Alkony logo

If you'd like to be surprised by the Malignant film, I don't recommend you to watch the trailer, because it starts with minor spoilers. However, if you still decide to watch it, don't watch it beyond 0:57, because it starts to gives away parts of the plot.

Malignant, movie (2021) - Watch the trailer 1 on YouTube
Watch the trailer 1 in Hungarian - Watch the trailer 1 in Italian
video © Starlight Culture Entertainent

Article updated: 2023.11.08

The Malignant (2021) is a supernatural horror / thriller film. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: Malignant, movie (2021)

Original title: Malignant

Series: -

Setting: contemporary fantasy Earth

Product type: Film, Genre: supernatural horror / thriller, Style: fantasy, contemporary fantasy, thriller, horror, supernatural horror, psychic abilities, super-human abilities

Release: 2021.09.01

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them

Watched: very recent (2022.01), first time

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points)

* * *

This is my review of Malignant, a supernatural horror / thriller movie from 2021. It's about a woman having strange things happening to her. The Malignant film is watchable, I recommend it to fans of the genre.

Malignant, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonMalignant, movie (2021)
image © Starlight Culture Entertainent

* * *

Review (spoiler-free) - Malignant, movie (2021)

I've heard that this movie is a great horror movie, and I've seen a lot of advertisement of Malignant. I tried to resist, as I was afraid it's just the typical boring horror movie that are popular today. However, when I had the chance, and didn't have anything better to do, I decided to watch it without watching the trailer first.

The Malignant movie is about a woman having strange things happening to her.

The story has good actions, but it's built on a very stupid premise. The pacing is mostly consistent. There are no character arcs. I didn't find major logical problems while watching it, but after the final reveal, the previous events feel practically impossible.

The cinematography is good. Although the sets are not interesting visually, there are some interesting camera movements to make more out of the watching experience. The visual effects are good.

The characters are not very well developed. Even though we spend a lot of time with them, we don't get to know them. Their portrayal by the actors is fine.

The music (by Joseph Bishara) sometimes feels like cheap rock music, but it fits the movie.

Malignant is a watchable supernatural horror / thriller, I think fans of the genre might enjoy it.

My experience

I wasn't entirely satisfied with Malignant (2021), but it was good enough to watch it once.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Malignant is a watchable film, just try not to think about it, due to the very stupid plot. I would rate it Bad (1), but these faults are not apparent while you watch it, so that makes this a little more bearable.

Enjoyment: Average (2 out of 3 points). Malignant felt okay for watching it once.

Rewatchability: High. I think if you like it for the first time, the style and theme is distinct enough that you'd like to experience it multiple times. However, if you watch it more than once, the faults of logic start to get more visible.

Chance of watching it again: Low. Now that I know the story, there's probably no need to watch it again.

Chance of watching a sequel: I'd probably watch it. Although I'm afraid that it would just repeat the story of Malignant.

Malignant, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonMalignant, movie (2021)
image © Starlight Culture Entertainent

Will you enjoy this?

If you like mystery or thriller movies, you might like Malignant.

If you like horror or action thriller movies, you might like the Malignant movie.

If you like crime investigation stories, you might like Malignant, although the focus is not really on the investigation.

If you like supernatural horror films, you might be interested in this.

If you like jump scare movies, you might enjoy this.

If you prefer visuals over story, you can still find some very interestingly shot scenes in Malignant.

If you hate violence and gore, this movie is not for you.

Watching for plot points

If you are interested in supernatural horror or contemporary fantasy stories, I think it's worth watching the Malignant movie for the plot points.

Should you watch this on your own screen at home, or is it worth going to the cinema?

The visuals probably look better if you watch it in cinema, but the overall experience will be similar.

* * *

Malignant, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonMalignant, movie (2021)
image © Starlight Culture Entertainent

Review with spoilers - Malignant, movie (2021)

I mostly liked the Malignant movie. However, after a good build-up, set in a fairly mundane setting, the reveal - that the killer is the protagonist, while moving backwards - felt unsatisfying to me.

Also, although I didn't find any obvious faults of logic while watching the film, after I started to think about the details, knowing the reveal, problems started to crop up.

Out of all the characters, it was the husband who got properly established, and the story got rid of him rather quickly.

The stunt work of Marina Mazepa is excellent, it's really great to see her as the evil twin, walking backwards.


The cover of the movie is okay, it doesn't say much, but it doesn't spoil the movie.

The trailer

The trailer is okay, although it spoils some minor parts of the movie.

If you prefer spoilers, it's a great trailer for the Malignant film. If you prefer to avoid spoilers, it will make the movie less fun for you.

Promise of the first scene

We see a patient with psychic abilities. I assume he'll get free, and wreak havoc, or the doctors will research something from the patient, and the story will be about the consequences of the research. The scene looks fake and cheaply shot, I'm afraid that the rest of the movie will look similarly bad.

