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"Malevolent" Netflix

by Margaret Stewart - copy editor
Wed, Oct 31st 2018 05:00 pm

“Malevolent,” directed by French director Olaf de Fleur Johannesson and written by both Ben Ketai and Eva Konstantopoulos, is one of the many new Netflix Original movies added to the site this October. Just in time for spooky season, this movie follows four teenagers and their misadventures whilst exorcising spirits in an attempt to make some money on the side. 

The premise is two of the kids, Angela and Jackson, are a brother and sister duo whose mother was able to talk to spirits before she was institutionalized and eventually died after gauging out her eyes. The duo pretends that Angela has her mother’s powers in order to put on fake exorcisms for their clients to make money. 

However, the plot twist comes when Angela does seem to have her mother’s powers and their effect heightens once they go to help Mrs. Green exorcise the spirits of three girls from her home. The spirits, Mrs. Green said, screamed, tormented her and keept her awake on purpose. The accepted theory was Mrs. Green’s son had attacked the three girls and kept them hostage within the house. Mrs. Green vehemently disagreed, but desperately wanted her house rid of any spectral presences. 

As the movie progressed, it became evident that Mrs. Green is not as naïve as she appeared, nor is she the nice old lady the group thought she was. She called Jackson out on his showmanship as well as on the group’s fake performance before ordering the group to leave. Unfortunately, Jackson did not comply quickly enough and the group is almost immediately in danger. One teen goes missing causing Jackson and Angela to solve this mystery, Scooby Doo style.

The film does consist of a few stereotypical jump scares and while some of them are obvious, characterized by the building of tension and the shift in music are traditional indicators, they aren’t overdone. Also featured are other spooky elements such as mouths that are sewn shut and the mystery that surrounds Angela’s “gift.” 

That being said, the main thrill of this film lies within its plot. The film features a strong plot line which is integral to any movie, though I deem especially important in the horror genre. If there are too many plot holes or obvious problems within the story itself, the structure falls apart and, no matter how much tension or how many scare elements are employed, well or otherwise, the film becomes unsalvageable. 

Netflix does not have the best track record when it comes to releasing horror movies. Malevolent, only scored a 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and gained an audience score of a measly 19 percent. Regardless, it is one of the best Netflix Original horror movies that I have seen in a very long time.