Malice

None Intended

by Nadia Kuin

4.5

THE QUICK SELL
At the Turner house, the norm isn't the norm.

DIRECTED BY
Philip J. Cook

WRITTEN BY
Philip J. Cook

 
 

Written, edited and directed by Philip Cook, Malice is a supernatural horror focusing on the life of Alice Turner, Brittany Martz (“Highball (Short)”, “A Haunting (TV)”). The premise of the film is good though not hugely original; the Turner family move into a old house and start to encounter weird goings on, forcing Alice to take up arms and fight back. The Turner family is slowly diminished until only our heroine is left to save the day.

The promotional material, logo and even the first scene of the film – where Alice is donned in striped tights holding the bunny mascot and shouldering an assault rifle – points towards a darkly humorous, whacky, anarchist teen straight out of Suicide Squad. Disappointingly though this character never really emerges – instead we’re given a bland two-dimensional teenager

Alice’s internal monologue helps to move the story along at a good pace and always lets the viewer know what she’s thinking, incase you weren’t sure from her acting. Speaking of which Malice does suffer an awful lot of from over-acting, although Brittany’s acting shows flashes of promise and she is far more convincing than her fellow actors.

It’s clear as the film progresses, and the use of computer imagery is stepped up, that the filmmakers were straining against their limited budget. Their vision was admirable but sadly in quite a few scenes the execution was a real let down and left me wondering if there were more interesting analogue ways of achieving those effects.

In the end the evil-doer turns out to be a quite original with some interesting, deep – pardon the pun – motivations (a marked improvement on a lot of other baddies in much higher budget films). Craving love and attention however selfish is something we can all understand and throws up questions about sentiency and morality which resonate long past the end-credits. How this thing came to exist in its current form in the first place though, is sadly left mystery.

The Ghost Boy character adds another level of seriously weird and creepy to the film but it’s done rather well it’s silence being much more eerie rather than the big bangs relied on in other horrors. Ultimately though what exactly he is and what his intentions are are never fully explained.

 

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