I've got a riddle for you...When is a horror movie not a horror movie? When it is neither scary nor entertaining. Sadly, the answer could also be "when it is James Wan's (Saw) latest film, Malignant". The supernatural-themed film premiered in theaters and on HBO Max this Fall to both mediocre ticket sales and a mid to lukewarm reception from critics. Malignant does offer something different from the everyday, average blood, and gore horror film but it becomes convoluted and confusing part way through and never regains its composure. Nonetheless, if you are a fan of the movie, you will be happy to know it has been released on Blu-ray and DVD.
Madison Mitchell (Annabelle Wallis; The Mummy) is pregnant and in an abusive relationship so when her husband starts another fight and bangs her head against the wall so hard, she starts bleeding. Locking herself in her bedroom she falls asleep and dreams an intruder enters their house and kills her husband. A short time later, Madison wakes up to find the body of her dead husband and is once again knocked unconscious, this time by the killer. When she awakens in the hospital, she is told the baby didn't survive. From that point on, Madison continues to have disturbing dreams of people being murdered, only the dreams seem to be coming true. The movie only gets weirder from there with an imaginary friend, reconstructive surgery, an adopted child, and so on.
The cast is good and may have been even better with a stronger script. Annabelle Wallis is no stranger to the horror film genre, and she is pretty convincing here. Maddie Hasson (Impulse) portrays Madison's sister, Sydney and her performance enhances Wallis' as the two seem to work well together. George Young (Containment) and Michole Briana White (Encino Man) play detectives Kekoa Shaw and Regina Moss, respectively, who are tasked with putting together the pieces of the puzzle behind the murders. The rest of the cast is merely ok, but no one stands out amongst the group.
The Malignant combo pack includes the Blu-ray disk and the Digital HD code to download. The picture quality is terrific with sharp details and varying shades of black setting a tone for the film. The colors are a little muted but that may have been intentional in this case. The background has a depth that adds richness to the overall look. The DTS-HD master audio 5.1 quality is even better than the video. Surround sound ambient audio is clean, full, and immersive. The lone extra on the disc is a 14-minute featurette called Malignant: James Wan's Visions.
Writer/Director Wan has a successful past with horror movies so it would stand to reason that his most recent project would be highly anticipated. Malignant, while not the worst horror film ever made, certainly won't be making any top fifty horror movies ever made lists. It isn't overly scary, and the plot takes some generous liberties with "suspension of belief" regarding what could or could not be possible in the realm of supernatural, horror creatures. There are some plot twists that are simply too bizarre lessening the impact these reveals have on the viewer.
While Wan has stated he was trying to create something different with this film instead of the "same old thing", He seems to have gone a little too far over the edge. Some fans of Wan's work will likely see his influence all over Malignant from the framing of shots to dialogue and even casting. Malignant is just ok (though some fans will argue otherwise) and can't hold a candle to his other projects like The Conjuring, Insidious, and Aquaman.
If you are a Wan super fan and have all his movies in your home theater library, then the Blu-ray quality won't disappoint, and you will want to add this release to your collection.