Malevolent (2018)

malevolent poster 2018 movie netflix
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 3/10

Not much

Dull horror is worse than bad horror

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Malevolent

Studio:  Catalyst Global Media

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 5, 2018

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

malevolent cast ben lloyd hughes florence pugh georgina bevan stephen mccole netflix

We can really dull down this story if we try!

After the death of their mother, brother and sister Jackson (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and Angela (Florence Pugh) are participating in a ghost hunting scheme to pay Jackson’s debts.  Unfortunately, her mother’s curse is coming to Angela, and Angela is starting to see things in reality.  When a woman called Mrs. Green (Celia Imrie) calls Jackson for a particularly haunted home where a group of girls were killed, everyone on the team could be in danger.

Directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, Malevolent is a supernatural horror thriller.  The film was released on Netflix on October 5, 2018.

Netflix Originals have kind of been on a decline.  Originally, the streaming service picked some pretty solid extra content…but now it seems to want cheap thrillers.  While there are tons of good horror film that they could stream, movies like Malevolent get top billing.  Malevolent isn’t the worst film, but it feels like very generic horror.

malevolent mrs green celia imrie

Make it stop!!! (or at least make it scarier)

The movie is predictable.  You have people scamming the system (smartly set in the 1980s to avoid cell phone and internet stuff) and they encounter real horror.  The movie meanders through the short runtime and only peaks in the last fifteen or twenty minutes (and peaking is a stretch since it is all the things you expected to happen).  It ends in the obligatory twist that isn’t much of a twist and is wrapped up in a blasé fashion…it’s kind of like getting socks for Christmas.  You might need them, but it isn’t interesting.

The cast is lifeless.  Florence Pugh and Ben Lloyd-Hughes have little depth or variety and the opportunity to liven up the cast through Ben’s girlfriend played by Georgina Bevan or the camera man Frank played by Stephen McCole was squandered by generic casting.  Celia Imrie shows potential as Mrs. Green, but she too is almost a stock character from horror films and really doesn’t develop past this cliché.

malevolent ghost girls netflix

We’re here to stay…

Visually the movie also misses the mark.  It is a movie about ghosts and ghosts haunting a creepy English mansion.  Instead of shocks and surprises, the movie doesn’t push the visuals.  It is also presented as an isolated manor, but a major road is clearly visible in scenes from the front of the house…making the desperate and speedy escape at the end unnecessary.

Movies like Malevolent think they are bigger than they are.  If Malevolent is the first horror film you’ve ever seen, you might be surprised by it, but I’m guessing most viewers have seen a horror movie or two…or one hundred by the time Malevolent pops up on their radar.  If it is a kid who finds the movie on the streaming service, it was also rather disappointing…just a few jumps and plot twists you can see coming from miles away.  It isn’t bad horror, but it is dull horror (which is almost worse than being bad).

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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