‘Malignant’ Blu-Ray Review – James Wan Swings For The Fences In Deliriously Fun Paranormal Horror Film

Director James Wan returns to his roots with this new original horror thriller. A woman is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.

For in-depth thoughts on Malignant, please see my colleague Dom Fisher’s review from its original theatrical release here

Video Quality

Malignant comes to Blu-Ray with a stunning 1080p transfer, which comes from a 4K source. Once again, Warner has treated a film that is tailor-made for the 4K UHD Blu-Ray experience poorly by not releasing it on that format. The film leans toward the cooler side of the spectrum with blue and grey tones taking more of a precedent in the presentation. The color palette is fairly neutral throughout most of the film, but there are the occasional pops of color, such as certain costume pieces and elements of the production design. Black levels hold up well with no glaring instances of black crush present. Digital noise and artifacting are a non-issue with this release. The amount of distinct clarity and detail present on this Blu-Ray is truly something to behold. Subtle details on faces are amazingly clear and fine texture such as facial hair holds up surprisingly well both in close-ups and long shots. This is a great presentation for a very visually polished film. The only drawback is the fact that this is a film that would have looked incredible on 4K UHD Blu-Ray. 

Audio Quality

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is extremely engaging, and it never fails to deliver something truly stellar. It may only be viewed as a disappointment when compared to what we could have had with a Dolby Atmos presentation. The soundscape on display here is very rich with a nuanced design from the varied settings. This film is mostly suspenseful with horrific revelations driving the narrative, but there are moments where certain kinetic sequences arise to provide a boost to the proceedings. The instances of gunfire in the film pack a punch that you will not soon forget. The unsettling score fills the room quite well without being too overwhelming to the competing elements. Dialogue comes through crystal clear with none of the information feeling lost to the music in the film or the sound effects. All of the effects have a nice sense of direction within the mix with noises such as unsettling voices really springing to life. The movie uses environmental sounds to great effect, and the track retains strong detail even in the more chaotic developments. The track is a knockout throughout the entire runtime. 

Special Features

  • Malignant – James Wan’s Visions: A 14-minute featurette in which Wan discusses wanting to branch beyond what established him in horror, the inspiration for the story, working with screenwriter Akela Cooper, the levity in the film, the creepy design work, the stunts in the film and more. This is a pretty solid supplement overall. 


Final Thoughts

Malignant is the type of fresh, gonzo horror filmmaking that we rarely get in mainstream output these days. James Wan delivers an experience that is unhinged fun from beginning to end. The film is bound to be a polarizing experience, but those who love it will really love it. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released a Blu-Ray featuring a stellar A/V presentation but not much in the way of special features. If you are a horror fan that wants something a bit away from the standard fare, consider giving this one a spin. Highly Recommended 

Malignant is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital. 

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.


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