Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Malignant (2021, James Wan)


After doing big time Hollywood franchise movies, James Wan returned to give us another freaky horror movie. In this case I’m not sure if Malignant is a great bad movie, a good movie, or a complete mess. However I dug this movie a lot, and it managed to creep me out and even scare me at times, which is more than I can say for a lot of horror movies.

Madison (Annabelle Wallis) begins to have nightmarish visions of murders in Seattle. Her sister, Sydney (Maddie Hasson) decides to investigate, and what she uncovers is both shocking and disturbing. James Wan creates a horror movie that is equal parts giallo, supernatural thriller, and body horror movie in one crazy, glorious package.

This movie should be viewed for the cop station scene alone, and also because it’s a giant homage to the films that clearly inspired James Wan. Plus George Young is actually really good as the one cop who mostly believes Madison, and the final act is utterly insane. Some may not enjoy this movie, yet I feel many such as myself will champion it years from now.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000, Patrick Lussier)


While the first film was really good and the second one a disappointment the third movie is somewhere in-between. Its an enjoyable film sure, and I liked it more than the second one, yet it has its limitations. Christopher Walken returned as Gabriel, who is now human and in search of redemption. In fact the film’s title is directed at him and not the main character, Danyael, who is the son of Valerie from the second movie, although its also concerning Danyael’s destiny. For Danyael must battle Zophael and Pyriel, who are bent on destroying humanity. One of the things I liked about this movie is how it brings the overlying arc full circle, only this time Gabriel is on the side of humanity since he was forced to live among them.

This aspect makes the film more interesting, and of course there are angel fights and the fate of mankind hangs in the balance as usual. Maggie is Danyael’s girlfriend and becomes forced by Zophael to go after Danyael. There is multiple jokes about driving once again, which is a staple of the series, and I liked that all three films have the same corner: poor Joseph at this point seems wary of angels, and is ready for his problems to end. I also liked that Gabriel ends up at the same dinner that he stopped at during the first film, and the final battle is outlandish, having been proceeded by freaky nightmares that Danyael has throughout the film.

Oh and this movie has some thoughts on God and religion, although they are very Hollywood in nature and therefore only scratch the surface of religious discussion. I liked how this one ended, and overall I have enjoyed the three films. There is a forth film yet due to Christopher Walken not being involved I don’t really consider it part of the series. I might still watch it but I’ll have low expectations. Sometimes trilogies work best.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: The Prophecy (1995, Gregory Widen)


If you bothered to read the Horrorfest list heh then you know that this was not feature on there. I decided to quit viewing the lackluster Beneath The Darkness because its neither scary nor thrilling, and check out a 1995 horror/fantasy film on Netflix Instant Viewing titled The Prophecy. Despite being somewhat dated and having that standard 90s horror look, I was actually engaged throughout and found the movie rather interesting. After all the plot is about a war in heaven waged by angels, with the archangel Gabriel coming to earth to claim a dark soul and tip the war in his favor. Yet the humans and a lonely, wary angel named Simon have other plans. I was reminded of an equally solid and entertaining 90s horror flick, the Clive Baker directed Lord of Illusions, which came out the same year and operated in the same horror/fantasy vein as The Prophecy did.

Simon, played with a tragic wariness by Eric Stoltz (whatever happened to him? I liked him as an actor) appears on Earth, telling a failed priest turned cop named Thomas (Elias Koteas, in another likable and well acted performance of his among many others) about upcoming events. A vague warning, but one that Thomas heeds, as he is forced to investigate after the death of another angel. What this leads him to is Gabriel, played with a wondrous mix of hammy overacting and menace by the legendary Christopher Walken. Walken completely takes over this movie by not only being creepy, but also spewing hilarious one liners and clearly enjoying playing the main villain of the film. One of my favorite moments is when Gabriel is just sitting at a school, hanging out with children while looking for Mary, who has been forced by Simon to keep the soul within her. Its just a random funny moment, with Gabriel’s hidden sense of evil contrasted against the innocence of the young students.

What I also like about this movie is the mythology: the idea of angels waging war against each other sounds cool (although there was only one war in the Bible, and it was when Lucifer was driven out). Virgina Madsen by the way is rather gorgous as Katherine, the school teacher caught up in all of this, and the scene between her and a leering, sinister and really freaky sounding Lucifer, played by a young Viggo Mortensen, is a great moment in the film. For some reason I find it weird that three Pulp Fiction actors were together in this (Walken, Stoltz, and Amanda Plummer) although I don’t think it really means anything. The Prophecy has its share of flaws, sure, but overall I liked it a lot, and I thought it was a good, fast moving horror movie with some decent thoughts on religion and faith. However I still cannot believe they made four or five sequels, especially with how the movie ended. Some wonders never cease.

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