September 29th, 2021 by Jennifer Gentile SDSA

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Young mother-to-be Madison Lake discovers her shocking visions of murders taking place are true. But that’s only the beginning! Annabelle Wallis as Madison. Photo by Ron Batzdorff ©2021 Warner Bros.

Set Decorator Jennifer Gentile SDSA

Production Designer Desma Murphy

New Line/Warner Bros.

When Set Decorator Jennifer Gentile SDSA mentioned how wonderful it was to be able to see a film in the theater again, to get the whole experience of a horror film engulfing you, even when you know the ending because you worked on the film, we asked her to share a few notes with us! 
No worries, though, we’re not about to do spoilers, go see this for yourself!
Karen Burg, Editor
From Set Decorator Jennifer Gentile SDSA...
“When Production Designer Desma Murphy contacted me about doing the film MALIGNANT, the timing was perfect...and the genre is one of my favorites. I’m a huge fan of 1970’s horror, and how it was a reflection of the times, especially for the feminist movement with the girl character now as protagonist.”

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Madison’s Kitchen... Annabelle Wallis as Madison. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures ©2021 Warner Bros.

“I’d heard a lot about Desma throughout the years and welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with her on something. With a theater background, she’s imaginative and detail oriented in her designs, and we had a of fun with the sets. I had a great time with textures and patterns in the main house, along with the lighting, which really gave character to the space.”

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Madison’s Kitchen...Set Decorator Jennifer Gentile SDSA notes, “The way the spaces correlate to each other in the main house was important to the story and the characters. I tried to make connections in with color and values.”

“This was a treat for my first time working in the genre, especially with James Wan Directing! Michael Burgess is an amazing Director of Photography. Everyone was pleasant and appreciative and worked well together as a team.”

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Madison’s house... “Knowing the camera angles in the house, helped influence certain choices in lighting and furniture orientation.”

“I went to see MALIGNANT at an actual theater on opening weekend. An experience that never gets old! I encourage anyone who can to see this and all other films in the theater. In the dark, surrounded with the amplified sounds and huge screen almost putting you inside the story, it’s so great to once again feel the magic of movies and the thrill of a horror film!”

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Madison’s house... “The repetition of the pendulous sconces was a nod to the horror halls of past films, like REPULSION or NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD...the horror story creepy hall thing.” Right: Annabelle Wallis as Madison. Photo by Ron Batzdorff ©2021 Warner Bros.

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Madison’s house... “Wood was used as an accent to break up surfaces in some of the spaces.”

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Madison’s bedroom... “Some details like the dying plant in the corner were intentional with the story. We tried to infuse the spaces with the perception of life in the wallpapers and floral patterns while the actual living things struggle.”

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Madison’s bedroom... “The articulating hand showed up while dressing and seemed quite brilliant on my Buyer’s part. Curious? Go see the movie.”

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Madison’s bedroom... “I used pairs and mirror images of set dressing wherever I could to complement the story.” Inset: Annabelle Wallis as Madison. Photo by Ron Batzdorff ©2021 Warner Bros.

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Police Station...“Thank you Advanced Liquidators!”

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Behind-the-Scenes: Police Station... “Lots of technical aspects to the set like rigged lighting to blow, desks taking explosive hits and stunt work.”

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Behind-the Scenes: Madison’s house... L-R around the table: Maddie Hasson, Annabelle Wallis, Director/Producer James Wan, Director of Photography Michael Burgess, George Young, Michole Briana White. Photo by Matt Kennedy ©2021 Warner Bros.

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Behind-the Scenes: Flashback... “We had a handful of quick one-wall period sets shot for the VHS tapes viewed in the film.”

Editor's note: Jennifer would like to particularly thank SDSA Business members: Warner Bros. Property, Advanced Liquidators, Alpha Companies Motion Picture Rentals and Hollywood Studio Gallery for their invaluable help.

For more MALIGNANT photos, click on SHOW MORE PHOTOS below!