It’s been years since Merle has visited the cabin where he spent much of his childhood. The cabin’s the same as he remembers, but there’s something different about the woods.

Creative team

Writer: Josh Holland
Director: Matt Holland
Producer: Mohammed Saadoun

Filmmaker’s statement

Malignance is a collaboration between my brother Josh and I. We grew up loving all films, but what kids growing up in the ’80s and ’90s didn’t love horror films?

We were at our family cabin sitting on the deck one late, dark night and an animal of some sort rustled by and caught our attention. Josh called out to it and much to our surprise it called back in an eerie belt and then carried on through the woods.

Film talk always being a popular conversation [with us], we started on about ‘cabin in the woods’ style films that haven’t been done yet and by the following weekend Josh had some insane monologues written about a poetic monster that lured you to your death instead of just attacking. We were itching to make something and already had the location so it was easy to get started.

In horror films, there’s always a monster lingering just outside the cabin wanting to animalistic-ly eat the character, while they try desperately to escape. That’s the staple of the genre! Our intentions were to create a monster that makes the character want the monster to eat them. We wanted to the film to twist your perception of reality but at the same time try to ground it.

I was just finishing film school and Josh was just starting in the same program so we recruited our classmates as crew and I used a visual storytelling class to develop the mood and aesthetic of Malignance. Things were coming together when we received a small grant from our local film cooperative and some additional funding enough to pay for the equipment and basic amenities during production.

We returned to the secluded cabin later that fall and the entire crew lived at the cabin without distraction from the rest of the world.

In my opinion, the best way to describe Malignance is an art-house thriller/horror hybrid cabin in the woods film.

About Matt Holland

Matt Holland

Always obsessed with the imagery of motion pictures, Matt Holland got his start making films at a young age with his brother Josh.

While attending film school at the University of Regina he worked in the film and television industry as an editor and on set in the camera and lighting department. After school he began producing and directing commercials, documentaries and short films.

Matt loves to tell a story with pictures and is always trying something new.

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