Many horror filmmakers dream of facilitating that moment…
The moment the audience’s collective jaw hits the floor. Audible shrieks and nervous laughter invade the screening as you hear viewers begin to break into a chorus of “what?” “huh?” and “no way”.
A sweet symphony and one that Malignant undoubtedly delivers.
To say that the latest movie from James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious) is a wild ride would be an understatement. It really wouldn’t prepare you for the twisted, devilish spectacle you’re about to see.
Blending sub-genres from Giallo to body-horror, the film feels like a love letter to the genre that the Australian filmmaker has successfully dominated since 2004’s Saw. It is helped by a number of elements, but especially its filming location.
So, where was Malignant filmed?
Where was Malignant filmed?
You may think that Malignant was filmed in Seattle, a city on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest.
However, it’s not. Although the film is set there, it was actually filmed in Los Angeles, California and production began back in late September 2019, while shooting wrapped in early December of that year.
As you’ll know, LA is an incredibly popular location for filmmakers, offering many incentives which include production neighbourhoods. As much of the movie takes place within interiors, they were easily able to create the illusion that we were watching events play out in Seattle.
Castalkie notes that much of the shoot took place inside studios.
A desire for Giallo
Those who have seen the movie and are familiar with Giallo films from the likes of Dario Argento will see a clear influence on Malignant.
In fact, you could argue that the protagonist’s house almost feels like a character in itself, and the way we navigate it through flowing camerawork – especially during overhead scenes – feels reminiscent of something like Tenebrae.
As James Wan suggests in his interview with Bloody Disgusting, this was surely no coincidence:
“I would say that when I reference Argento, I don’t necessarily reference his classics like Deep Red or Suspiria. I would reference more like Trauma, Phenomena, Tenebrae, some of these later ones just because they’ve got more and more out there, if you will, for lack of better description. And I felt like that’s the spirit of this.”
He adds: “I’m such a big Giallo fan… I’ve always harbored this desire to make a Giallo movie, but do it my way; my version of Giallo. So, it’s not fully the traditional classical Giallo. It had certain aesthetical things that I bring from it.
“It still has the umbrella idea of a woman dealing with the trauma of what happened to her… But then I take it in my own direction.”
Films to leave you sleepless in Seattle
Despite the crew choosing not to film Malignant in Seattle, there have been plenty of scary films over the years that have been filmed there.
So, to show some love, we figured that we’d highlight a handful:
- The Changeling (1980)
- Fear (1996)
- The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992)
- The Night Strangler (1973)
- The Ring (2002)
- Rose Red (2002)
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
- The Vanishing (1993)
Malignant is now in cinemas and on HBO Max.