James Wan presents “Malignant”, his new horror film with personal accents, adapted from an original scenario, which mixes the slasher and the stories of monsters, and walks us between dream and reality.
If he did not realize Conjuring 3, James Wan is still back to horror in this year 2021. Between two opus of the Aquaman saga, the dad of Saw and Insidious signed Malignant, according to a scenario original.
Or the story of Madison, a young woman tormented by dreams in which she witnesses murders, before realizing that they have indeed taken place. How? ‘Or’ What ? Why ? The answer can be found in theaters, where the feature film was released on September 1, as James Wan talks with us about the inspirations and some secrets of filming his new feature film.
WARNING – The interview below contains some spoilers on the plot of “Malignant”, as it is difficult to talk about the film without mentioning some of its revelations. So please go your way if you haven’t seen it yet that you don’t want to know anything before, to better come back later.
DashFUN: What was your main inspiration for “Malignant”?
James wan : It’s not so easy for me to clearly present the film without revealing all the surprises. But in any case, everything starts from a real scientific concept presented to me by my wife, Ingrid Bisu, who wrote the story of Malignant and is also one of its producers. I was really intrigued by what she had found and the horrifying part of my mind immediately went to work.
I also wanted to go back to my more independent films, like Saw or Dead Silence, and especially since I was between the shootings of Aquaman 1 and 2. So it was, for me, a chance to let go as than pure horror film director. Because this story lends itself to a more visceral and more gory version of horror. This is not a PG-13 movie [interdit aux moins de 13 ans non accompagnés aux États-Unis, ndlr] but a version classified R [interdit aux moins de 17 ans non accompagnés aux États-Unis, ndrl], for fans of my early films.
I like to alternate between mainstream films with big budgets, and more independent films with more reasonable budgets. Obviously, Malignant’s budget has nothing to do with Saw’s, but we’re far from Aquaman’s! For me, it’s a combination of several different genres: it’s a bit of a slasher, a bit of a monster movie, there’s a bit of action, and it’s a psychological thriller too. It’s a mix of everything in my head as a director.
Looks like you took inspiration from the legendary case of Edward Mordrake as well.
It is certain that if you research the concept at the heart of Malignant, you will come across the urban legend ofEdward Mordrake [évoquée dans la saison 4 d’American Horror Story, ndlr]. But the real inspiration of the film is the medical concept of “teratom“.
We came across medical articles where patients thought they had a tumor in their brain or in their stomach. But when the doctors operated, to find out what it was, they found hair, teeth, or even eyes. It is in fact, each time, a twin who has been absorbed by the other dominant person. This idea of having a twin inside is the true origin of Malignant and the creation of the character of Gabriel.
This film is really personal from my experience
And visually, how did you create Gabriel and his disjointed silhouette? With a mix of digital effects and contortionists?
Bringing Gabriel to life was quite a challenge. Writing the character in the script is one thing, but creating it visually was a real headache. The result is the fruit of the joint work of several ILM digital artists and animatronic specialists, but also of the real and physical performance of a contortionist: Marina Mazepa who is able to put herself in physical positions defying all logic. [elle a été découverte dans America’s Got Talent et a joué dans La Chapelle du Diable, sorti en juillet dans les salles françaises, ndlr].
She is the one who executed all of the character’s upside down movements. She wore an animatronic mask behind her head and was able to do, for real, almost any stunt you see in the movie. It’s breathtaking ! Digital effects are mostly used to dislocate its limbs and invert them. ILM has done an amazing job and I dare you not to believe it.
Can we …