Stephen King had recently posted on Twitter about a film that he had just watched. He gave it a thumbs up, so of course, Granny had to see it.
Malignant: definition: disposed to cause harm. Very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect. Pathology tending to produce death. Malignant is a 2021 supernatural horror/slasher film directed by James Wan…co-creator of the Saw and Insidious franchises, and also, the creator of The Conjuring franchise. Be prepared to be frightened. The film stars Annabelle Wallis. Maddie Hasson, Jacqueline McKenzie, George Young, Michole Briana White, Susanna Thompson, and Marina Mazepa. The film starts with a flashback to 1993 where a Dr. Florence Weaver (Jacqueline McKenzie) and her colleagues are treating psychiatric patients at their facility. One of her patients has a severe facial deformity. This little girl also has an imaginary friend called Gabriel.
We jump to the present time with a young pregnant woman, Madison (Annabelle Wallis) coming home from work only to be brutally beaten by her husband. Madison locks herself in the bedroom, but while she sleeps…someone…or something has gotten into the house and literally rips the husband apart. Detectives Kekoa Shaw (George Young) and Regina Moss (Michole Briana White) suspect Madison of being involved in her husband’s death, but Madison’s younger sister Sydney (Maddie Hasson) knows that her sister is incapable of harming anyone.
At the hospital, Madison is devasted to learn that she has had another miscarriage…this one from her husband’s beating. While Sydney helps Madison get over the loss of both her husband and her unborn child, the detectives are dealing with other gruesome murders. Stranger yet, these gruesome murders are somehow connected to Madison’s childhood. Who is Gabriel?
We learn the Madison was adopted. Her parents try to deal with Madison’s quirky ways, especially dealing with Madison’s imaginary friend, Gabriel. This imaginary friend is not nice, and it often gets Madison in trouble with her parents. It isn’t until Sydney is born, and Madison has a little sister to dote on…that Gabriel disappears from Madison’s life. After the death of her husband, Madison is reintroduced to Gabriel. Poor Madison now has a psychic connection with Gabriel and is witness to every slice and dice death of Gabriel’s victims. As the body count builds up, Sydney and Madison visit their mother to learn more about Gabriel.
Conclusion and SPOILERS
Gabriel is able to break into any building, including a well-armed police station and cause bloody havoc. Nothing can stop this supernatural freak. After Madison and Sydney find old tapes and files linking Madison to a now abandoned psychiatric hospital, we learn why Gabriel is killing all the doctors who treated Madison as a child. We also learn the real identity of Gabriel. Let’s just say that Gabriel has more than a skin-deep connection with Madison.
Malignant might not be James Wan’s best work, but I truly loved the surprised ending/explanation of the identity of Gabriel. Sometimes…blood ties can be dangerous to your health. If you get a chance, watch Malignant. It was scary enough to be included in Granny’s Insomnia Theater Collection.