“Malignant”

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7.7

James Wan at the height of his powers.

A creative, original story. Camera angles no one else would think of using. A largely unknown cast that you care for enough to cause buy-in into the story, heightening its impact. This film fires on all cylinders.

You can see elements of Wan’s entire filmography in this. The music and feel of “Saw,” the storytelling and characters of “The Conjuring,” and the road trip scenes of “Fast and the Furious.” The third act reveal of the true villain, and some of the closing shots had me on the edge of my seat in a way I haven’t been since I first watched “Saw.” The film’s rewatchability may not be as strong as some other horror films, but the initial wow factor is superb. A solid start to spooky season!

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