By Dave B.
In Malevolent (Netflix) an American brother and sister, Jackson and Angela, run a scam in 1986 Glasgow where they swindle vulnerable people out of their money by performing fake exorcisms. While Angela possesses something of a conscience and wants to stop taking advantage of people, Jackson owes a lot of money to the wrong people and accepts a job a at a real haunted house: the site of the brutal murder of a bunch of little girls several years before. Jackson soon realizes that the paranormal is real, but does he come too this realization in time? Or will the demons that occupy the house give the siblings and their friends a karmic comeuppance of epic proportions?
I’ve never seen a less scary horror movie in my life. Frankly, Malevolent is so predictable, so lifeless, and so utterly without character, that anyone who can watch it without getting distracted every five minutes probably deserves an award. Although I grudgingly give the filmmakers some credit for trying to seamlessly combine a supernatural horror film with a slasher flick, their execution is atrocious: ghosts without the scares and killings without the gore. Try as I might, I just don’t see any level on which this film works.
Netflix is burning through mountains of cash to produce original content. That’s all well and good except too much of that content is garbage like Malevolent. Making a horror movie that can’t induce a single cringe, jump, or bated breath? What’s the point of making a horror movie at all in that case? Malevolent’s single saving grace is that it’s only 88 minutes long, which is the sole reason why it’s not likely to be in serious contention for my “Worst Movie I Watched This Year” award (coming soon). I clearly don’t recommend this movie to anyone, not even the most committed, obsessed, or undiscerning horror fans. Malevolent’s existence is a waste of time, space, and energy in every imaginable way.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.