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BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Malignant (2021)

The Nerds tackle some topical horror! James Wan’s new thriller Malignant! Do they love it? Do they hate it? Is Patrick losing his German Judge powers?

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The Nerds tackle some topical horror! James Wan’s new thriller Malignant! Do they love it? Do they hate it? Is Patrick losing his German Judge powers?

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Nerd Review!  Every week the Nerds give you their take on a different movie from the Nerd-o-sphere.  This week, Patrick and Dave review James Wan’s return to horror with Malignant!

  • The Flick:  Malignant
  • What’s it About: Young Madison is having vivid nightmares of people in her life being murdered.  Even more horrifying, Madison discovers her dreams are becoming reality, perpetrated by an unknown entity.
  • Metacritic Score: 50

The Nerds’ Take on Malignant (2021):

Patrick: Ok, everyone, I need to do something out of the gate.  I need apologize to Dave for putting this movie up for the Nerd Review.  I’m not sure what prompted me to suggest Malignant for this week’s movie.  Maybe it was seeing Aquaman and Saw director James Wan’s name attached as writer/director.  Maybe it was the hype train of advertising bombarding me every time I signed into Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Regardless, Malignant is a tropey, sometimes silly and overall bad movie that left me laughing out loud instead of shaking in terror.  I have a feeling this may be one of the shorter reviews I write, and that, my friends, is not a good thing.

Malignant tells the story of Maddison Mitchell, who is plagued by horrifying dreams where she watches various people being brutally murdered.  Before we get there though we get a prologue taking place in some sort of hospital where a patient named Gabriel has been murdering people.  The doctor in charge declares she hoped Gabriel could be saved, but with no hope she must “remove the tumor.”  The film jumps forward to present day where we see a pregnant Maddie complaining to her Husband/Boyfriend/It doesn’t matter he’s dead anyway guy that the baby has been moving and making her uncomfortable.  The conversation with her partner devolves into and argument as we learn Maddies has miscarried before and that the guy has a violent streak.  The argument culminates in the Boyfriend(husband?) violently shoving Maddie into a wall and cracking her head open.  That night, Maddie dreams of her husband(boyfriend?) being brutally murdered by a figure in a trench coat.  Maddie awakens to find that her dream wasn’t a dream at all and that her man is dead and the figure is still in the house.  After a brief chase, Maddie is knocked unconscious.

I won’t divulge more plot specifics.  The rest of the film follows the formula of the first death.  Maddie has a dream of a murder by this mysterious figure only to find that it happened in real life.  Naturally, all the victims are in some way connected to Maddie’s past, specifically her childhood.  This connection leads the police to consider Maddie a suspect, so we have a mystery of sorts on our hands.  Since this is a horror movie and a mystery to boot, there is a twist.  I won’t ruin it here, but it was not challenging to figure out.  All in all, Malignant isn’t the worst horror movie out there, but it is nothing special.  In fact the movie is downright tropey.  Wan really didn’t give the audience anything they haven’t seen before in any number of other horror flicks.  To complicate matters the last 30 minutes aren’t just bad, they’re straight up comical.  There is a big reveal late in the movie that caused me to pause the film, rewind it and bring the Mrs. O’Dowd in to the room to see the scene too and get a laugh.  It’s bad.

There are couple of filmmaking elements I did appreciate even if I found Malignant’s plot to be lacking.  First, Wan does some pretty slick camera work early in the film.  Specifically there is a scene early on where Maddie is running through her home and Wan uses a top down camera angle to follow her as she runs.  It’s as if you are hanging from the ceiling watching her below.  The scene makes for a terrific visual.  The other highlight for me was Marina Mazepa.  Mazepa does the physical acting for the entity in Maddie’s dream.  The physical work done by Mazepa is nothing short of jaw dropping.  It is truly amazing stuff.

In his day, James Wan has given us some truly unique horror movies.  Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring are all terrific, and better, films worth the watch.  I just can’t recommend Malignant.  The film was predictable, tropey and the last 30 to 45 minutes are just plain goofy.  If you’re a fan of Wan’s work and a completest, sure, check this one out.  Otherwise, spend your time watching one of his old classics to give yourself a good fright.

Patrick’s Rating: 1.68/5.0

Dave:  If you are fan of horror movies, you have to be able to suspend your disbelief. Many horror movies deal with topics and issues that, on some level, seem patently absurd and ridiculous. And, most of the time, that is OK. A serial killer invading our dreams to kill us is crazy, but it is grounded in such a supernatural element that practically all horror fans not only accepted it, but exalted in it. The same can be said for a hockey mask wearing undead man-child, or a doll possessed with the soul of a serial killer, or saying the name of a mythical killer five time while staring in the mirror. It is all craziness and ridiculous but it works because of how the story is told and how the horror is presented to the audience. Then there is the utter ridiculosity of our review topic this week, the latest film from Aquaman director James Wan, an utterly absurd movie called Malignant.

