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Malignant: What Fans Are Saying About James Wan’s Latest Horror Movie

Annabelle Wallis in Malignant
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Throughout the year, horror fans have been treated to a number of continuations and reimaginings of fan-favorite franchises, whether that be The Forever Purge, A Quiet Place Part II, Don’t Breathe 2 or Candyman. But as the summer winds down, The Conjuring filmmaker James Wan has given us something completely different and especially terrifying: Malignant. Since the movie’s release in theaters and HBO Max this past weekend, fans have shared their reactions to the film, and there are a lot of fun thoughts on this one.

As far as critics go, the reviews for Malignant have been highly positive, including from CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg, who gave the film a 4 out of 5 in his review. In a glowing description, he said the movie is as “frightening as it is fucked up.” When it comes to audiences overall, there’s been a more mixed opinion of the film, with the movie earning a C Cinemascore.

We’ll keep the twists and turns of Malignant away from this particular article and only introduce the general plot as a story of two sisters, played by Annabelle Wallis and Maddie Hasson. Madison has been seeing some terrifying visions of people getting murdered and finds out that they are in fact happening in the real world. In an attempt to discontinue her visions, Madison digs deep into their source. Here’s what fans are saying:

Annabelle Wallis is scared in Malignant

(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Fans Are Absolutely Bewildered About What Unfolds In Malignant

Once again, this is a spoiler free zone, especially because when it comes to Malignant, even without context of the movie, there are strong reactions all around here. The general consensus seems to be shock and horror as people get through the movie, either in theaters or HBO Max. One Twitter user went for an all-caps f-bomb, calling it “fucking crazy,” while also sharing how much he loves the movie for going there.

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Another viewer decided to break up their feelings on the movie with a series of screenshots. Ben Affleck making a straight face, Zoe Bell’s character in Malignant saying “what the fuck” followed by someone calling something “poetic cinema.” In other words, Malignant sounds like an emotional rollercoaster that veers into some seriously crazy places.

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Malignant sounds like a seriously fun movie to watch with people and freak out about given these reactions. While not everyone actually liked it, it’s sure to give you a memorable experience watching it all unfold. It’s definitely a movie where you’ll probably find yourself looking deep into the screen and wondering if you’re really seeing what’s in front of you. Bring the popcorn and wild commentary.

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To get into some oddly-specific territory for a moment, one viewer made some interesting comparisons, sharing that it reminded her of two movies that one wouldn’t usually mix together.

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Lord Voldemort and The Matrix? There are lots of WTF moments here about Malignant.

two women next to car in dark in Malignant

(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Malignant Was Almost Too Much For Some Viewers

Horror movies are generally not for everyone, particularly if you’re scared of what lurks in the dark, but some are especially niche. This really shows through some more reactions from people who we’re going along for the ride, but not into the experience. One user thought it was actually not a good movie at all:

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That sounds like it’s a lot to unpack! James Wan is the horror genius behind The Conjuring and the subsequent Conjuring universe. The filmmaker recently took a break from the genre to make Aquaman for Warner Bros; you may have heard of it? Wan has warned his fans that Malignant is very different from his Conjuring movies, and has described it as being his own version of “giallo” horror, which is an Italian version of the genre that began in the ‘60s. Not everyone got it…

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James Wan wanted to make something original, yet completely different from the horror universe he’s set up for the studio. While the below tweet could be seen as an absolute positive for a horror director like Wan, this viewer seemed fed up with the story:

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Malignant isn’t for everyone, but for those who loved it, they really loved it. We’ll save that for the next upcoming section where audiences just gush about James Wan’s latest movie.

Annabelle Wallis in Malignant, movie still

(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Malignant Is On Its Way To Cult Horror Status

The upside of the Malignant reactions online is the sheer amount of hype and love being thrown the film’s way from hardcore horror fans. Considering it’s one of the more surprising movies of the year, and one that didn’t necessarily get a ton of attention via it’s marketing, people are going out of their way to share how much they love it. One person sharing that it is one of their favorite movies of the year so far:

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I mean, look at those various shots from the movie. Truly art! It’s great to hear so many people really enjoyed Malignant, especially when horror concepts seem to be recycled all the time. According to some of the online chatter, it looks like Malignant definitely gives a B-movie feel, but goes into left field with its unexpected plot points. Here’s more praise for the movie:

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It’s been an especially great year for horror movies, especially with helping the theatrical market get back on its feet. Horror fans love experiencing movies collectively, but when it came to Malignant, it seems to have done much better on HBO Max than theaters. The movie made just $5.5 million in its first weekend, though it was competing against Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The people who do love it love that they can press repeat on streaming:

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One person went on to call the movie a “masterpiece.” Malignant looks to be making its way to cult status with these awesome reactions. It may not be a commercial success, but those who are noticing it seem to be having a really memorable time with James Wan’s movie.

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Ok, now it’s your turn! Did you see Malignant and what did you think of it? Vote in our poll and check out what other horror movies are coming soon here on CinemaBlend.

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Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.