Movie Reviews

Malignant (2021)

malignant-movie-review-poster-2021Director: James Wan

Genre: Horror, Crime, Action

Runtime: 111 Minutes

Main Cast: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Mckenna Grace, Jean Louisa Kelly, Jacqueline McKenzie, Jake Abel

Plot: After suffering a traumatic experience, Madison (Annabelle Wallis) is haunted by shocking and gruesome visions of murders being committed. Things go from bad to worse when she realises that these visions are actual real.

My Thoughts: Malignant might be one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. I knew next to nothing going into the cinema, and that’s how I recommend everyone experience this movie. I won’t talk about spoilers here but I urge you to not seek them out if you’re thinking of watching it yourself. I’d seen trailers at the cinema but mostly tried not to look because I hate jump scares, but Twitter couldn’t shut up about how good it was so I had to find out for myself. Yes, there’s jump scares and yes, I spent a lot of time studying the fire exit sign when things got too tense but I also had an absolute blast!

Have you ever been to a theme park and gone on one of the big, themed rollercoasters or rides, where in the queue you get loud music and a cheesy intro video? That’s what vibe Malignant has. At face value, the acting seems terrible and the script feels lazy, but I realised early on that it was all intentional. If you’re looking for a smart, compact story then this isn’t the movie for you. But if you like the sound of gory murder scenes, and crazy plot twists then like me, you’re going to really enjoy Malignant.

You have to wait a while for it all to pay off, I’d say at least the first 30 minutes were pure, generic modern horror movie scenes, but once the seed of the mystery is planted in your mind it’s really hard to focus on anything else. There are some twists you’ll guess straight away but others that will shock you for sure. Was Malignant enough to convince me to dive into the Conjuring movies? Absolutely not. However, I think I’m in deep enough now that I can stop throwing around the phrase ‘I’m not into horror movies’.

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Best Bit: This is easy. The moment it gets revealed it just gory, gloriousness. I guess you could call it ‘gore-ious’! Copywrited that word now, sorry. It’s daft and it’s silly but it’s gross and just the right portions of horrifying and hilarious. Being in a crowed cinema room would be great, but I went early and it was quiet.

Worst Bit: I’m quite good at knowing when a jump scare is close, and that’s when I let my eyes drift away from the screen so ease the tension. There was still one scare that took me by surprise though and what made it worse is that I’m pretty sure it was in the trailer, too!

Fun Trivia: The Seattle Underground is a real tour open to the public. (Yeah, no thanks!)

My Rating: 4 out of 5 toy telephones that I’ll be making doubly sure my daughter neither owns nor plays with after this movie.

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Movie Reviews

Tag (2018)

tag-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Jeff Tomsic

Genre: Comedy

Main Cast: Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher, Hannibal Buress, Jeremy Renner, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb

Plot: Every year during the month of May, Hoagie and his friends take part in an epic game of tag. They go to huge lengths to tag each other, including getting a job at the company one of them works for. In this particular year, Jerry has said it’s last year taking part, and as he has never been tagged, the rest of the gang are determined to get him.

My Thoughts: I feel so conflicted about this movie. On one hand, I love that Tag is a different comedy story to most that we see these days. Based on a true story too! I also love this cast, and they gel so well together. I’ve never seen Jeremy Renner in a comedy before and he actually did really well.

On the other hand, whilst Tag started strong, it lagged in the middle, and then in the final 20 minutes or so the tone changed completely, which threw me off balance. Also, although I found it quite funny in places, 24 hours after seeing it I’m struggling to remember any specific jokes, apart from one which went too far. Ultimately, it was fun while it lasted but was kind of forgettable to me.

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Best Bit: Whenever the gang try to tag Jerry – played by Jeremy Renner, he goes into an ultra slo-mo analysis of every move, and it never got old! It’s such a shame that Jerry couldn’t be an Avenger instead of Hawkeye!

Worst Bit: I love inappropriate jokes as much as the next terrible person but repeatedly making jokes about miscarriage was too cringy for me, and soured my mood a little. Do it once and you’ll get a shocked “should I laugh at this” reaction but 10 more times and I just cringe.

Fun Trivia: The film was based on the true events of the lives of former high school classmates (Bill Akers, Patrick Schultheis, Sean Raftis and Mike Konesky). As teenagers during the 1980’s, they would entertain themselves by playing the schoolyard game during breaks at Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington.

My Rating: 2 and a half watches out 5. Synchronise them if you can, unless you don’t know how, don’t have a watch, or don’t believe that time itself is a construct!

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