The Movie Waffler New Release Review - MALICIOUS | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - MALICIOUS

Malicious review
A politician's family's weekend getaway is disturbed by a mysterious stranger.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: John Fallon

Starring: Kevin Interdonato, Nick Baillie, Melissa Anschutz, Alix Lane, John Fallon

Malicious poster

Opening with the image of a bloody man followed by a Nietzsche quote, the film-makers have deliberately set you up for a horror film with an unexpected amount of philosophical musings.

The McCabe family are on a "typical" family holiday. Erin (Alix Lane) is your garden-variety disaffected teenager plugged into her headphones, and mum Lauren (Melissa Anschutz) is eager to please her husband with the accommodation she's found. "It’s by the biggest lake in the state," she claims pleadingly; while stepdad (Nick Baillie) ekes out his compliments like giving them costs him something.


Except that mum is secretly drinking vodka while she cooks dinner.

And stepdad walks in on Erin using the toilet and doesn't leave, despite how creepy and weird that is.

Malicious review

He follows this wildly inappropriate behavior by berating Erin's mother that the teenager isn’t "grateful" and "respectful" enough.

Stepdad Will, henceforth to be known as "Scumbag," decides he wants to shag his wife over the kitchen counter, and the way this happens says a lot about the dynamics between the two - she downtrodden and used, he selfish and dominant.

When stranger Jesse (an electric Kevin Interdonato) arrives at their door claiming his truck has broken down outside their rental home, he ingratiates himself into invites to dinner (though it's daytime…?) and drinks with the family while he awaits the tow truck.

Turns out Scumbag is the Governor of Hill Valley and Jesse, after knocking back several of Scumbag's expensive whiskeys, admits to being unhappy with some of the decisions made by him.

After the family succumbs to the drugs Jesse surreptitiously slipped into their drinks, they awaken to a nightmare.

Malicious review

Tied up together and vulnerable, the family are now subjected to a long night of interrogation and torture, all in aid of getting to the truth of Scumbag's crimes.

As written and directed by John Fallon, the script is absorbing and cleverly tense, building to a shattering and satisfying conclusion; it's well-filmed without detracting from the simple-then-complex script, and the music is great.

Performance wise it's pretty solid – Baillie as snivelling Scumbag Will does well in a thankless role, and Anschutz and Lane as mother and daughter both give outstanding performances and round out a fine cast.

Interdonato's turn as Jesse is riveting - brutal and commanding, if there's any justice more people would know his name – he's that good.

Malicious review

This is an interesting film in many ways; when the man taking a hammer to someone's knee has more morals than the guy getting his knee smashed, questions should be asked, and this film asks them. There is violence here, and some scenes need a trigger warning as ultimately the subject at the heart of the script is sexual assault, but moreover the threat of violence overhangs many scenes even when the actual violence may not take place – it's a clever way to keep you tense and engaged, and to wonder why a part of you is disappointed when the threatened violence doesn't happen. Though a little flabby in the mid-section, it turns it around quickly and gifts us with a memorable ending and a surprisingly entertaining film that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to friends.

Malicious is on UK/ROI VOD from October 16th.

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