By Erin Chew, AsAmNews Staff Writer
Teratoma tumors, parasitic twins and contorted bodies running all over the place sets the scene for James Wan’s new horror flick Malignant. Described by Wan himself as “easily my most violent and gory film”, the movie will not only give you the heebie jeebies and scare you to the point of no return, but it will have you come back for more. Despite all the blood, gore and shock, there is a solid story and foundation behind it all.
Starting off as a murder mystery/thriller, Malignant focuses on lead character Madison (Annabelle Wallis) who gets paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders. Her torment only worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.
Every time “Gabrielle” kills for revenge in the most brutal way, Madison is somehow there witnessing the brutality as it happens. These brutal murders get investigated by two detectives, led by Kekoa Shaw (played by British Asian actor George Young) and Regina Moss (Michole Briana White).
Malignant came about after his wife, Ingrid Bisu, came to him with the idea after doing some medical research. She would eventually become one of the film’s writers.
“I was so amazed so I delved deeper into this and thought to myself – this would make an interesting, cool and messed up movie,” Wan said to AsAmNews. “From this, I was able to create a villain.”
Watching Malignant, there was an undeniable Asian feel to it. It has the vibe of the Japanese horror cult classic, The Ring, as well as Sadako, a 2019 supernatural horror film directed by Hideo Nakata. It’s an influence he doesn’t deny.
“I have been lucky to have been exposed to great Asian cinemas and supernatural stories from around the world. I would say even if they don’t outright inspire me from the get go, Asian stories will always be at the back of my mind.”
Wan is one of the most, if not the most unique horror genre directors out there today with a slick style in creating films which have intense climaxes. He made his name with the horror serial Saw which ran from 2004 – 2009 beginning with Saw and ending with Saw VI.
Fame, however, has not lead to complacency or shielded him from criticism.
“When I made the first Saw film, I was given the torture porn label, and known as the guru of blood and gore. At that time I felt these labels were unwarranted because I didn’t feel Saw was as hardcore as people thought it was, and to be honest, Malignant is easily my most violent and gory film, so that part of it will turn some people off.”
He challenges himself not to repeat story lines while creating a story structure that is both familiar and surprising.
“I will then f**k things up and pull things away and take my audiences on a journey.”
James Wan’s Malignant will be released in theaters on Friday, September 10.
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