper
Story by James Wan, Ingrid Bisu, Akela Cooper
Produced by James Wan, Michael Clear
Starring Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White
Cinematography : Michael Burgess
Edited by Kirk Morri
Music by Joseph Bishara
Production companies : New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster Productions, Starlight Media, Midas Innovation
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date : September 1, 2021 (France), September 10, 2021 (United States)
Running time : 112 minutes

Seen on September 01, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 10 seat A18

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