Let’s break down the mind-bending, horrifying conclusion to James Wan’s Malignant.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Malignant, currently in theaters and on HBO Max.
As James Wan’s Malignant progresses, audiences discover Maddie (Annabelle Wallis) isn’t actually being haunted by a supernatural force. Her ability to witness murders as they occur is due to her parasitic twin. Her brother, Gabriel, was thought to have been extracted after a surgery in 1993. However, years later, he’s found a way to come to life, possessing Maddie and waging war against those that tried to kill him. It leads to a mind-bending, horrifying finale where Sydney (Maddie Hasson), whose family adopted a young Maddie, tries to help break Gabriel’s grip.
Gabriel’s Final Mission
Gabriel takes over Maddie’s mind in a Seattle police station, with his skull emerging from Maddie’s. His body distorts to allow the back of her body to become his front. Then, Gabriel pilots it to kill a bunch of inmates in a cell. After he breaks into the evidence room, he gathers his coat and weapon before a brutal assault that results in him killing the entire precinct.
Gabriel heads to the hospital right after for the final part of his vendetta. He’s already slaughtered all the medical staff who did the surgery on him as he hated them for experimenting and removing him like a tumor at the Simion Research Hospital. This leaves him one more target: a comatose Jane Doe who turns out to be Serena, Maddie and Gabriel’s birth mom, who gave them up at 15.
The Gory Hospital Brawl
Gabriel continues his rampage at the hospital, killing the guard and Detective Shaw (George Young). Sydney’s present to stop Gabriel from murdering Serena as she knows Maddie will see all this in her mindscape, helplessly looking at something that will traumatize her for life.
Unfortunately, Gabriel beats Sydney down out of jealousy for the bond she has with Maddie before taking the cop’s gun to her head. He blows Sydney’s brain out before suffocating Serena. His main aim was to show the mother who discarded them how her actions created a monster. And thus, Gabriel thinks he achieves his goal as she flatlines, only for a massive twist to ensue as the walls around him start to disintegrate.
Maddie Makes Her Move
It turns out this was all an illusion as the room turns into a prison. Gabriel’s in disbelief, but Maddie shows up in this void, indicating she figured out how to control their shared mind. Right when he was about to shoot Sydney, she tricked him into thinking he pulled the trigger when really, their body’s frozen stiff. The gunshot and him stifling Serena were all fabricated in this mental plane, leaving Gabriel pissed.
He tries to rush her, but he’s frozen too. Maddie tells him that he will be trapped in there forever for his sins, leaving him locked up and screaming. In the real world, the tumor goes back into her skull, which means Maddie’s officially back. She pulls the bed off Sydney, harnessing the super-strength inside now that the shadowy twin has been incarcerated.
Serena’s still alive, so Maddie has a second chance with her when she wakes. But most importantly, she’s got Sydney there with her. Maddie comforts her, relaying how important she is and ultimately, despite not being blood, they’re family. Oddly enough, the electricity buzzes around the room, which signifies that Gabriel’s lingering and wants out.
Directed by James Wan, Malignant is currently in theaters and on HBO Max.
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How James Wan’s Malignant Ends