Violent and harsh on the eyes, Malevolence is horror movie written, produced and directed by Stevan Mena, and starring Samantha Dark and R. Brandon Johnson.
The story sees Julian (Johnson), his girlfriend Marylin (Heather Magee), her brother Max (Keith Chambers) and their accomplice Kurt (Richard Glover) rob a bank. They get away with money but Max is shot and dies in the car later.
Needing to lie low, the three survivors separate with Kurt taking the money and a different car. The plan is for them to meet at a predetermined abandoned house in the woods later. However, Kurt breaks down on route so takes a woman and her daughter hostage forcing them to drive him to the house.
He arrives at the house before the other two so ties up his hostages but the young girl manages to escape. She runs to an abandoned farm with Kurt in purist, he fails to find her though instead meeting his doom at the hands of a masked murderer.
That night Julian and Marylin arrive at the house. Kurt is nowhere to be found but they do find his hostage Samantha (Samantha Dark). Confused and beginning to suspect that Kurt may have betrayed them, Julian goes to look for him.
Marylin is left alone with Samantha and shortly meets her doom too at the hands of the masked murderer. When Julian returns, he finds a scene of utter carnage but Samantha has survived by hiding in a closet. He frees her and learns about the killer which he suspects is Kurt as a way to get rid of them and keep the money.
He has no choice but to work with the hostage to survive the night.
There are no new ideas here but Malevolence isn’t a bad movie by any stretch. What it does well, it does really well such as atmosphere and tension. The stalking scenes, the slow dread that creeps in…it’s handled smartly.
With such a small cast, we get characters that are built and utilised well. When the violence starts it’s eye-watering stuff. Realistic and very violent which fits the grimy look of the entire movie.
Our killer isn’t a complete mystery either with an intro dropping hints to who he is and how he came to be. Not particularly necessary but not unwelcome either. We have enough faceless killers, that one with a bit of motivation is not bad thing. Even if it’s still pretty obscure.
All of this makes Malevolence a decent watch. However dodgy acting and some genuinely silly dialogue often takes you out of the moment. It’s a shame because everyone feels fleshed out and then they say something that just feels out of place reminding you that you’re watching a movie.
Still, there are way more bad slasher horrors out there then Malevolence and with a prequel and a sequel it certainly seems to have some mileage.
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The Final Score - 6/10