Plot wise, Malignant focuses in on Madison, a woman who has had a terrible history of miscarriages over the past few years. Pregnant yet again, her douchebag of a husband slams her into a wall and she bashes the back of her head. Bleeding badly from the back of her head, she locks herself in the bathroom. Shortly thereafter, a shadowy figure enters her home and brutally kills her husband. This then sets off some utterly crazy, and mostly nonsensical, scenes for the rest of the movie. We learn that the killer is an entity named Gabriel. At first, we think he is Madison’s imaginary friend. Then we learn that he might not be so imaginary after all. Then it is revealed that Gabriel is actually a teratoma, a very extreme version of a parasitic twin. Madison’s real name is Emily and she was in a mental ward for many years with Gabriel existing as a horribly deformed head, face, and appendages extending out of the back of Emily’s head and body. When it is learned that Gabriel is highly dangerous and borderline homicidal, doctors at the mental hospital decide to surgically remove Gabriel. But they cannot get all of him because he is sharing Emily’s spine and brain. So, they remove as much of him as possible, shove what is left into Emily’s skull, and sew her up. He lies dormant for many years but is awakened when Emily’s husband slammed the back of her head into a wall. When Gabriel takes over, his half-developed face protrudes from the back of Emily’s head, she falls into a trance-like state, and Gabriel uses her body in reverse. That’s right…. he/she/it runs backwards and is able to fight like Shang-Chi using his/her/its arms and legs in a virtual upside-down manner.

Beyond ridiculous, right? More like insipidly stupid. The plot is a train wreck in the grandest of fashion. But there is more. Never mind that none of it makes a damn bit of sense and is pretty much a medical impossibility, but it forces you to perform mental gymnastics just to come remotely close to being able to suspend your disbelief. How exactly did Gabriel learn to fight like Bruce Lee? How does he end up with the strength of, say, Black Panther, even though he is still using Emily’s body, and using it in reverse no less? This is where this movie utterly fails. It tries to create a supernatural element and actually does a good job of it for the first half of the movie. But then it completely shits the bed by trying to come up with a quasi-real-world explanation for what is happening that is so beyond insane that it is impossible to suspend your disbelief and, by the end, you just want it to be over. The final scenes of the movie are particularly hard to accept, or really watch, without getting moderately nauseous.

As if all that is not bad enough, and as I am sure Patrick will mention, there are way too many tropey moments for my liking. The movie badly accentuates played out horror movie stereotypes and moments. For instance, Emily/Madison’s sister, Sydney sets out to find out the truth about her sister and so she decides to go to the mental hospital where everything went down involving Emily and Gabriel. Naturally, the hospital is this magnificent structure sitting abandoned on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Even more ridiculous is the fact that not only is Sydney able to break into this abandoned hospital, but the hospital (with no security of any sort) still has all the patient records on site, in the basement, available to be stolen, retrieved, and looked at by anybody. HIPPA violations notwithstanding, anyone who knows anything about how mental institutions handle patient records knows the complete idiocy of this scene. This goes beyond tropey and just becomes completely asinine.

It is not all bad though. As I said, the first half of the movie was pretty good. There were some genuinely tense scenes early on and I was enjoying it…right up until they started to try and explain Gabriel in terms of anything other than a supernatural entity. After that, it went downhill faster than the Swiss Bobsled team in Cool Runnings. There are some really good action sequences and the chase scene through the Seattle Underground was quite excellent….at least until you try and wrap yourself around how Gabriel could have done what he did when he was really just using Emily’s body in reverse. And the scene where Gabriel annihilates a police precinct full of cops and prisoners was quite cool…until, again, you realize that this is all being done by someone essentially operating a human body in reverse.

Uugghhh. I cannot recommend this movie on any level and if I am saying that, you know this has to be pretty bad. The cool action sequences and the largely enjoyable first half of the movie are not enough to overcome the back half of sheer stupidity and daft, idiotic, deranged, and insane insults to our intelligence. There just is no salvaging this disaster of a film. Yes, you can watch it for free if you have HBO Max, but that is 2 hours of your life you will never get back. Your IQ will likely go down if you watch it. Avoid this one at all costs.

Dave’s Rating:  1.25/5.0

 

Overall Nerds’ Rating for Malignant (2021): 1.46/5.0


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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #244: Brave New Worlds

The guys review Episode 7 of The Boys, Sason 4, check out some massive trailers for the MCU, and take an early look at D23.

