Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Halloween Day By Day: Malevolent

Netflix is cranking out the genre movies this October. There's so many, they're hard to keep track of. The studio's track record is a bit spotty when it comes to horror, though. Hush is brilliant, The Open House not so much. And now we've got Malevolent.

The trailer was certainly spot on, promising chills and a twist as a brother and sister "ghost hunting" duo look for a big scam to cash in on, only to have something go horribly wrong . . . something far more malevolent than ghosts.

Some critics have said Malevolent is hide-under-the-bed scary, much like they did with Veronica earlier this year. That movie might have been scary if you hadn't watched The Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Evil Dead and countless other possession movies.

The same can be said of Malevolent. The concept is sound, but if you've seen one haunted-house flick -- especially classic like The Haunting of Hill House, Hell House or even Poltergeist and Paranormal Activity -- you've seen them all. Granted, I jumped a few times, but that shits easy to stage.

As or the twist, you can see it coming. The script needed a couple more rewrites to make it work. I appreciate how nasty Malevolent got, and that Ben Ketai and Eva Konstantopoulos wanted to blend two horror subgenres together. They just needed to polish the idea more.

Malevolent does have two things in its favour: some great atmosphere thanks to actual Scottish locations, and Florence Pugh as Angela, a would-be psychic. Setting the film in the United Kingdom is a fine choice given the rich, and haunted, history. This gives the movie a naturally creepy vibe. And Pugh is a fine, and beautiful, actress. She gives the movie a needed emotional core.

This is an OK way to pass an evening, but wasn't the scare fest I hoped for. It's a Bad for sure.

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