A friend who caught an early screening of Malignant said it was far and away the worst film from The Conjuring and Insidious director James Wan, and a contender for every “worst of 2021” list. That description triggers one thing in this writer: full and unbridled excitement for whatever madness Wan cooked up. The worst movies provoke no feelings whatsoever, ones where I struggle to remember any specific detail by the time I get home from the theater (or go upstairs after settling for a home premiere, as 2021 often allows).
James Wan swings big in his latest horror movie. Yes, there are some questionable decisions to be found in its 112-minute runtime (including the, uh, 112-minute runtime), but they are the decisions from a filmmaker who has made it clear over the past 17 years that he is not interested in presenting any semblance of reality in his projects (cue Dom and Brian in Furious 7 driving through not one but two skyscrapers to land in a third). Even when dealing with something based on fact in his Conjuring films, Wan likes to challenge himself by embracing the inherent hokeyness of something like a giant crooked ghost and then figuring out how to scare you anyway. He usually succeeds.
is available to stream for free: Malignant movie streaming
And he clearly has much love and respect for the horror masters of yore, whose names are often mentioned along with his when talking about the great craftsman of the genre. Throughout Malignant, an astute horror fan should feel right at home, as the script (by Wan, Ingrid Bisu, and Akela Cooper) primarily draws influence from Italian films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but also Dark Castle’s late ‘90s/early ‘00s funhouse thrills, Hammer horror, and the more polarizing entries in the filmographies of Wes Craven and John Carpenter. And yet it still remains unmistakably his, with the tricky camerawork, (indoor!) fog machines cranked up to 11, and bright reds and blues that have been a feature of all his previous genre exercises.
Anyone who only knows Wan for his billion dollar blockbusters like Aquaman and Furious 7 might be thrown for a loop by the approach. And even for those familiar with the Conjurings (which keep their weirdness to a relative minimum) might benefit from a little primer of past horror films that immediately sprang to mind while watching it. So consider this list; if you were to put these six films in a blender and project the results, it might somewhat resemble Malignant.
The Conjuring 3 Im Bann des Teufels
The third “Conjuring” film takes the Warrens to court: as experts, they are supposed to judge a murderer who claims he is possessed by a demon.
The “Conjuring” universe is now a real guarantee of success and has recently made the box office ring with offshoots such as “The Nun” (366 million US dollars worldwide) and “Annabelle 3” (230 million US dollars). In 2021 there will be a return to the original series with a focus on the specialists in paranormal phenomena, the married couple Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren.
is currently available to watch on: The Conjuring 3 Im Bann des Teufels Movies Streaming
Don’t Breathe 2
Continuation of the horror hit starring Stephen Lang about a blind man who brutally punishes burglars.
The blind man returns. In 2016, “Don’t Breathe” became the surprise hit of the year and showed Stephen Lang as a blind man who was identified by three burglars as an apparently easy target only to take brutal revenge on the thieves in his house. In 2021 he will be back in the cinema with another revenge campaign.
Don’t Breathe 2 is currently available to rent or purchase through most streaming services: Don’t Breathe 2 Movies Streaming