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

Aquaman (2018)

aquaman-movie-poster-review-2018Director: James Wan

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Runtime: 143 Minutes

Main Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin

Plot: Arthur Curry, AKA Aquaman, discovers that his half-brother King Orm is assembling an army to wage war against the people of the land.

My Thoughts: So without a winter Star Wars release, our family Christmas movie gettogether had to improvise and find a different movie to watch. I highly doubted my chances of convincing the boys to see Mary Poppins so Aquaman seemed like a logical choice. I’d set my expectations at a reasonable height, but I was dead excited to see Jason Momoa play Arthur Curry – weren’t we all?!

I have to admit, I know very little about Aquaman from the DC comic books. It’s a running joke (especially in The Big Bang Theory) that he’s not the coolest superhero around so I’ve never really bothered. With that in mind, I think the movie did an excellent job of making Aquaman an absolute badass, but without changing who he really is. Bravo!

I find myself a bit short of words for my review though, mainly because what I really want to say is – it was a good movie. That kind of sums it up for me. It was a superhero origin story. We got introduced to our hero, he did some cool stuff, and he saved the world. That’s all there really is to it. I don’t mean it as a criticism because I enjoyed the whole movie, it’s just one of those things!

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Best Bit: **SPOILERS** Call me a helpless sap – but once we found out that Atlanna was still alive after all I knew the moment I was waiting for, and when I saw Tom waiting down at the end of that pier I couldn’t help but sob. Curse my weak, leaky eyes!

Worst Bit: It doesn’t matter how cool you make the costumes, how stern the actors look or how fantastic the CGI is – no one can storm off whilst swimming underwater and not look like a bit of a goof whilst doing it.

Also – my husband won’t shut up about how funny he found the moment that Aquaman lifted a fallen church wall off a guy who just stood right back up and walked away like nothing happened. He’s still laughing about it now and I’m not sure if he wants it mentioned as Best Bit or Worst Bit, to be honest.

Fun Trivia: Wan was initially unsure about putting Topo in the film, but was inspired to do so after watching Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), saying, “If that film could have a guy playing a flaming guitar, I’m going to have an octopus drummer in mine.”

My Rating: 3 and a half bottles of red wine, just a fraction of the amount that were wastefully destroyed in the making of this movie.

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