While James Wan has solidified himself as a director of anything, including blockbuster superhero movies, he, like so many, cut his teeth on the horror genre. And while many who start there go on to other things, Wan has never left horror filmmaking behind. Even Aquaman showed some of Wan's horror influence. He's currently hard at work filming the Aquaman sequel as his next original horror movie, Malignant, is getting ready to hit screens. And if the early buzz is anything to go by, he's clearly still got it.
Some critics have been given an early look at Malignant, which will be arriving in theaters and on HBO Max this weekend, and they have nothing but great things to say about the film. CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg was one who has seen Malignant and he is not faint in his praise. He calls the movie fun and frightening and then uses another f-word I won't repeat in case my mother reads this.
And Eric isn't the only one that loves what James Wan has done with Malignant. The director previously made both Insidious and The Conjuring, and both those films were so successful that they became franchises. Whether history will repeat itself here, we can't know yet, but based on the responses from critics, it certainly could be.
But what's perhaps more interesting is that Malignant, while it might be another horror movie from James Wan, doesn't simply feel like a director doing his best work in a genre he knows well. People are using words like "original" and "unique" to describe the movie. While fans might have expectations of what they'll get from a James Wan horror movie, there is something potentially different, or at the very least, something more, to be found here.
We're getting into the spooky season, and so a brand new horror movie will be welcome for many. Although, it should be noted that the movie will only available on HBO Max for about a month, so it will be gone before we get to Halloween. Still, it will be interesting to see just how Malignant does in theaters and at home. Being a horror movie, it wouldn't be shocking if a larger than normal percentage of viewers would like to watch it in the comfort, and safety, of their home. At the same time, there's a particularly communal experience that comes with watching a horror movie in a group.
Wherever method you take for watching it, you'll want to be sure you're engaged for the whole movie, because one critic makes it clear that Malignant ends strong, and considering how frequently even good horror movies have trouble sticking the landing, that's quite an achievement.
It looks like fans of James Wan have yet another horror winner on their hands. While we've seen some great horror directors, few can lay claim to success crossing three different franchises, but we may very well have that here with Malignant.
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