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"It's time to cut out the cancer!".
~ Gabriel's most famous quote

Gabriel is the main antagonist of James Wan's 2021 supernatural slasher film Malignant.

He was portrayed by Marina Mazepa and voiced by Ray Chase. While possessing Madison Mitchell, he was portrayed by Annabelle Wallis and McKenna Grace.

Biography

Early life

Gabriel was born to Serena May, but he was a parasitic twin that shared a brain with Emily along with developed arms. Due to their appearance, Serena gave the children over to the hands of the Simion Research Hospital. Through some unknown means, Gabriel developed supernatural abilities such as control over electricity. However, he was also violent and antisocial. This ultimately forced Dr. Florence Weaver, John Gregory, and Victor Fields to perform a surgery to remove Gabriel from his sister.

Gabriel massacres several faculty members before being reprimanded and the operation was initiated. While they were able to remove most of Gabriel's body from Emily, whatever was left of him was locked away in the back of her head. After getting adopted by Jeanne, Emily was told that Gabriel was her imaginary friend anytime she would speak with him telepathically.

Gabriel, still determined to keep control over his host, tries to telepathically force Emily (now renamed Madison) to commit vile acts such as killing Sydney when she was still in her mother's womb, but she is able to restrain herself from performing the deed. From there, Gabriel became dormant and forgotten.

Twenty-Eight Years Later

Years later, after suffering two years of miscarriages, Madison gets into a fight with her husband Derek leading to him pushing her into the wall inadvertently awakening Gabriel due to the impact. While Madison locks herself in her bedroom and sleeps, Derek is brutally murdered by Gabriel, and she discovers his body the next day after having a vision of someone breaking into her house to murder Derek. She was then attacked by the assailant.

Regaining consciousness in the hospital, Sydney informs her adopted sister that her baby did not survive the attack. Meanwhile, Gabriel abducts a woman when she was hosting the Seattle Underground Tour and imprisons her in some dark place.

More strange murders happen with Madison receiving vivid visions of them: Dr. Florence Weaver is stabbed multiple times by the sharpened blade of a broken award; Gabriel then savagely kills Fields when he was sleeping; and Gregory is found by police detectives Kekoa Shaw and Regina Moss when Madison explains her psychic link to the killer.

It is revealed that the woman Gabriel kidnapped was Serena, and that she was actually trapped in Madison's attic. As such, Madison is incriminated for the string of murders and is taken to the police department. Madison is placed in a women's holding cell and brutally beaten by several of the inmates, which inadvertently triggers Gabriel. Gabriel massacres all the women inside, escapes from the cell and kills several police officers.

After Sydney returns from confronting Jeanne about Madison's connection to Gabriel, she heads over to the hospital realizing that Gabriel was going to kill Serena next. Reaching the hospital, Gabriel throws a patient's bed at Sydney, trapping her under it. It is also revealed that Gabriel was the reason for the miscarriages Madison suffered: he fed off the fetuses to replenish himself until he was strong enough to break out. As he was preparing to finally kill Sydney, Serena tries to convince him that she truly did love him and that she was wrong to give him away. He seemed to consider it for a brief moment before Kekoa comes in to shoot him. Enraged, Gabriel shoots Sydney in the head and then smothers Serena to death by pinching her nose.

However, it then turns out that Madison had learned how to control her mind, now regaining control of her body. Gabriel threatens her saying that he would return someday to which she tells him that she will be ready for him and locks him away in a subconscious jail cell.

Powers and Abilities

Powers:

Shared Physiology: Gabriel is an extreme teratoma growing out of the back of Madison's brain. Since they literally share the same brain, Madison and Gabriel can manipulate each others vision and hearing. Sharing the same brain also allows Gabriel to highjack Madison's body and use it for himself. Since Gabriel was using Madison's body to commit his crimes, Madison and Gabriel posses all the same powers.