Execution: I was satisfied with the fulfilment of the promise. Also, the movie looked better than the beginning, so that was good.

Plot summary / Synopsis

1993, Simion Research Hospital: They have problem with one of the patients (Gabriel), who wants to go home. A guard says that it's like the patient drains the electric power, and controls the machines. They are able to take the patient down with a tranquilizer gun, but by that time there are many injured and possibly dead people around. They tie the patient down, but it is able to transmit its thoughts through the radio. The doctor (Jacqueline McKenzie as Dr. Florence Weaver) decides to put an end to this.

Present (2020?), Seattle: A pregnant woman (Annabelle Wallis as Madison Lake Mitchell) gets home early because of her pains. Her husband (Jake Abel as Derek Mitchell) recommends that she shouldn't work at all if she has pains. The woman had multiple miscarriages before. They start to have a fight, and her husband hits her hard, knocking her head into the wall, making her bleed.

At night, the husband wakes up for noise in the kitchen, as some of the machines suddenly get switched on. He sees a human shape on the sofa. When he switches the lights on, the human disappears, but the sofa still shows that there was some weight on it. Then he suddenly gets attacked from behind.

The woman wakes up to find her husband violently murdered. A dark shape (played by Marina Mazepa) attacks her, and knock her out.

The police arrives to investigate, and they take the unconscious woman to the hospital.

When the woman wakes up, she finds out that the doctors couldn't save her baby. A policeman (George Young as Detective Kekoa Shaw) arrives to question her. Her sister (Maddie Hasson as Sydney Lake) is also there.

During the autopsy, it looks like the culprit killed the man while being upside down.

Two weeks later: The woman returns home. At night, the door to the house keep opening, and the lights get switched up and down.

The next day she starts boarding up the house, and installs additional locks. When her sister visits her, the woman confesses to her sister that she was adopted when she was 8 years old, but she doesn't remember anything from before.

We see a tour guide (Jean Louisa Kelly as Serena May) attacked by some creature dropping on her from the ceiling. She gets tied up by the humanoid creature, who speaks through the radio. The creature calls the doctor from the research hospital on phone, threatening her.

The woman's head starts to bleed, and she feels transported to the house of the doctor, and watches as the doctor gets killed by the creature.

The woman finds out from TV news that the murder really happened.

At night, while her head bleeds, the woman sees the creature killing another doctor. She goes to the police, so they start investigating, and find the body. While at the police, the woman receives a call from the creature, who is revealed to be the patient (Gabriel) from the hospital, who also knows her original name (Emily May), before she got a new one from her foster parents.

The woman visits her foster mother (Susanna Thompson as Jeanne Lake), who tells her that she had an imaginary friend (Gabriel) when she was a kid. She was talking to this friend, sometimes frightening her parents.

The policeman finds it out that there was a third doctor, working on the case.

The woman is transported to the home of the third doctor, sees the murder, then sees the policeman arriving. The creature attacks the policeman, then flees when he starts shooting.

The woman is brought to a psychologist, to reveal hidden psychological trauma. It looks like the patient manipulated her thoughts to do mischief, like commanding her to cut up a cake, that was actually the belly of her pregnant mother. She realises that the creature wanted to hurt her sister before she was born, as after she had a sister, she didn't need an imaginary friend any more, so she forgot about him.

The tour guide gets free, and falls through the floor - she was in the attic of the home of the woman. The tour guide falls into a coma due to her injuries. The woman gets imprisoned.

The sister of the woman visits the research hospital, that has been already closed down years ago. In the documents left there, she finds it out that he woman had a Siamese twin, who got absorbed into her body.

It turns out that the abducted tour guide was the real mother of the woman.

In the prison, other inmates start to taunt the woman. It also turns out that the creature is actually the woman, who has another face on the back of her head, belonging to her twin. He takes over the body of the woman to do his bidding. He also moves backwards, and he is extremely strong. He quickly defeats the inmates, and escapes from the prison cell. He also kills most of the police force in the building.

They suspect that he wants to kill his mother, so they get to the hospital. The policeman shoots the woman / creature. When he wants to kill her sister, the woman starts to fight back to take control of her own body.

The woman closes the consciousness of the creature into a prison in her own mind.

The setting

Malignant is set on contemporary fantasy Earth, probably 2020. In this world, psychic powers exist, and people still have radios around, although they are switched off, instead of being used.

Malignant, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonMalignant, movie (2021)
image © Starlight Culture Entertainent

The creature - Gabriel

The creature is a patient from the hospital, Gabriel, who was the Siamese twin of Emily (Madison).

He was able to share his thoughts with his sister. He wanted to make Emily do evil things. He can make Emily sense things.

