Saturday, June 11, 2022

Movies: Horrow Widow Double Feature

It might be cliché, but there's no easier way to make the lead character in your horror movie vulnerable than having her husband killed off at the beginning of the movie. Today's post features two films that do just that.


In Malignant, Madison (Annabelle Wallis) is stalked by an evil force that kills her abusive husband and her unborn baby. It just gets worse for her from there:

Malignant bombed at the box office, partly because of the pandemic, and partly because it is just plain weird. James Wan, flush from his success with entries in The Conjuring, Annabelle, and Aquaman franchises, swung for the fences with a mix of psychological horror and over-the-top giallo. I liked the third act surprise, but it is certainly not for everyone.

Rating: 6/10

The Night House

After her husband's suicide, a woman is haunted by an unseen presence in their isolated lake house.  Is it her husband talking with her from beyond the grave? Or something more sinister?

Acting can sometimes elevate a mediocre horror movie, and Rebecca Hall's excellent performance in The Night House does just that. She spends much of the movie petrified, of course, but also captures the grief and guilt of her widowed character. It's a shame the movie doesn't have the story or pacing to match Hall's talent - not much happens, and the plot hinges on (of all things) a truly groan-inducing ambiguity.  The dead shouldn't need a disambiguation page.

Rating: 7/10


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