Malignant

Malignant ★★★★½

So my prayers were answered and Malignant was much better than the trailers made it out to be.

For whatever reason, the opening scene reminded me in a good way of It's Alive and Re-animator -- it just had a grindhouse feel to it. And one other movie which I can't say as it would be a huge spoiler (hint at the very end of this post).

I liked the way the physical appearance of the antagonist was revealed early -- something unusual for a horror movie where the "reveal" is held to the last act (and MILD SPOILER -- it looks like a skinny tall J-horror Michael from Rob Zombie's Halloween reboot -- with his limbs put on backwards and BEFORE he puts on the Shatner mask).

Unfortunately it sagged big-time in the middle. The challenge with revealing too much about an antagonist that early is that there needs to be a way to keep the audience engaged. [Edit: on re-watch, this issue was gone as all the clever hints were present before the final reveal making it far more interesting.]

But then that ALL gets made up for with a truly bonkers crazy-train ending. I mean, this is like a "horror" Aquaman -- silly as fuck, and completely leans into that campiness. When the final reveal happens, if you aren't laughing your ass off, you haven't watched enough of What We Do In the Shadows (that reference is sure to piss one of my LBD friends off. ;-)

The twist is pretty easy to figure out even with the red-herrings thrown in to distract you. As I mentioned, I'll give you a clue at the end. But even guessing what that the twist is does not diminish the hilarity that ensues. This is the polar opposite of The Conjuring -- a horror movie that could've been dreamt up by Peter Jackson in his early days of Dead Alive and Bad Taste.

SPOILER

The clue: BC or TR

[Bumping this up 1/2 star after a re-watch. It's even better when you know the twist.]

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