In order to properly prepare for Halloween, scary movies are a must in October. They not only allow you to get into the spooky spirit, but also get your blood pumping. This year, Netflix released five new horror movies as a part of their “Netflix and Chills” promotion. One of these was Malevolent, a Netflix original film, released on Oct 5. This movie offered a couple good scares, an unsettling plot and an ominous ending that makes it a potential option if you’re looking for something in the horror genre. It is the type of movie you can watch for a free night in with your friends instead of going to a theater.
The plot centers around a brother-sister duo, Angela (Florence Pugh) and Jackson (Ben Lloyd Hughes), who pose as paranormal investigators solely for a profit. They are accompanied by Elliot (Scott Chambers), the camera man, and Jackson’s girlfriend Beth (Georgina Bevan). The main storyline begins when they are called for a consult at a haunted estate that is also a former foster home by the elderly owner, Mrs. Green (Celia Imrie), who claims to hear screams from three girls that were brutally murdered with their mouths stitched shut. However, the real threat doesn’t lie in the paranormal occurrences.
At the beginning of the movie, I was anticipating how the plot would play out; most horror movies follow similar ideas, especially with the paranormal aspect. While it did follow some of these same trends, such as having a love component and predictable deaths to further the plot, it also had a twist I honestly wasn’t expecting. The ending was quite unsettling, and although the movie is not graphicly gory, there are some scenes where it is explicitly implied, even if you can’t see it on screen. There were only a couple pop-out scares that I legitimately jumped at, but I was entertained all the way through.
Having the two main characters as siblings added another element to the plot, and while it wasn’t explored too deeply, it increased the complexity of the characters. This was especially true for Jackson, who was an unlikable character at first. The family aspect gave him more depth and made him more relatable. In addition, the backstory was drawn off their family, since Jackson and Angela’s mother committed suicide and was a medium.
While I wouldn’t say this movie is one of my favorites, nor will I probably watch it again after seeing it once, I would recommend Malevolent as a starter for a spooky weekend (or weekday if you’re feeling it). For people who don’t love jump scares, this movie is definitely manageable and will still offer suspense. However, if you are looking for a solid scare to make your heart race and lead you to contemplate sleeping with the lights on, I would pass.