Malevolent is one of those movies that spring up on Netflix that you say to yourself one day, “Oh yeah, I’ll give that a go,” with very little expectation. So it was a pleasant surprise to find that it was a semi-decent British horror film that pulsates with enough intrigue and mystery to pull you along to the end hoping that the characters live to see it through their ordeal.
The story follows some charlatans who claim that one of their group is a medium with the ability to warn off ghosts and send them on their way. The group consists of siblings Angela (the medium), Jackson (the ambitious kid up to his eyes in debt with the heavies breathing down his neck), Beth (Jackson’s girlfriend), and Elliot (the techie who has all the camera and sound gear, and is a little keen on Angela).
Angela and Jackson just so happen to carry a dark past, when their mother committed suicide after allegedly not being able to handle her gift. You see she actually could contact the dead, and this gift is carried down to Angela who has her awakening during the beginning of the film.
Worried that she will react the same way as her mother, Angela is hesitant to pursue this gift any further, but is compelled to go on one last charade to save her brother from the mob, little knowing that they are about to go out of their depths and into the world of paranormal.
The relationship between Angela and Jackson are integral to the Malevolent’s success and Florence Pugh, (who is about to star in BBC’s The Little Drummer Girl and looks destined for greater things to come) and Ben Lloyd-Hughes (The Divergent Series) immerse into their respect roles with relative ease.
A worthy nod should be made for Scott Chambers who plays Elliot (effectively the heart of the movie) and delivers a charming and likeable performance; plus the always-amazing Celia Imrie as the landlady of the haunted estate with her own inner demons.
This haunted house story evolves at a predictable pace but delights in many ways with a simple story of love, hope, and loss.
- Saul Muerte