Spoiler-Free Review of “Malignant” on HBO Max: Bizarre Blend of Genres

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“It’s all in my head…”

Malignant released on September 10th 2021. The supernatural horror film is currently available to watch in theaters and on HBO Max. It stars Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young and Michole Briana White. It runs for approximately an hour and fifty minutes.

After experiencing some violent and shocking visions, a young pregnant woman begins to realize that they may actually be based in reality, linking them to her past.

Here is the trailer:

Malignant is directed by Saw’s James Wan, which could be extremely promising for horror fans, but does this film ever truly find its identity? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Visually intriguing.

This entire film had so many stunning and unique visual effects. The use of perspective was also extremely well done. I thought this helped the film stand out from other supernatural horror films. The intensity was there, but in a different way. The body horror displayed was really disturbing as well…

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Decent beginning and ending.

The opening of the film was really creepy and intense. I was on the edge of my seat and looking over my shoulder quite a few times. The middle part of the movie fell off in terms of pacing for me, but the ending was shocking in a way and reeled me back in. The mystery at the core of the film also keeps you invested until the end although I am sure there will be mixed reactions to the reveal.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of HBO Max

Major identity crisis.

Several genres blended together during this film, which made the plot jump around so much. The middle of the film went in so many different directions and it was a little messy. I still don’t really know what this film was attempting to be and I started to really contemplate what I was actually watching, which was frustrating at times. Some of the reveals were pretty predictable as well, but I just felt like I was being tossed all over the place for the majority of the film.

Glosses over real issues.

Our main character went through quite a lot in her life and while these elements and flashbacks were introduced, they were never really developed and we are just supposed to accept that they happened and move on. I couldn’t connect that well to our main character even though Annabelle’s Annabelle Wallis presented us with a solid and chilling performance. 

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of HBO Max

I’m 50/50 on this one…

The visual effects and unique use of perspective presented us with a lot of chilling moments, but the lack of a solid identity made this film go off the rails several times. There were decent performances and the mystery was interesting enough to keep you watching until the end. This movie was a really weird watch for me, but it does have some redeeming moments. It just may not be what you were hoping for from the trailer…

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Malignant in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

DON’T TAKE THE JOB…

It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

Girl Number Thirteen is available here!

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Spoiler-Free Review of “We Summon the Darkness” on Netflix: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“There is a lot of evil out there…and you seem like nice girls.”

We Summon the Darkness follows three female friends on a road trip during the 80’s, as they head out to a heavy metal rock fest. The film was released on Netflix on August 8th 2020 and is 90 minutes in length. It stars Alexandra Daddario, Maddie Hasson, Amy Forsyth, and Johnny Knoxville.

The girls meet some male strangers during the metal rock fest and invite them back to their vacation home, but things take an unexpected twist when sadistic intentions are revealed.

Here is the trailer:

We Summon the Darkness takes a shot at nailing the 80’s slasher/thriller vibe and has an attractive and talented cast, but does the film do enough to truly stand out when so many other films and shows are channeling some 80’s nostalgia? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

We Summon the Darkness Netflix 1
Images courtesy of Netflix

Nailed the 80’s vibe!

I love the 80’s and I know that we have been getting quite a bit of programming featuring some nostalgia, but I thought it was done so well in this film. The clothes rocked, the music was on point, and I felt myself being seamlessly transported back to another time.

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 2
Images courtesy of Netflix

Girl power and then some!

The opening of the film immediately gave me some Death Proof vibes and I loved that. We immediately believe that these three girls are friends and are out for some harmless fun. We soon learn that these three ladies are capable of a lot more, but I thought that they all had great chemistry together and I wanted to go along for the ride.

Twists I never saw coming.

You may think that you have seen this type of movie before, but there are actually some really great twists in this one. I was thrown for a loop a few times and I think that the film did a good job of shattering some tropes while keeping us entertained.

The Cons:

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 3
Images courtesy of Netflix

Supporting characters needed to step up.

I loved the girls, but the guys really didn’t hold my attention. Maybe that was the point, but I thought that we could have elevated these performances more and I kept forgetting about their existence to be honest.

A little something missing.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this film just needed a little bit more. It was entertaining and a lot of fun, but there was a slight edge I needed and didn’t get. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this film, but I thought it needed a slight push over to the dark side even more to make it something truly incredible.

So am I in or out?

We Summon The Darkness Netflix 4
Images courtesy of Netflix

I’m in about 75 percent on this one.

The movie was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the watch, but I feel like the film was inches away from being something truly brilliant. That being said, this movie fit right in to my weekend lineup and I recommend that you give it a watch for sure.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on We Summon the Darkness in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

If you enjoyed this film, you may like my book, Dash and Seek! I would love it if you would check it out in the link below. Thank you!

PLAY BY THE RULES…STAY ALIVE…

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A harmless night of fun turns deadly for six college friends but the game has only just begun. Take a mystery thrill ride right from your own living room. Dash and Seek is out now! I hope you enjoy!

READ IF YOU DARE…

Dash and Seek is available here!

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Do you love horror series? Of course you do! Please also check out 12 Nights of Horror Series Coming Soon. It’s your home for everything you need to know about new and returning horror television series including new trailers, premiere dates, reviews, recaps, and renewals!