Forget Midsommar, This Florence Pugh Horror on Netflix is a Hidden Gem

Forget Midsommar, This Florence Pugh Horror on Netflix is a Hidden Gem
Image credit: A24

It's less than an hour and a half of heart-pounding horror.


  • Florence Pugh is now a global star.
  • She starred in this movie when she was still up-and-coming.
  • Rotten Tomatoes may not rate it, but it's one for true horror fans.

Florence Pugh is now well established on the movie scene and can be described as a versatile actress. From Little Women to Black Widow, Oppenheimer and Dune: Part 2, she already has a diverse filmography behind her.

Ask movie fans to name a horror movie she was in and most will say Midsommar. Pugh excelled as the still-grieving Dani in Ari Aster's 2019 film, in which her character finds herself drawn into a cult.

But it wasn't her first taste of the genre. Back in 2018, she starred alongside Celia Imrie and Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Sanditon) in the lesser-known horror film Malevolent.

What's Malevolent about?

Set in 1980s Scotland, Malevolent follows Angela (Pugh) and her brother Jackson (Lloyd-Hughes) as a pair of con artists. Claiming that Angela has inherited their late mother's alleged gift for seeing the dead, the pair advertise ghost-hunting services.

When they're called to a large house in the Scottish countryside, Angela is reluctant. But with debts to loan sharks, Jackson convinces her to go. After some research, Angela discovers that the owner of the house, Mrs. Greene (Imrie), had three foster daughters, all of whom are dead. They were found in the house with their mouths sewn shut and Mrs. Greene's son, Herman, is believed to be responsible.

Once in the house, Angela and Jackson begin to experience strange occurrences. It seems that they have indeed inherited their mother's gift. And Mrs. Greene may not be what she seems.

It's up to Angela to use her ability to find out the truth about what really happened in that house and make sure she, her brother and their camera crew get out alive.

Don't let its Rotten Tomatoes score put you off

Malevolent is a short Netflix original, clocking in at just 88 minutes. Some elements of the setting and plot can feel a bit stale, and it's not hard to see why critics gave it an RT score of just 58%.

But don't let that put you off. You only have to look at the talents of the three actors mentioned above to know that they're bound to bring something new to what, at first glance, might seem like a bit of a trope.

This is a movie that is based on solid, if not innovative, aspects of the horror genre, but that lives and breathes through the quality of the acting. There's also a pretty neat twist at the end that's worth waiting for.

The idea of the con artists who find out that they actually have the abilities they thought they only pretended to have, offers a new and interesting angle. Even if it doesn't elevate the movie too much, it at least adds a touch of originality to the premise.

Forget the plot holes and focus on the action

If you want to look into why the critics didn't like it much, you'll see that they weren't fans of the overused horror elements and a few plot holes that stand out.

Now, if you want to dissect the story and over-analyze the film in the same way, be my guest. But that will take away from what it's all about. This movie was never meant to be a thought-provoking new take on the genre.

It was meant to deliver intrigue, suspense, and heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat moments. And it does just that. So regardless of what you may have read or heard about it, wait until the sun goes down, put Malevolent on and prepare to experience everything you love about horror.