Simple Review: Paint by numbers
In my eternal search for excellence in horror movies, I have come to one conclusion: if one horror movie is a hit there will be a ton of copycats. In the Eighties it was slasher movies, the Nineties brought us the self-aware horror movie craze thanks to Scream and now we have the haunted house movies trying to capitalize on the success of The Conjuring. The latest attempt is by Malevolent, a Netflix horror film that does its best to delve into the creepy world of ghosts and haunted houses. Does it deliver in the scare department? The only way to find out is to grab a flashlight, take those creaky steps down to the basement and confront the evil spirits in this review.
Malevolent is the story of a sister, Angela, and her brother, Jackson, that have a side hustle that involves scamming innocent people by pretending to help their departed loved ones to leave this world behind. Angela has grown tired of fooling people but her con-man brother has crossed the wrong gangsters and needs her to continue so he can pay off his debts. He convinces her to take on a new case at a creepy all-girls school where kids were murdered years before. Angela has visions of the dead girls and it isn’t long before she is lead through the terrifying house to find its secrets. Ok, you are all caught up with this bland, vanilla ice cream of a movie. ( I may have just insulted vanilla ice cream)
I am going to start with the positives I found while watching Malevolent, unfortunately, this will not take long! The actors do a good job with what little they have to work with. The two main leads are played by Florence Pugh and Ben Lloyd-Hughes, two actors I am not familiar with but enjoyed their performances, however one note they were. Florence, as Angela, has the most to work with as she is tormented by her visions and the grief she still caries for her dead mother. Her frustration with her brother, as well as her love for him, gives Florence more to do than just see dead people, and I enjoyed her interactions with Jackson(Hughes) as they gave a little depth to each character. I liked the physical toll that Angela’s vision takes on her throughout the movie. She suffers from nosebleeds and fainting spells after the visions which help us to understand why she doesn’t want to follow her brother on these get rich quick schemes anymore. And there ya go, that’s it, that is all I could find to enjoy in this dull as boiled white rice movie. How the hell it got made I will never know!!
Let’s fire a beam from our proton pack at this ghost story and send it back to its horrible dimension. Have I mentioned how dull this movie is? There is not one remotely scary, or even creepy, moment in this movie. Not exactly what one looks for when watching a HORROR movie! Everything is so obvious and ripped off from other, better, movies that I wonder who read this script and thought it would be worth wasting money on. Better yet, I wonder did the screenwriters (hard to believe but there were more than one on this piece of junk) have a checklist to follow? Girl that has visions of dead people- check. Creepy laughing kid ghosts- check. Creepy doll- check. Creepy kiddie song that plays when bad things happen- check. Creepy old lady that you know is up to know good-check. Obvious plot twist you see from 17 miles away- naturally. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, original in this movie. How is that possible? You would think with multiple writers they might accidentally come up with an original idea, just one, but noooooooo we get this garbage. ( I know I seem angry here but it’s been a rough week and I had to take my anger out on something and Malevolent picked the wrong day to hit my recommendations list on Netflix. )
I am struggling with this review, my dear beloved reader, as this movie is just so bad it isn’t even fun. There is no emotional investment in the characters, I simply do not care what happens to them. Maybe if it were scary I might care, I know that is just crazy talk. It was confusing as well because Angela can see these dead kids and they are trying to show her the bad things that happened in the house, but they fail to warn her the killer is still there. Thanks, you dead little a-hole kids. How about a heads up before I get tortured by homicidal maniacs? See, this movie makes me angry at dead kids!! F YOU, Malevolent, F YOU!
I need to end this rambling before I have a stroke! My dear, benevolent reader do not watch this movie. DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE!! It will be a waste of your time and energy, and I am grateful that I could sacrifice my time and energy for you to spare you from this thing they called a movie. Am I a hero? That is for you to decide, my valued reader. I would say yes, but not like Batman, more like the guy that finds your wallet and gives it back to you with the money and credit cards still inside.
If you have any Netflix horror movies to suggest for me to watch let me know in the comments below. Please like and follow my blog, and tell your friends to visit so I can reach the masses.
As always, thanks for your time!
The Movie Psycho