Malevolent: Menacingly Average

Malevolent is a British horror film directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson. It follows brother and sister duo Angela (Florence Pugh), and Jackson (Ben Lloyd Hughes), who pretend to be paranormal investigators to make money. However, when they arrive at their latest case both siblings learn that not only is the paranormal real, but it wants to see them dead.

When I was going through Netflix and I saw a horror film staring beloved up and comer Florence Pugh I expected big things and boy was I disappointed! This film is as run of the mill and as generic as a horror film can get, all of the ideas this film has have been done before and so much better. It reminded me in a lot of ways of The Boy from a few years ago, expect that felt novel and fresh and this just feels like a retread.

This film greatest crime is how average it is and how it seems to be okay with it, everything from the performances to the scares had me at an eh. The horror genre is in a near-constant effort to reinvent itself: because there are only so many times you can jump at a jump scare before it becomes obvious and crucially not scary. This is what I think befell this film, had it come out 5 years ago it could have done well, but it came out now and that my dear reader is what killed it.

Another baffling thing this film does is have Florence Pugh a British actress speak with an American accent. This is a British film that takes place in Britain, so it would make sense if Pugh spoke with her normal accent, I wouldn’t mind but her and her brother being American’s doesn’t really fit into the plot at all and it just seems a bit odd.

The ending the of the film, when it is going full kilter into all the lip-sowing action, is when it is at it’s best and I will give it that. The ending is genuinely a bit creepy and left me thinking about it after the credits rolled, if the rest of the film could have been like that it would be a much better film.

Overall, this film felt incredibly bland, it had all been done before, and other than a creepy ending and a somewhat decent performance from Pugh, it is on the bad side of forgettable.


Creepy last 10 minutes.

Florence Pugh gives an okay performance.


It’s boring.

It has been done before, better.

The accent thing bugged me.

It is very much a 2014 sort of film.


Reviewed by Luke

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