Malignant movie trailer, release date, cast and all about James Wan’s ode to classic 70s Italian horror

ANNABELLE WALLIS as Madison in New Line Cinema, Starlight Media Inc. and My Entertainment Inc.’s original horror thriller MALIGNANT, an Atomic Monster production, a Warner Bros Pictures release.

© 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

A young woman is plagued by visions of horrific murders that, in the cold light of day, turn out to have happened.

But who is the killer and how are they linked to her very real night terrors?

Welcome to James Wan’s Malignant movie – a stylish horror thriller with an old-school European vibe.

Malignant release date: 10 September 2021

Malignant (2021) origins. What are the inspirations behind James Wan’s Malignant movie?

Writer-director James Wan is a one-man horror-franchise factory, having unleashed Saw, Insidious and the extended Conjuring universes upon an unsuspecting and increasingly jumpy world. Even if you’re not a horror fan, you probably loved his frenetic Fast & Furious 7 and splashy Aquaman (which includes its very own horror-movie sequence during the nighttime attack of The Deep).

Clearly, Wan is a very busy guy but, while he’s produced and written stories for some of the scariest films in living memory, he hasn’t directed a horror film since 2016’s The Conjuring 2.

Director/Producer/Writer JAMES WAN on the set of New Line Cinema, Starlight Media Inc. and My Entertainment Inc.’s original horror thriller MALIGNANT, an Atomic Monster production, a Warner Bros Pictures release.

Ron Batzdorff © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

That is until a (relative) lull between Aquaman and its sequel got James thinking about the differences between grand projects like his DC blockbusters and the kinds of low-budget scary movies he thrived on as a kid. A train of thought that led to Malignant. Posting on Facebook, Wan explained:

“I don’t quite know how to describe [Malignant], except I wanted to take this opportunity (in between my two big, fishy films) to do something smaller and different. A genre-bender/blender — that harks back to my gritty, indie roots. It’s an original story, but inspired by my love for Bava, Argento, De Palma, Cronenberg… and the kind of 80’s horror/thrillers you would discover on the back shelves of video stores!”

A Malignant love for classic Italian horror

There’s gory connective tissue between the films of Mario Bava, the ‘70s Master of Italian Horror, through the globally infectious thrills of Dario Argento’s work to De Palma’s high-concept horror weirdness and Cronenberg’s skin-crawling body horror. It’s a tension-ratcheting blend of thriller and horror staples with moments of wide-eyed terror and gore, but relatively few jump-scares. And that last part, in particular, appealed to James ‘master of the jump-scare’ Wan’s desire never to let his audiences feel too confident they know what they’re getting from him. Talking to ign.com recently, he said:

ANNABELLE WALLIS as Madison in New Line Cinema, Starlight Media Inc. and My Entertainment Inc.’s original horror thriller MALIGNANT, an Atomic Monster production, a Warner Bros Pictures release.

© 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

“I worked very hard to make a movie that doesn’t really have my traditional jump scares because it’s not that kind of a movie. And […] I know that people now associate me with demonic possessions, and haunted houses, and stuff like that. And so […] I knew I wanted to play with peoples’ perception of me.”

Brilliantly, the only predictably James Wan quality Malignant shares with the likes of The Conjureverse and Saw is its ability to get under your skin and stay with you. Is it a traditional thriller with a gory razor’s edge, a serial killer procedural, a monster movie or a devilishly destabilising piece of psychological horror?

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Watch the Malignant trailer. What’s Malignant about?

Watch the Malignant trailer and one thing is immediately clear: Madison is not getting her eight good hours a night.

Lately, she’s been plagued by visions; horrific, vivid visions that depict brutal murders of people she’s never met by a killer called Gabriel. And it doesn't get better - It gets worse. 

As these disturbing visions fade with the rising sun, Madison wakes to discover that the murders have really happened just as she witnessed them in her dreams. And so, with her sister Sydney by her side she tries to make sense of the phenomenon and trace it to its unholy source before more murders occur and she loses grip on reality completely.

Along the way, the sisters will delve into Madison’s early life – a dark time before adoption brought her love and security; a time when she would communicate with an unseen entity she called Gabriel.

The inseparable sisters of Malignant (2021). A surprising inspiration for a must-see horror original

Sisters, Madison (Annabelle Wallis – 2014’s Annabelle) and Sydney (Maddie Hasson – 2019’s We Summon the Darkness) are at the heart of Malignant’s twisted investigation into the Gabriel murders and Madison’s psychic link with the killer. After The Night House (2021), it’s great to see another horror movie that centres on female relationships and doesn’t just isolate its women protagonists.

ANNABELLE WALLIS as Madison in New Line Cinema, Starlight Media Inc. and My Entertainment Inc.’s original horror thriller MALIGNANT, an Atomic Monster production, a Warner Bros Pictures release.

© 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

And just where did James Wan find inspiration for Madison’s and Sydney’s sisterly team-up? The answer may surprise you. Again, talking to ign.com, he revealed: 

“I joke that it’s like the horror version of Frozen. It really is. There’s a horror version of Frozen in that there is some of that sisterly camaraderie, but with a lot of crazy stuff that happens around them.”

As long as Gabriel doesn’t turn out to be a vengeful, partially melted Olaf, we’re so into this out-of-left-field inspiration. In fact, it’s fair to say that we’re very excited about Malignant altogether.

Malignant giallo-style poster.

It’s a stylish and unexpected new horror film from one of the modern masters of the genre. So book Malignant movie tickets here to ensure you experience the new James Wan movie as it was meant to be seen – distraction-free and in the company of edge-of-the-seat horror fans just like you.


 

Witness a new vision of terror in Malignant

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