6 horror movies like Malignant that also explain the origins of the wild ending

A friend who saw an early screening of Evil one Said it was by far the worst movie of The spell and Insidious director James Wan, and a contender for every “worst of 2021” list. That description triggers one thing in this writer: total, unbridled enthusiasm for whatever madness Wan prepared. The worst movies do not provoke any feelings, those in which I have a hard time remembering any specific detail when I get home from the theater (or walk up the stairs after settling for a home premiere, as 2021 usually allows).

Evil one it’s not that kind of movie.

James Wan rocks big in his latest horror movie. Yes, there are some questionable decisions in its 112-minute runtime (including the 112-minute runtime), but they are decisions of a filmmaker who has made it clear over the last 17 years that he is not interested in presenting any semblance of reality in their projects (cue Dom and Brian in Furious 7 driving through no one but two skyscraper to land in a third). Even when it comes to something based on facts in your Prestidigitation In the movies, Wan likes to challenge himself by embracing the inherent silliness of something like a giant crooked ghost and then figuring out how to scare you anyway. It is usually successful.

And he clearly has a lot of love and respect for the horror masters of yesteryear, whose names are often mentioned alongside his own when talking about the great craftsman of the genre. Along the Evil one, a crafty horror fan should feel right at home, as the script (by Wan, Ingrid Bisu, and Akela Cooper) is mostly inspired by Italian movies from the 70s and 80s, but also The funhouse thrills of the late 90s and early 2000s at Dark Castle, Hammer horrorand the most polarizing entries in the filmographies of Wes Craven and John Carpenter. And yet it remains unmistakably his, with the complicated camera work, the smoke machines (indoors!) Turned up to 11, and the bright reds and blues that have been a feature of all his previous genre exercises.

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Anyone who only knows Wan from his billion dollar blockbusters like Aquaman and Furious 7 could be looped through focus. And even for those familiar with Spells (which keep its weirdness to a relative minimum) could benefit from a little handbook of past horror movies that immediately came to mind while watching. So consider this list; If I were to put these six movies in a blender and project the results, it might look a bit like Evil one.

[Ed. note: This list includes spoilers for James Wan’s Malignant, so if you’d like to avoid that, go watch the movie in theaters or on HBO Max.]

Dead silence

A ventriloquist dummy looks sinisterly at an unsuspecting woman

Photo: Universal Pictures

After making his directorial debut with Saw, Wan’s second film, Dead silence, was set to be a huge hit when it was released in early 2007 (between the release of the third and fourth Saws), but audiences just couldn’t connect with the movie’s quirky puppet-driven plot or Hammer’s horror aesthetic. Despite being tonally confused due to studio meddling (in a reverse of the norm, Wan and his partner Leigh Whannell wanted a PG-13 type of vibe; the studio wanted an R rating Saw-like blood), Dead silence established quite a few things about the filmmaker’s canon going forward: unusual supernatural elements, an outdoor world that seems cloudy at all times (the low budget Saw had no exterior scenes), and – most importantly for Evil one – a compromise with jaw-dropping plot twists delivered with a straight face. The classified version of Dead silence it’s the top one, although the unclassified one adds even more blood if you’re looking for it and want both options.

Dead silence is currently available to rent or buy through most streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Apple, or Voodoo.


Ania Pieroni as Elsa Manni in Dark

Image: Synapse Films

Many of Dario Argento’s gialli refer to an innocent person who witnesses and is suspected of murder, but Darkness the version is closest to Evil one, as the evidence points to more than just being in the wrong place at the right time. Here, author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) is concerned to learn that someone is killing people who are connected to him through the launch of his new book (his agent, an obsessed fan, etc.), just like Evil one protagonist Maddie (Annabelle Wallis) discovers that the people whose deaths she continues to see treated her like a child. Argento’s work is, like Wan’s, a matter of loving him or hating him, but 1982’s Tenebrae is one of the most accessible (read: consistent) entries in his filmography, making it a good starting point if you’re a newcomer to the work of this one-of-a-kind author.

