We were supposed to have received James Wan’s new horror movie Malignant back in August, but that was in the Before Times when death wasn’t carried on the breeze after being coughed out an infected lung. Now, it’s set for release this year on HBO Max, and accordingly has been given a rating by the MPAA.
Something along these lines was already expected, but it’s now been officially stated that the film will be rated R for “strong horror violence, gruesome images, and for language.” Sounds good to me.
Rather refreshingly, specific details about the project are hard to come by. It was first assumed, not unreasonably, to be an adaptation of Wan’s 4-issue limited comic book series Malignant Man, which was co-written with Fall of Cthulhu’s Michael Alan Nelson and features a terminal cancer patient first discovering his tumor is a supernatural parasite and then embarking on a one-man war against an army of darkness hidden beneath the surface of society. However, James Wan has stated that the plot is not a superhero story, nor is it adapted from any existing IP.
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Wan, or anyone else involved in the production, has not elaborated on exactly what the movie is, but according to Bloody Disgusting, it’s intended as a Giallo. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s a subgenre that refers to a particular style of Italian horror most popular in the ‘70s, spearheaded by directors like Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci. Most often they’re ostensibly murder mysteries, but a coherent plot typically takes a back seat to a non-sequential, dreamlike narrative driven by lurid imagery, vivid color palettes, discordant music, stylized violence and baroque dialogue.
With Malignant receiving an official rating, it’s not too much to hope that a trailer won’t be too far behind, whereupon we’ll get our first look at what we can expect from it.