WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Malevolent, streaming now on Netflix.
In Netflix’s Malevolent, fake ghost hunters get more than they bargained for at a haunted orphanage in Scotland, where three girls were murdered decades earlier. When they’re hired to investigate by the former headmistress, Mrs. Green (Celia Imrie), the team realizes — too late — that she’s the killer.
“Fake” psychic Angela (Florence Pugh) discovers she has a very real connection to the dead, and she must save the crew from Mrs. Green, and from her son Herman, who was tried for the murders. That leads to a blood-drenched finale that changes everything for Angela.
It’s Not Really a Happy Ending
As Angela’s teammates attempt to flee the orphanage, they crash the van, and she comes imprisoned with her brother Jackson (Ben Lloyd-Hughes). Herman takes Jackson to another room, while Mrs. Green tortures Angela, only to be interrupted by Elliot (Scott Chambers), Angela’s boyfriend and cameraman.
Although injured in the crash, Elliot nevertheless kills Herman, but is then overpowered by Mrs. Green. Angela asks the ghosts for help, and they scream, distracting a petrified Mrs. Green long enough to allow the psychic Angela to cut free from her ropes and stab her captor to death. With Elliot bleeding out, Angela rushes to find Jackson, only to find him on the road outside the compound.
Shockingly, he has no blood on him, and appears unfazed by their ordeal. He instead smiles and asks his sister whether she’s seen his girlfriend Beth, who died in the automobile accident. As he jogs off, Angela realizes Herman actually killed Jackson in the orphanage, and she had just encountered his ghost.
Angela Embraces Her Sixth Sense
Elliot barely survives, and as we see them later recovering in a hospital, Angela calls her grandfather to reveal what happened to her and her brother. She tells him they both saw ghosts at the orphanage, an ability he concedes they inherited from their mother.
Angela’s mom had checked herself into numerous mental facilities over the years, unable to cope with seeing ghosts; not even believed by her own family, she was eventually driven to suicide. Finally understanding what her mother endured, Angela consoles her grandfather, who blames himself. But as he asks to come see her so she doesn’t feel alone, Angela encounters a shadowy figure, presumably a ghost.
It isn’t a stranger, however, because Angela seems to recognize the specter; the implication is that it’s her mother, dressed as it is in a hospital gown. The obvious conclusion, then, is Angela’s acceptance of her family history and her psychic gift now provides her an opportunity for closure.
Directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, Malevolent stars Florence Pugh, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Scott Chambers, Georgina Bevan, Niall Greigg Fulton and Celia Imrie. It’s available now on Netflix.
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