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Malefic (2003)

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Plot Summary:
"Four criminals attempt the unthinkable - ransoming the corpse of a dead child back to the family. But things take an even darker turn when they find an old spirit board at the cabin they are using for a hide-out."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 19 April 2005 My Rating: out of 5


Shot in 2000 but only released in 2003, Steve Sessions once again uses minimalism to his advantage although the end product is not as strong as previous (or is it subsequent) entries.

The grisly premise sees four nasty people hold a child's remains to ransom in order to exploit a wealthy sleazeball. The corpse kidnappers hide out in an empty cabin that belongs to an author obsessed with the occult. Things go from morbidly disturbing to repulsively strange when they play with a ouija board which belonged to the Hobb's Bluff witch.

Once again, Jeff Dylan Graham steals the show as Gage, thanks to a drastic makeover and another very different character portrayal, but he has able support from Lilith Stabs who shines in a major role. The rest of the cast including Sessions himself ,all add to the proceedings and it was fun to see Lucien Eisenach in an early role after seeing him in susequent genre films.

The entire film is presented in black and white which makes for a bold choice, as many young audiences would normally be inclined to switch off old black and white movies, deeming them not scary enough or even laughable.

The film benefits from a dark tone and equally grim subject material and doesn't lose it's way even when thrown a curveball that sees the main focus go in an entirely different direction altogether.

Whilst Malefic is not his finest hour technically speaking, it demonstrates just how intelligent Sessions is and indeed acts as a precursor to what lay ahead as this exciting new filmmaker began to develop his many skills. The film may be a little bit too artistic or even out there for main stream audiences, but it definitely conveys the potential in Sessions which he is finally managing to demonstrate in more recent efforts.

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