This film opens with Madison (Annabelle Wallis), a mousy nurse whose husband Derek (Jake Abel) beats her up for the very last time.
Thus, in a scene where domestic violence turns fatal, he winds up as morgue meat.
I am sure Derek would’ve preferred a more dignified exit. Like being killed softly by Lauryn Hill, but this is a horror.
So the killer turns out to be some supernatural presence that leaves Madison and local law enforcement at a loss.
I mean, how does one arrest Freddy Krueger?
Sure, it’s not the real Freddy who kills Derek.
But Madison’s old Gothic house looks like a good fit for Freddy’s striped red-and-green sweater, dark brown fedora and bladed glove.
Anyway, gruesome murder after grisly killing occurs in the wake of Derek’s death like its Friday the thirteenth, during Halloween.
As a slasher movie, the blood and guts blend well with the cinematography to accentuate crimson tides of victims’ blood.
As a thriller, Malignant builds up its suspense around the words “cut out the cancer” thereby helpfully reminding us that some tumors must go.
One such tumor is called Gabriel, like the archangel or the singer, Peter.
Either way, his true identity eludes us as the film’s pace goes from fast to slow and back again like Lil Wayne’s rap lyrics wrote the script.
Supporting characters such as Detective Shaw (George Young) and Madison’s sister Sydney (Maddie Hasson) seem to fall for each other. But before they can fall lovingly into each other’s arms, Madison spoils everything by turning into some kind of Amoeba.
One minute, she’s a shrieking brunette with the eye-bulges of a character from the horror movie “Scream”.
Then, the next, she’s the same person who is dispatching innocents with the ferocity of God’s wrath.
At one point, she massacres a whole police station in a blaze of blades and bludgeons.
These scene sequences play havoc with the screenplay and leave the film lingering in a limbo between an action movie and an outright comedy.
The characters are rather underdeveloped, Madison is however convincing as the damsel in distress who happens to be the cause of much distress.
As the film reaches its crescendo, so will its curiosity value as you start to ask who and what the Malignant is.
Is it the devil?
Or is it a figment of your imagination?
Finding out the answers to those questions makes this film a worthwhile watch.