Quantcast Icons Of Fright salutes Malevolence
back to top
Mike C.'s memories: Horror? From Long Island? Ok, so we do have a horror pedigree with the Amityville Horror house, but seriously, the scariest thing to come out of Long Island in the past few years has been guys wearing girls jeans, and "Growing Up Gotti". So when I was handed a flyer for a screening of 'Malevolence' I certainly had my doubts. What was this? Something those kids on public access pulled together? Knowing that if it wasn't any good, I'd at least get to hear Rob G's famous 5 line review ("Well Mike...I'm highly offended...") the Icons staff headed out to catch the premier of 'Malevolence'.
It did not disappoint. Sure, it was filled with slasher film clichés and "seen it before" twists, but there's something different about the way director Steven Mena presents those to us. Instead of winking at the audience or turning the characters into one-dimensional jackasses, he gives us a competently well made, well written, serious horror film with a respect for it's predecessors. Mena knows how this game works and he plays it very well. When you're done watching 'Malevolence' you know right away that you haven't seen anything new, but what you have seen worked. It works because Mena knows how to build tension, his actors have depth, his cinematographer understands exactly how these movies should look, his editor has timing. I wasn't expecting it to be this good, and was absolutely giddy with this movie when it was over. -mikec.

Rob G.'s memories: I remember both Mike & Wilkie coming to me with flier's for this little indie flick called 'Malevolence', which was about to start playing theatrically. Now, this is the same summer that gave us films like 'Alien Vs. Predator' & 'Exorcist: The Beginning'. With the exception of 'Shaun Of The Dead', which was in theaters here for about a week thanks to the shitty American marketing campaign which tried to sell it as a spoof... I had very little hope for seeing anything in theaters that I enjoyed as much as the films I grew up with. But I really liked the creepy house on the flyer for 'Malevolence' and the tagline "No One Gets Out Alive". My interest was peaked. What is this movie? Anchor Bay? Anchor Bay is putting out a movie theatrically? And Fangoria's giving this sucker a great review? If anything, I just had to see this thing for myself. If we were lucky, it could be a nice obscure slasher ala 'Madman'. (an Anchor Bay release which I love, by the way.) What we saw, was a beautifully shot, scary as hell, old-school slasher flick. Plucked as if it had been on the shelves all this time in the 80's, but was undiscovered until now. In fact, after the movie, I went on line to confirm that this wasn't an old forgetten gem getting a late release now.

I can't explain why I enjoyed 'Malevolence' so much. Maybe, because it's the first movie in years to really give me a thrill in my seat. Maybe it's the beautiful score that Stevan Mena wrote to accomany the film? Maybe it's the homages to some of my all time favorite scenes and moments from the horror classics? All I know is that I never thought I'd be able to see a flick like this in theaters ever again. The Icons staff and myself all went back to see the film 3 times each, and everytime the theater was full of kids screaming at all the right parts. If anything, it was a conversation stimulator for us at the diner, as we talked about bringing more friends to experience this flick in theaters. (if only to see their reactions to the scares.) All I can say is thanks to Stevan Mena for making a film that brought me right back to the way I felt first seeing horror films as a kid. And thanks for shooting it on Long Island. Gives us hope that more good can come from here! - robg.


Story: After a bank robbery gone wrong, the felons take a hostage and attempt to retreat to an abandoned house out in the middle of nowhere. What they didn't count on was stumbling upon the hunting ground of a deranged madman, who may have a connection to the kidnapping 10 years earlier of young Martin Bristol.

The Film Itself: It's no secret that the Icons staff absolutely loved this film. Skim around and your bound to find various posts and interviews praising writer/director Stevan Mena's debut. For the most part, the reason we enjoyed this film so much was a matter of timing. Seeing this bad boy in theaters felt like watching a classic old gem from the 80's. Although not completely original or new, storywise; this film does offer a great straightforward old school "slasher" vibe & a back story that is worthy of myth. Shot on 35 mm, the look of the film is fantastic, the score is reminiscent of Carpenter (which is a good thing) and the film actually delivers the scares! This is the closest we could ever get to a remake of 'Halloween' without actually remaking Halloween and changing what's already classic. This also opens the doors wide open for the upcoming prequel & sequel. And knowing this, you can spot more back story and hints of what's to come sprinkled thru-out this film. This one's a keeper, folks.

Special Features: As with almost all Anchor Bay releases, this DVD is top notch. The sound and picture have been transferred flawlessly and actually look and sound even better then in theaters. There's an excellent and extensive making-of featurette titled 'Back To The Slaughterhouse' with plenty of tidbits and stories about everything involved in putting this movie together. For even more insight & even a few laughs, watch the film with the audio commentary, which features writer/director Stevan Mena, actor Brandon Johnson & producer Eddie Akmal. They offer a highly entertaining & informative commentary, which will make you appreciate their hard work all the more. There's a few deleted scenes, trailers & rehearsal footage. Everything on here is cool, especially if you enjoy this film as much as I did. Just go buy it already! - robg.


back to top

Also Visit:
Anchor Bay Entertainment.com