HE JUST WANTS TO HELP!
Malignant is a 2013 mad scientist flick directed by Brian-Avenet Bradley. Bradley has been directing horror films since the early 2000's. Somehow, I've managed to go until now without seeing any of his work, but I have heard high praise for his last feature length effort, Dark Remains. Although it may seem strange to take an 8 year break after your most successful film, Malignant is a very good indicator that if Bradley had it then, he's still got it now.
Gary has been leading a rough lifestyle since the untimely passing of his wife. Getting blackout drunk every night has become the main objective of his after-work routine. One day, he leaves the bar and remembers the good old days, when his significant other was still present. A strange man shows up and jerks him back to reality. The man offers help to Gary, hoping to free him from the grip of alcoholism. He wakes up the next day at his lonely house with a freshly stitched up scar on his chest.
Gary is understandably a bit bothered by this fresh wound, and decides to get it checked out at the hospital. He gets a rude awakening when he is told by the nurse that he had just been checked in the previous night for a "bar fight" he was supposedly involved in. Things aren't making sense, and a nice liquor filled evening is in store. After getting blackout drunk once again, he wakes from his stairway slumber covered in blood. An email from the man who tampered with his insides gives a bit of insight. That fateful night, Gary had a device planted within him. This device allows the mysterious man to take control of Gary's mind whenever he pleases. If he drinks at all, people die. Sometimes it takes a little tough love to put an addiction to rest.
Things pick up at a rapid speed that never really lets up. The only complaint I have about the film, is that the ending didn't quite pack the punch I was anticipating during the build up. Even that doesn't manage to overall damper the viewing experience. The film keeps you guessing throughout, and there's a genuine interest to learn more about the mysterious villain. Along with the thick tension, there is also a fair amount of violence. The film isn't an all out gorefest, but there are definitely a few scenes that are quite gruesome. If eye violence is your kryptonite as it is mine, there are without a doubt a few cringe-worthy moments to be found here.
Malignant's plot is pretty unique, to say the least. The idea of a man tearing apart what is left of someone's life in order to end an addiction is interesting. All the while the mystery man is indulging in an addiction of his own; human experimentation. Brad Dourif's performance as The Man is stellar. His role as the film's villain was, without a doubt, a make-or-break kind of character. Luckily, they put the role in good hands, and Dourif delivered a performance that fit the mood of the movie perfectly.
Overall Malignant is a damn fine indie flick. The movie has a very engaging, well paced plot that keeps things moving along at a fast, yet tension building speed. Between Dourif's performance and the strong writing there's more than enough here to leave most satisfied. There really aren't many movies about mind control in recent years so this plot was a breath of fresh air. GIVE IT A WATCH!