Tenebrae is currently available to view at Shudder.

The psychic

Franscesco Ducci (Gianni Garko) and Virginia Ducci (Jennifer O'Neill) opening a letter in front of a reflective mirror.

Photo: Scorpion Releasing

Argento is pretty much Disney mainstream compared to Lucio Fulci, who may not be as skilled as his contemporary, or at least was not blessed with competent equipment as often. 1977 The psychic It is not his best film, but it is one of the last traditional giallo films that he made before reaching his peak with Zombie and his other most famous undead movies, and the only one horror fans could think of during Evil one. The plot centers on a woman who has visions of deaths that she was not present in, at least for the first half or so before the film’s big reveal takes center stage. Bonus for Tarantino fans: you will recognize the theme song from the movie, which he used in Kill bill.

The psychic is available to stream for free with a library card at Pavilion or to rent or buy through Alamo on demand.

My soul to take

A macabre masked effigy with a cardboard sign that reads

Photo: Universal Pictures

In a perfect world, this and not Cry 4 it would have been Wes Craven’s last movie (well, in a perfect world it wouldn’t be either, but you know what I mean). It will hit theaters a few months before what would be his swan song, 2010. My soul to take it was also written by the filmmaker, making it a “more authentic” Craven film than another trip to Woodsboro written by Williamson / Kruger. Craven’s story about the soul of a serial killer scattered among seven children born the same night in a small Massachusetts town is classic nonsense from the filmmaker, who previously explored similar territory regarding souls in his would-be franchise. Disgusting surprise. The horror genre certainly has a number of bugnut story concepts, but they are usually made by people who don’t know how to point the camera either. Seeing it from legitimate filmmakers like Craven or Wan is what pushes such baffling ideas into unmissable territory, if only out of the sheer bravery of committing to something so out of place.

My soul to take is available to stream on Starz and available to rent or buy through Amazon Prime Video, Apple, and Voodoo.


A woman crying while drenched in a downpour

Photo: Photos of the Republic

It’s Argento again! If you passed Tenebrae and you find yourself wanting more, then delve into his madness with his 1993 return to giallo-esque food (and the first solo film made entirely in America), which shares a backstory of “revenge on the doctors. “, although somehow it is even more ridiculous than that of Evil one. He also has a different weapon created from the belongings of one of the victims: while Evil oneGabriel uses the pointed end of his first victim’s Caduceus award, TraumaThe killer uses a “Noose-O-Matic” of surgical tools. The two even share royalty from killer doll movies; Annabelle Wallis meets Wan again after starring in the first Annabelle, and Trauma features none other than Chucky himself, Brad Dourif.

Trauma is available to stream for free with a library card at Pavilion, IMDbTV, or to rent or buy through Apple and Microsoft.

Basket case

A mutant child sits in a basket with his mouth open in Basket Case.

Photo: Arrow Video

If you’re here just wanting more movies like Evil one (God bless you), or just don’t worry about spoilers, then it’s safe to note that Wan’s movie isn’t the first to use a conjoined twin that was never fully formed as its antagonist. You may have seen some tweets that allude to “a movie that I can’t name without spoiling Evil twist “- well, that movie is actually Basket case, the debut of indie horror stalwart Frank Henenlotter. This movie tells you from the beginning what is happening; Normal-looking Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) was separated from his mutated twin Belial when they were younger, and now the two seek revenge from the doctors who separated them, with the older brother carrying the other in a basket as they carry out their plan. of revenge. Basket case It is at the opposite end of the budget spectrum and is tonally different, but it is a perfect example of how a particular idea can produce very different results depending on the resources and sensibilities of the filmmakers.

Basket case is available to view in Shudder and Pipeline, or to rent or buy in Amazon Prime Video and Apple.