The “freaking bonkers” James Wan horror flick based on true events
(Credit: Netflix)


The "freaking bonkers" James Wan horror flick based on true events

James Wan, known for his knack for turning real-life events into nightmares on screen, once again delved into the realms of true horror for inspiration. The 2021 film Malignant, which is available to stream on Netflix, had people divided for its gory thrills. It may not be high on the traditional scares, but it is not one for those who scare easily.

Malignant stars Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, and Michole Briana White, who bring to life Wan’s vision of horror. The film follows the story of Madison (played by Wallis), who begins to experience terrifying visions of grisly murders, only to realise that these nightmares might be more than just figments of her imagination. 

As the line between reality and nightmare blurs, Madison sets on a chilling journey to uncover the truth behind these haunting visions. This journey leads her to confront a sinister entity that threatens to consume her sanity. Malignant doesn’t shy away from delivering its fair share of blood, guts, and practical effects. 

A story by Wan, Ingrid Bisu, and Akela Cooper inspired the screenplay that Cooper wrote. While the film takes plenty of liberties with medical facts, it’s grounded in the eerie reality of teratoma cases. Wan and his wife, Bisu, stumbled upon this chilling medical anomaly during their research escapades.

In Wan’s own words to Entertainment Weekly, “My wife, Ingrid, she does a lot of research into medical anomalies…So obviously, my horror-movie-f—ed mind went immediately to the most messed-up story I could come up with.” This twisted brainstorming session between Wan and Bisu birthed the seed of Malignant. For those who may not know, a teratoma is a type of tumour that can contain various types of tissue, such as hair, teeth, bone, and muscle, resembling body parts or organs.

Wan continued, “The whole time I was thinking, how do I take this seed of an idea and actually turn it into a film and what I can do with it that can possibly allow me to have fun with all kinds of practical effects that I haven’t played with in a while? You know, the blood and guts and all the cool animatronic stuff.” Wan, who had not directed a horror film since the 2016 The Conjuring 2, ran with this spark. Incidentally, The Conjuring was also inspired by a real-life couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators who gained fame for their involvement in numerous high-profile cases.

Audiences have called certain moments in Malignant everything from “disgusting” to “freaking bonkers”. So, if you’re in the mood for a spine-chilling movie night that will linger in your nightmares long after the credits roll, queue up Malignant on Netflix. If you believe you do not scare easily, then test out that theory.