Malicious (2018) Movie Review
Written By: FR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Michael Winnick
Writer: Michael Winnick
Producers: Ali Jazayeri, Tims Johnson, Raymond Mansfield, et. al.
Date Released: 19 October 2018
Josh Stewart as Adam / husband
Bojana Novakovic as Lisa / wife
Delroy Lindo as Dr. Clark / parapsychologist
Melissa Bolona as Becky
Yvette Yates Redick as Emily Harper (as Yvette Yates)
Luke Edwards as James Harper
Jaqueline Fleming as Dr. Lee
Ben VanderMey as David
Rating = 2.5 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Written and directed by Michael Winnick, the film is about a couple. Professor Adam Pearce (Josh Stewart) and his pregnant wife Lisa (Bojana Novakovic) move into a new home in the country. They receive a gift that accidentally unleashes an evil spirit. It haunts both them and Lisa’s sister Becky (Melissa Bolona) with deadly intentions. Only Dr. Clark (Delroy Lindo), the professor of parapsychology at Adam’s university, can help. Can they stop the spirit? Or will it unleash its full horror upon them?
The film does not have a lot of blood and gore. The opening scenes seem to get that creepy atmosphere. It is more jump scares and haunting. There’s not a lot of body count on screen but it has been implied in the movie for those who has been in possession of the box. A few special effects on make-up but nothing really standout.
The Grave Review
Malicious (2018) is rather ho-hum for it being classified a horror film. They are well done, looking crisp and clean, with a few neat tricks (like one involving a painting). However, it is not anything viewers would not have seen in any other film about a haunting. Some of 1980’s The Shining here, The Amityville Horror there (both 1979 and 2005). That and a scientific take on 1973’s The Exorcist, with Dr. Clark using Ghost Hunters-esque technology to find the spirit.
Speaking of which, Dr. Clark is probably the best performed character of the bunch. Lindo plays him as genial and appealing, as well as knowing. The film picks up when he is on-screen, even when he is just exchanging dialogue with Stewart’s Adam.
The film tells a fair story behind its scares. It runs at a fair pace too, where it has its ramps and lulls but does not rush or drag too much. Plus, it has a mild twist in switching who the ultimate victim is from the ultimate perpetrator.
The dialogue is considerably mediocre. It has the occasional quip line, though no golden ones either. There is a running mathematical theme over how 1+1=2, or potentially 3 or more. It starts off as a cutesy introduction to the Pearce’s and their baby-in-progress, before trying to make it sound menacing by the end.
Overall, Malicious is a horror film that meets in the middle. It has some good camerawork and sound, fair twists, and fine pacing. While also having a straightforward story, stiff lines and some dry performances. The scares are not exactly original, nor terrifying, though they are not badly done either. Someone new to Horror could use it as a good place to dip their toe in the genre.
Because of the foregoing seasons, Grave Reviews gives Malicious (2018) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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