- Bojana NovakovicDelroy Lindo...
- Michael Winnick
- In 1 Cinema
Horror films keep repeating what has worked in the past and relying on jump scares that are not at all scary. Malicious is one big box of repeated clichés; you will want to scream, but only to say “stop”.
Malicious follows maths professor Adam (Josh Stewart) and his pregnant wife Lisa (Bojana Novakovic) as they move into a new house. Lisa’s sister gives the couple an old Aztec box as a housewarming gift. What none of them knows is that pure evil lies within it. Upon opening the box, Lisa starts encountering an entity that calls her “mommy” and wants to kill everyone else.
Been there done that? Yes, like a million times actually.
The film throws one cliché after another at the audience; couple move into new house and then the horror starts; an old box trapping a spirit; a wise, blind all-knowing professor tries to help; someone has to die for the spirit to be defeated, and too many more to even count. You will definitely feel like you have seen this before, or something like it.
This feeling, unfortunately, has become all too common with the horror genre recently. Malicious does not offer one single original thought that it can be credited for, nor one scene that is memorable enough to remain with the audience longer than when the theatre’s lights turn back on.
Another main problem is that this scary movie is not scary; the old lady that keeps popping up is seriously fake, to the point where her appearance borders on being funny. And the whole laughing when you are supposed to be screaming thing happens several times, to the extent that the audience doesn’t care anymore. Maybe the film was aiming to be a comedy?
Also, the film doesn’t help audiences get attached to the main characters enough to care whether they live or die. The supporting characters have it even worse as they are put in as sort of props without any cohesion or depth.
As for the acting, Josh Stewart gives an adequate but not too memorable performance as the logical but worried husband. Stewart does not really provide evocative facial expressions, but still manages to pull off the poorly written role. Bojana Novakovic takes it a step further, but still falls short from being anything above mediocre. Delroy Lindo, playing the wise head of the maths department who believes in the paranormal, was not able to show off his proven talents in such a small role that is so superficially written.
Your brother sneaking up behind you and scaring you would be more spooky than this movie, so it’s probably not even worth your time.