Malignant, James Wan’s game-changing horror film, is causing quite the stir among genre fans.
Since the film hit theaters, viewers have been mired in conversation about the film’s stunning third act. Conversations about the jail scene, in particular, are taking over social media, with numerous horror fans chiming in with commentary, takeaways, and plenty of memes.
In case it wasn’t clear already, consider this your official spoiler alert for the film’s big twist, and major climactic scenes.
The general premise of Malignant seems like classic horror. Madison, a quiet woman, begins to experience horrifying visions. Gradually, she comes to realize that these dreams are actually real, as multiple imaginations of grisly murders eventually turn out to be real. This leads Madison, who gradually works toward discovering the murderer’s identity, to attempt a collaboration with the police to track down the killer.
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While Madison sits in a jail cell in the film’s third act, everything finally comes to a head. It is revealed that Gabriel, the violent killer, is actually Madison’s parasitic twin. Wan takes some liberties with this legitimate medical phenomenon, allowing Gabriel to maintain a (murderous) personality and act autonomously using Madison’s body. Due to his original position on Madison’s back, however, Gabriel operates her body backward, which makes for a genuinely strange—and sometimes hilarious—movie villain.
The humor and horror of this reveal is perfectly encapsulated in the prison scene. After attempting to work with the authorities, Madison finds herself in an all-female lock up. Antagonized by some of her cellmates, Gabriel awakens and proceeds to go on a rampage that will go down in horror movie history.
This scene is the standout moment from the film among viewers, many of whom have taken to social media to share their amusement, surprise, and utter bafflement at the film’s big twist. Numerous fans proclaimed that “the jail cell scene in Malignant absolutely rips,” while others were too stunned to classify the scene as anything more than “wild asf.”
Reaction memes primarily focused on the overwhelming stupefaction many viewers felt as the scene unfolded.
Other viewers, who couldn’t help but find the scene accidentally hilarious, poked fun at the reaction of Madison’s fellow inmates.
Horror fans are victoriously proclaiming the scene—and ultimately the film itself—to be “legendary.”
Another fan dubbed it the “strangest but most enjoyable horror film I’ve seen in a very long time.”
The breakout popularity of the jail cell scene may not have been intentional, but it is certainly doing good for Malignant. Conversations online are dominated by the unexpected moment, spurring far more interest in the film than it may have gotten without it. Now pardon me while I go watch the entire film again, just to watch Gabriel tear his way through that jail cell.