Original title:Malum
Director:Anthony DiBlasi
Running time:92 minutes
Release date:31 march 2023
Seeking to uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding her father's death, newly appointed police officer Jessica Loren (Jessica Sula) is assigned to the final shift at a disused police station where a notoriously vicious cult met its demise years before. The only officer in the precinct, she soon finds herself confronted with terrifying paranormal events and, in the process, is drawn into a journey in which she learns the shocking truth about her family's connection to the leader of a demented cult.

Mulder's Review

The new film from director and writer Anthony DiBlasi (Dread (2009), Last Shift (2014), Extremity (2018)) Malum succeeds where many horror films fail by creating an unsettling, unapologetic atmosphere in which anything can happen.  By plunging the spectators into a journey of no return in which evil forces like to play with their victims, the film despite its limited budget succeeds in being truly frightening while paying homage in its own way to directors such as John Carpenter but also Clive Barker with whom the director admits that he is one of his major sources of influence. 

Malum shows that the success of a horror film does not rest on continuous streams of blood or scenes close to gore but rather in a will to play with the nerves of the spectators without slackening at any moment the rhythm. Relying on the remarkable performance of Jessica Sula (Skins series, Sspilt (2016)) and mastered special effects, director Anthony DiBlasi delivers a perfectly mastered film punctuated with strong and striking scenes.

Anthony DiBlasi wanted to make his film Malum a bold and extensive reimagining of his horror film Last shift (2014). In that one we followed the first shift of a rookie cop who found himself alone on the last night of a police station about to be closed. What was supposed to be a normal night turns into a real nightmare. In Malum, director Anthony DiBlasi takes up the theme of his film but does not propose a simple remake but rather, in the manner of Sam Raimi and his Evil Dead 2, a film showing a better ease behind the camera, all the more successful as it seems to find its own atmosphere without wanting to copy those of recent American films (we will think in particular of films like Saw, The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)).  

After an introductory scene as successful as striking, we discover the policewoman Jessica Loren (Jessica Sula) whose father died in mysterious circumstances after acting in an incomprehensible way. She finds herself in a disused police station in which a satanic cult was ended years before and thanks to the action of her father. Evil does not seem to have been wiped out, however, and Jessica Loren, who finds herself the only officer in the station, must not only confront her past but also terrifying paranormal events. Throughout one night, she will understand the importance of this cult that has a place in her past and that will take her on a journey to hell with no way back. 

Malum proves to be interesting in more than one way because not only is it very disturbing but above all it benefits from a scenario that is conducive to many twists and turns and to show us once again the danger of certain sects in today's America. The lack of important means brought the two scriptwriters Scott Poiley and Dan Clifton to find the most successful approach to tell a story really capable of making us jump and which will remind more than one spectator of the work of Clive Barker. While horror cinema seems to be coming back in force with films like Scream VI, Malum will easily find the heart of the spectators fond of efficient horror films and bold enough to stand out from the crowd.

Directed by Anthony DiBlasi             
Produced by Scott Poiley, Dan Clifton
Written byAnthony DiBlasi, Scott Poiley
Executive Producers: Mary Poiley, Luke LaBeau, Eric Kleifield, Bonner Bellew, Justin Brown
Starring Jessica Sula, Candice Coke, Chaney Morrow, Clarke Wolfe, Morgan Lennon, Valerie Loo, Monroe Cline, Eric Olson, Sam Brooks, Kevin Wayne, Danielle Coyne, Natalie Victoria, Christopher Matthew Spencer and Britt George
Cinematography : Sean McDaniel
Edited by Anthony DiBlasi
Music by Samuel Laflamme
Production companies : Welcome Villain Films, Skyra Entertainment 
Distributed by Welcome Villain Films (United states)
Release date : March 31 2023 (United States)
Running time : 92 minutes

Seen on March 20 2023 (screener press)

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