I watched this webseries not knowing it was one. I was just browsing horror films on Amazon when I came across Malice and it called to me. So I watched it and found it lackluster. It felt disjointed and thrown together in places. But after learning Malice started as a webseries and the film I watched was just the first season put together to make a feature-length film, I have to say I like much more now. There’s a lot I can forgive for a B-Movie, I can forgive more for a webseries.
After the death of her grandmother, Alice Turner (Brittany Martz) along with the rest of her family comprised of her mother Jesse (Leanna Chamish), her father, Nate (Mark Hyde) and older sister Abby (Rebekkah Johnson), move into their grandmother’s old house. Once they move in strange things start happening, with Alice seeing a strange Ghost Kid (Samuel Garman) moving around the grounds. This is coupled with Jesse’s disappearance after she falls off the wagon and starts drinking again. After not being picked up at school, Alice and Abby walk home, hitching a ride from Jed Spry (Matt Gulbranson). Who knew Jesse when they were children. When the girls get home, they find their father in the back yard drinking and practice shooting. He has the girls practice as well, telling them that they will need to look out for one another. When Alice goes inside she notice spots on the wall where writing has been wiped away. The next day Alice and Abby notice that like their mother, Nate has also gone missing. Abby takes this news better than Alice, deciding to throw a party in their parent’s absence. Which doesn’t go so well when the dead start to rise…
The acting is pretty solid given the scope of the project, which is limited as most webseries have limited budgets. But the gamut runs mostly from really bad to slightly passable. With Brittany Martz easily being my favorite in the film/series. While Mark Hyde feels stiff and delivers lines like there are cue cards just out of frame. Which are traits shared by Matt Gulbranson, who’s just as stiff in his performance and delivers his lines just as awkwardly.
The special effects are really good… given that it’s a webseries and noticeably improves as the film goes on. Though the blatant green screen effects don’t improve as much and stay appropriately cheesy. The best effect is most certainly the end monster, which was fairly well done. Even by B-Movie standards.
Though this film/series does have some major issues. Mostly how disjointed parts feel, mostly when it cuts to the characters being in roman… ish armor. The reaction by the police force, and the general weakness of the side characters being the other ones. Mostly it’s the weird flashback roman scenes as the feel very out-of-place.
Final thoughts, for what it is I really like it. Enough that I plan on watching the second season soon, but not so good that I’ll revisit the this one. At a hundred and ten minutes long, Malice does a good job delivering a narrative and does have some creepy moments. You can tell that Malice is a labor of love for someone, and I hope they keep doing what they love. 6/10