Malignant ★★★

Malignant is the best of James Wan. It feels different from his ultra conventional work on The Conjuring series and moves away from the general bore of those films by introducing subversion into the picture. The entire film continually works to subvert audience expectation and does so to varying degrees. The amount of twist alone will shock audiences and any handle on the story quickly dissipated by the ending. It's got a sharp look to the aesthetic of the film (shout out to the Ultra Speed MKII lenses) and has surreal visual effects that bring you deeper into Wan's vision. And the story itself is genuinely disturbing. It's far from a classic horror film but it did keep me engaged by constantly barraging me with new story beats that go against my line of thinking.

It would've been a rather enjoyable film save for the didactic, contrived characters and the general blandness of the writing. The scares are decent enough but nothing to ride home about.

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