He moves like a trained acrobat, or a parkour pro. He is lot stronger, while moving backwards, than his host is. He is extremely fast, sometimes almost light speed fast, other times just very fast.

It was probably him who caused the miscarriages of Madison.

He probably has regenerating abilities, although this is not shown in action.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one. "If you have a mostly absorbed Siamese twin, make sure to completely get rid of him"?

The structure of the story

The scenes of the Malignant film are mostly played in sequence, following the same storyline. It starts in the past, and there are some time jumps. There are some flashback scenes.

There is no single viewpoint character.

It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure - introduction, action, resolution.

* * *

Things I liked

  • I liked the camera work as it followed the running woman at around 25 minutes.
  • The visual effects when the girl entered the dream world were good.

* * *

How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

From the story writer / director (James Wan), I've seen Aquaman (2018), that was okay.

From the script writer (Akela Cooper), I've seen a Jupiter's Legacy episode that was okay.

From the story writer (Ingrid Bisu), I haven't seen anything else.

* * *

Malignant, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonMalignant, movie (2021)
image © Starlight Culture Entertainent

Analysis of the story - Malignant, movie (2021)

I mostly liked the story, I didn't find problems that would have prevented me from enjoying Malignant while watching it. However, after thinking about it, the whole plot falls apart.

Problematic elements

Super-human abilities: The creature has some abilities, without any explanation.

Electricity control: I'm not sure we really needed this ability for the character, as it didn't really play a role beyond the extra spook-factor. It would have been a better use for it if the creature would have use electricity to access the houses, or to kill those people.

Super-strength: The creature clearly has superhuman strength.

Regeneration: Some reviewers say that the creature has regeneration, although it's not shown in action during the movie. If this is true, the following items are not real problems:

    • Getting tired: It looks like the creature takes over the body of the woman while she is sleeping. However, her muscles are still used, so she would feel tired after that. Especially as we see that the creature does some parkour acrobatics.
    • Scrapes and bruises: As the creature does his parkour stuff, and fights with the victims and the policeman, that probably damages the body he uses, that would be visible later.
    • Tough creature: Is the creature bulletproof? It looks like he might have been shot a couple of times, but there's no sign of damage on the woman.

The sofa: In the beginning, we see that the creature is sitting on the sofa, but one second later, he is not seen anywhere. How did he get out of there so fast?

The head of the woman: I'm pretty sure that her head operation needs to be checked regularly. Even if she didn't remember it, the first head X-Ray would reveal it. And even if there was no need to do that earlier, when they brought her into the hospital, unconsciously, with a bleeding head, it's more than likely that they would start with an X-Ray. The creature might switch off the electricity to stop the X-Ray machine, but then it would get examined in other ways, still revealing the thing.

The eyes of Gabriel: If the doctors removed everything that was not necessary for survival, why did they leave a pair of functioning eyes for him?

Dressing for murder: Why does the creature spends time to get dressed in the same uniform every time he goes out to kill someone? Where does he keeps his clothes?

Going out for a murder: We see that the sister also sleeps with the woman, when she wakes up to tell that she had seen another murder. However, in reality, she got up to the attic, got dressed for the occasion, left home, killed the guy, got back, went to the attic, then dressed for sleeping, got into the bed, and then woke up. This seems like a lot of things that could have alerted her sister, sleeping next door.

The investigation: Even if he wears gloves, the hair of Madison could be probably used to identify her as the perpetrator. And I'm pretty sure she left hair at the crime scenes, as we see her hair flying free.

Travelling in the city: Does the creature use public transportation? Or does he goes to his targets walking the streets? Both seems to make him very suspicious to the people around him, as he walks backwards, with a face that looks like mincemeat. (Update: I've read that he uses the Seattle Underground to travel. Although I assume that it's a mostly closed thing, and it's not easy to get out of, it still takes a lot of time to get around a city on foot.)

The trophy: The creature uses the trophy as his weapon of choice. Even if it's not made of plastic, it's probably some soft and weak metal, not suited to be a weapon, as it's unlikely they would spend weapons-grade material on a trophy.

Ageing the person from an image: The technology doesn't work like that (unless it's some fantasy technology of the setting). We can have a very vague approximation of how would a person look, but it won't be a perfect match.

The trapped mother: She had been there, trapped in the attic for days. I don't think she got any water during this time, that could lead to her early dead. Also, there were multiple people coming and going in the house. The mother should have heard them, and she could have made noises to get noticed.

Falling through the floor: How badly maintained needs to be a house so the floors would just give way to the mother? For that to happen, I'm almost sure it either shows the signs of deterioration, or - in case of termites - other parts of the house would be also affected. (Also, she falls from the third floor of a two-storey house.)

