This week on "Justin Hall At The Movies," I'll be reviewing a young woman haunted by deadly dreams in "Malignant."
I'll give Malignant credit for this: It is an original work of a horror movie that doesn't rely on being a sequel or being a copycat of other more recent horror movies. However, that's where my praise stops. The rest is a convoluted, gory, and occasionally inconsistent tone deaf movie that can't decide what it wants to be by the end.
Annabelle Wallis stars as Madison, a deeply troubled woman since childhood with horrifying dreams that she doesn't know if they're real or a disturbing illusion.
After suffering severe miscarriages and the constant abuse from her husband (Jake Abel), something inside Madison snaps and it triggers a demonic force that seems to take on a life of its own by manifesting out of Madison's brain.
George Young and Michole Briana White costar as a couple of detectives investigating Madison's case and at first they believe that the supernatural entity in Madison's brain is a ploy to gain sympathy, but it isn't long before they dig deeper and discover the roots of the terror.
Malignant was directed, cowritten and co-produced by James Wan of Saw, The Conjuring and Insidious fame. He knows how to create a foreboding atmosphere and his vision works well here again. The biggest problem is that he's concocted a screenplay that rushes hither and yon and overstays its welcome by giving us a movie almost two hours long.
Plus, during the climax is where the inconsistent tone kicks into high gear. It's been a horror movie that detours into a gorefest that detours into an action movie and it can't keep separate what it wants to be.
Malignant is good at providing atmosphere to support its premise and the actors do what they can, but the execution makes it fall flat. It starts out benign, but the results are just like its title.
(Rated R for strong horror violence And gruesome images.)