Parents' Guide to

Malignant

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Extreme blood and gore in stylish, over-the-top horror pic.

Movie R 2021 111 minutes
Malignant Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Good gory refreshing horror film!

I watched this movie with my 16y/o and some scenes were really strong but in the end it is a horror film. Enjoyed the script and We watched it in HBOMax If your kid is impressionable do bear in mind that it is a Horror film so do not expect other huge plots.
age 12+

Amazing story, scary theme.

Yesterday, I sat down with my eleven and thirteen y/o to watch this movie. We're all very fond of watching scary movies, and once we heard that this one was coming out on HBO max, we jumped to the idea of watching it. The story line was very interesting..and it seemed unlike anything I had ever heard of before. However, the effects were bad. They were gory, like most horror movie effects are, but these ones looked like something from straight out of a video game. They didn't look realistic. There isn't any sexual content, but there was a lot of cursing. If your kids are into scary movies, and they're mature enough to not take things literally, I'd say that this movie is definitely for them.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (14 ):

Thanks to director James Wan's exhilarating directorial style and a fresh take, this over-the-top, sometimes silly Frankenstein-like patchwork of old horror movie ideas becomes demented fun. It's not long before Malignant starts to recall old-time favorites like Brian De Palma's Sisters (1973) and Frank Henenlotter's Basket Case (1982), as well as any other number of supernatural slashers and terrifying tales of imaginary friends (there's even a nod to old "women in prison" movies). The monster's long, stringy hair even resembles the locks on the killers from The Ring and The Grudge movies. But never fear: Wan, who cooked up Malignant's original story with screenwriter Akela Cooper and his wife, actor Ingrid Bisu (who appears in a small, delightful role as forensic technician "Winnie"), has a new idea here.

Then there are Wan's signature touches behind the camera. Like the late, great Wes Craven, Wan knows precisely how to use three-dimensional space -- especially corners, hallways, stairways, and nooks and crannies -- for maximum scary effect. With the extra-gory Malignant, he goes big, with fluid, kinetic cameras zooming overhead, taking in an entire floor plan, and then moving up to creepy attics, to a sinister abandoned hospital, and down to secret underground tunnels. These corridors, lit with beams of light sneaking between broken bricks, are filled with surprises, and anything could be hidden anywhere. This is the kind of movie that easily makes you forgive its slip-ups (why does the killer zip around like a parkour practitioner?) and embrace its whole-hearted enthusiasm.

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