Documents in the closed hospital: I'm pretty sure that the documents would be brought to another hospital, so doctors would get access to the research, and also, to use that for further treatments.

Disabling the creature without hurting the host: The police would have a choice of devices to use, from pepper sprays to tasers, that wouldn't kill Madison, but would probably take down the creature.

Bigger on the inside: As Mike from RedLetterMedia noticed, the interior spaces are huge, and they are often a lot bigger than the size their exterior suggests. This is especially true to the house most of the events take place.

Unanswered questions

  • How did the brother get his psychic powers? Are psychic powers a regular thing in this setting?
  • What will happen to Madison? Will she be locked up to prevent further murders?

* * *

Possibilities of improvement


How it could have been better?

I would have employed a single viewpoint character, in Madison. I'd made sure to leave the faults of logic.

* * *

Behind the scenes


Thoughts about the reviews of others


* * *

Malignant, movie (2021) - Film review by KadmonMalignant, movie (2021)
image © Starlight Culture Entertainent

Uses for the film - Malignant, movie (2021)


  • There's a woman, with an absorbed twin brother, who has a mind of his own.
  • There are murders, that are perpetrated by another personality of the protagonist.





Scenario ideas - Role-playing game scenario ideas

  • There are crimes happening around the characters. It turns out that the perpetrator is the split personality of one them (or one of their friends).

Scenario ideas - Wargame scenario ideas

Break-out: There's a dangerous monster trapped inside a base. The defender sets up the playing area, with a prison, and at least one entrance to the base. The monster is deployed in the prison, while the defenders are deployed anywhere in the base. The monster has either random abilities, or they are chosen by the monster player. The monster is somehow able to get out of the prison, and wants to leave the base. The monster wins in it is able to leave the base through the entrance. The defender achieves a greater victory if they are able to capture the monster, or a small victory if they are able to kill it.

Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)

Civilians: Human-sized (S3) modern (advanced) human female / male civilian.

The creature: Human-sized (S3) humanoid with joints bending backwards, and feet facing its back. It has a messed-up face.

* * *

Similar stories - Malignant, movie (2021)

Short stories

Tom Reamy: The Detweiler Boy (1977): There's a man, who has an evil conjoined twin that was separated from him, who commits crimes.


Stephen King: The Dark Half (1989): There's a man, who is a suspect in murders. It turns out that it's his absorbed twin that was responsible for the murders.


Basket Case (1982): Doctors are getting murdered. It turns out that it's the separated conjoined twin of the protagonist, who takes revenge for their separation.

Daniel Isn't Real (2019): The protagonist has an imaginary friend, who turns out to be not imaginary.

The Dark Half (1993): There's a man, who is a suspect in murders. It turns out that it's his absorbed twin that was responsible for the murders. Based on the The Dark Half novel.

* * *

Frequently asked questions - Malignant, movie (2021)

Is the Malignant film based on a book or comics?

No, Malignant is not based on either books or comics. There's a Malignant Man graphic novel, written by James Wan, but it has no relation to the events of this movie.

Is the Malignant film a remake or reboot?

No, the Malignant film is neither a remake nor a reboot.

Is there a post credit scene in Malignant? Does Malignant have end credit scenes?

No, there's no post credit scene in Malignant.

Is Malignant part of the Conjuring Universe?

No, Malignant is a separate story, not related to the Conjuring Universe, despite sharing the the creative team.

Is Malignant related to the Insidious series?

No, Malignant is a separate story, unrelated to the Insidious series, despite sharing the the creative team.

Where can I see Malignant? What is Malignant playing on? What streaming service is Malignant on? Where can I watch Malignant online? Is Malignant available on Netflix? Is Malignant on Amazon?

As of 2022.10.18, Malignant is available on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Microsoft Movies, Vudu, YouTube.

* * *

Resources - Malignant, movie (2021)


Malignant: Official website.

Warner Bros: Malignant: Official article.


IMDB: Malignant (I) (2021): Database article.

WikiPedia: Malignant (2021 film): Database article.

Letterboxd: Malignant 2021: Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: Malignant 2021: Database article.

TVTropes: Film / Malignant: Database article.


: Concept art article.¤

Reviews with no spoilers - Malignant film (2021)

: Review video about the Malignant film with no spoilers.¤

Reviews with spoilers - Malignant film (2021)

Mike and Jay (for RedLetterMedia): Half in the Bag: Malignant: Review video of the Malignant movie, with spoilers.Ł

The Critical Drinker: Malignant - Hilarious Spoof Or Ridiculous Horror?: Review video of the Malignant movie, with spoilers.¤

Analysis - Malignant movie (2021)

: Analysis video, explaining the finale of Malignant.¤

* * *

Buying the product - Malignant, movie (2021)

* * *

Have you seen the Malignant film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!


Comments powered by CComment