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Bandwagon Nerds Mario

BWN returns this week to look at some world-changing things happening all across the Nerdosphere. This begins with Episode 7 of Season 4 of The Boys. The penultimate Episode for this season had a dizzying number of moving parts including a Supe virus gone wrong, a shocking death, more gruesome moments, and a cliffhanger involving one of our favorite characters. It all sets up for an unforgettable season finale and the guys break it all down for you. Speaking of favorite shows, the fellas take a look at the latest trailer for the final season of The Umbrella Academy. But the MCU kind of dominated the Trailer Park this week as we got our first look at Agatha All Along and Captain America: Brave New World. Dave’s somewhat tepid reaction to the latter trailer brought Rey out of his extended vacation and we have all the details for you here on this Episode. All that plus X-Men ’97 got a new writer, a surprising casting decision for Booster Gold, and the guys look at the schedule for D23 to let you know what they have their eyes on.

  • @AttitudeAgg
  • @itsReyCash
  • @PCTunney
  • @TheMindlessPod
  • @ChairshotMedia
  • @itsmedpp
  • @ViolentAesop
  • @BandwagonNerds

About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney, Rey Cash, and DPP as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Launched in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in sports, entertainment, and sports entertainment. Wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts + the most interesting content + the most engaging hosts = the most entertaining podcasts you’ll find!

Featuring shows such as POD is WAR (sports, entertainment & sports entertainment) Bandwagon Nerds (entertainment & popular culture), The DWI Podcast (Drunk Wrestling Intellect), The Greg DeMarco Show (wrestling), The #Miranda Show (wrestling and entertainment), Hockey Talk (sports), Patrick O’Dowd’s 5×5 (pop culture), The Outsider’s Edge (wrestling), Down The Wire (Sports), Talk The Keki (Anime), The Mindless Wrestling Podcast, Attitude Of Aggression/The Big Four (wrestling), and more!


The Chairshot Radio Network
Your home for the hardest hitting podcasts and radio shows!

All Shows On Demand

Listen on your favorite platform!

iTunes  |  iHeart Radio  |  Google Play  |  Spotify
Listen, like, subscribe, and share!

 


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Bandwagon Nerds

Bandwagon Nerds #243: Safe Word

Episode 6 of The Boys, Season 4, sends the Nerds down a rabbit hole of insanity and safe words, plus Marvel Animation looks poised to make a big splash!

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Bandwagon Nerds Mario

BWN returns this week and continues its coverage of The Boys Season 4. Episode 6 was completely off the rails….and the Nerds had too much fun with it. With everything from sex dungeons to imaginary “friends”, to safe words, Episode 6 was a roller coaster ride of insanity that sets the table for the final two Episodes and has the Nerds wondering who might make it out alive. This weeks’ vacation to the Trailer Park featured the latest film involving AI gone wrong with Afraid, a trailer about the lottery gone wrong with Jackpot!, the Hellboy movie no one asked for, and the Harley Quinn spinoff everyone asked for.  In News Around the Nerdospehere, the guys explore whether there might be another Barbenheimer brewing, some disappointing cancellations, all sorts of MCU news, and are people unnecessarily freaking out about more leaked photos from the set of Superman. Tune in and find out!

  • @AttitudeAgg
  • @itsReyCash
  • @PCTunney
  • @TheMindlessPod
  • @ChairshotMedia
  • @itsmedpp
  • @ViolentAesop
  • @BandwagonNerds

About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney, Rey Cash, and DPP as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Launched in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in sports, entertainment, and sports entertainment. Wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts + the most interesting content + the most engaging hosts = the most entertaining podcasts you’ll find!

Featuring shows such as POD is WAR (sports, entertainment & sports entertainment) Bandwagon Nerds (entertainment & popular culture), The DWI Podcast (Drunk Wrestling Intellect), The Greg DeMarco Show (wrestling), The #Miranda Show (wrestling and entertainment), Hockey Talk (sports), Patrick O’Dowd’s 5×5 (pop culture), The Outsider’s Edge (wrestling), Down The Wire (Sports), Talk The Keki (Anime), The Mindless Wrestling Podcast, Attitude Of Aggression/The Big Four (wrestling), and more!


The Chairshot Radio Network
Your home for the hardest hitting podcasts and radio shows!

All Shows On Demand

Listen on your favorite platform!

iTunes  |  iHeart Radio  |  Google Play  |  Spotify
Listen, like, subscribe, and share!

 


Powered by RedCircle


Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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