Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Malicious (2018)

Movie Name/Year: Malicious (2018)
Tagline: Children are a gift from hell.
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production Companies: Impossible Dream Entertainment, Lost Hills Film Fund
Producer: Ele Bardha, Brett Forbes, Lonia Guha, Kevin Alexander Heard, Ali Jazayeri, Raymond Mansfield, Curtis Nichouls, Shaun Redick, Patrick Rizzotti, Phillip Rush, Patrick Stapleton, Yvette Yates, Viviana Zarragoitia
Director: Michael Winnick
Writer: Michael Winnick
Actors: Bojana Novakovic, Josh Stewart, Delroy Lindo, Melissa Bolona, Yvette Yates, Luke Edwards, Jaqueline Fleming, Ben VanderMey, Presley Richardson, Joy Kate Lawson, Bailee MyKell Cowperthwaite, Jo-Ann Robinson, Curtis Nichouls

Blurb from Netflix: After receiving a strange present, a professor and his pregnant wife are plagued by tragedy and a paranormal presence that’s determined to kill.

Selina’s Point of View:
Break out the horror movie bingo cards, they’ll be useful to you with this film.

Now, I don’t automatically hate recipe films. I judge them each on their own. It may be a little more difficult to do because it’s all been done before, but quality is always a variable. In this case, that quality was on the very low side.

The dialogue was shoddy, to start off with. There were whole conversations that I could swear I’ve already seen in other movies.

Then the characters were even more shallow than usual. In fact, there was one constant character in the film that was literally just there to take up space. Sure, extras are always a thing, but the creators had this actor traipsing around with the main characters as if he meant absolutely anything at all. (He did not.)

The creators can’t even blame the cast for this absolute flop. There was one actor that I thought was pretty bad, but everyone else was great. I’m particularly mad that they cast Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight, Domino, Gone in 60 Seconds) in such a bad role. I really love his work and I think he’s a billion times better than what this film portrayed him as.

I do not foresee myself recommending this to anyone. The only reason to watch it is for a drinking game based on that aforementioned bingo card.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m afraid I’m a tad on the fence with Malicious. I can’t say that I loved it; but at the same time, I can’t say that I hated it, either.

What I am sure of is that the music department for this production did their jobs almost too-well. The score in the background as the narrative unfolded was quite effective at building suspense and tension. That’s, of course, the bread and butter of horror movies and thrillers. Any movie that doesn’t successfully ramp you up before a punctuated moment isn’t doing its job right, and is likely horrifically boring.

While I couldn’t tell you for sure whether or not this film employs the specific tones that research has shown impact people the most, I can express with certainty that I had a rather visceral personal reaction. I was so tense and my nerves so frazzled by the end that I simply couldn’t get comfortable until I’d had a cool shower. The story and imagery definitely weren’t to blame.

In fairness, there were a few points that rate high on my creep-factor list; but on the whole, there wasn’t too much here to make this movie stand out within its genre.

The cast was decent. I bought what they were selling for the most part. There were only a few moments where I just couldn’t follow down the rabbit hole the story and the driving eerie soundtrack were traversing.

I don’t think I would steer anyone away from this particular movie, but aside from the sound-induced reactions, the story was a bit meh for me.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 17%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.0/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating1.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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