  • Electrokinesis: Gabriel can manipulate electrical energy. He is able to emit an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that is powerful enough to blow light bulbs, destroy electronic locks and even quicken a pacemaker to the point that it overheats and explodes a man's heart and chest. Since Gabriel has no vocal cords, he speaks through phones and radios by broadcasting his thoughts as radio waves (which are a type of electromagnetic radiation).
  • Super Strength: Gabriel is incredibly strong despite Madison's petite build. He can kick through brick walls, cause compound fractures with a swipe, and ripped clean though a woman's torso with his bare hands. Even as a child, Gabriel was able to kill several adults through brute strength alone.
  • Agility: Gabriel can dislocate every bone in Madison's body, giving him extreme flexibility and agility. Gabriel is easily able to scale walls, dodge a room full of gunfire and take on several opponents at once. Since Gabriel grows out of the back of Madison's head he often moves backwards, and is agile enough to maneuver through a room full of debris and engage in combat while doing so.
  • Accelerated Healing: The most consistent example of Gabriel and Madison’s healing factor is the emergence of Gabriel himself, who causes the entire back half of Madison’s skull to split open when he takes over her body. Upon Gabriel’s withdrawal back into her cranium, the severe wound heals to the point that it is unnoticeable, with residual bleeding and headaches being merely short-lived side effects, and leaving Madison completely capable of doing everyday activities unaffected. Madison also took an onslaught of beatings from the female prisoners, yet Gabriel is able to easily kill them and everyone in the precinct moments later.

Abilities:

  • Expert Combatant: Gabriel is a skilled combatant, able to take on a precinct full of armed police officers with nothing but a blade.

Victims

  • 3 Staff members of the Simion Research Hospital | Killed off-screen. Bodies discovered by Dr. Weaver.
  • 4. Derek | Neck brutally snapped off-screen. Body found by Detective Shaw and Moss.
  • 5. Dr. Florence Weaver | Stabbed in the head with sharp trophy.
  • 6. Dr. Victor Fields | Stabbed in the throat and head with modified sharp trophy.
  • 7. Dr. John Gregory | Stabbed to death with modified sharp trophy off-screen. Body discovered in bathtub by Detective Shaw.
  • 15 Female inmates | Mutilated in various ways with sheer force.
  • 22. Prison cell guard | Beaten to death with cell bars.
  • 24 Seattle Police Department officers and staff members | Fatally stabbed/mutilated with modified sharp-trophy in various ways.

Trivia

  • Madison and Gabriel's condition and relationship shares many similarities with the urban legend of Edward Mordake. Edward Mordake was supposedly a man who was born with two faces, who secluded himself due to his deformity.
    • Both Madison and Edward had a second face growing from the back of their head that would try and compel them to do evil acts.
    • Both Madison and Edward refer to their second face's as the opposite gender of themselves. Madison calls Gabriel a "he" while Edward called his other face a "she".
    • Edward begged doctors to remove his second face, but they refused because the operation would most likely prove fatal. This mirrors how Madison's doctors didn't completely removed Gabriel do to the likelihood it would result in Madison's death or severe brain damage.
  • When asked about Gabriel's electrokinesis and Madison's enhanced strength, co-writer and actress Ingrid Bisu reveled that she views Gabriel as an "awful anomaly" who is "almost like a supernatural being", and that Madison was "capable of all things; she had the strength, she just never realized it. She's a special being who was born in a special way. She's not just a regular person like everybody else."[1]
  • The title of the movie is a double meaning. Malignant means "malevolent", but when a tumor becomes malignant that means the cancerous cells can spread throughout the body and be fatal. Both definitions refer to Gabriel, who is evil and often called a cancer by doctors.
  • The creation of Gabriel was inspired by the real-world medical phenomena of teratoma tumors and parasitic twins, and he is called both in the film. While the film accurately describes both conditions, teratoma's and parasitic twins are largely recognized as being two separate medical diagnoses with different causes pertaining to their creation and development.
    • There is an overlap however, in the incredibly rare condition dubbed fetus-in-fetu, Latin for "fetus in a fetus" and is recognized as a type of parasitic twin when the underdeveloped twin is completely enclosed in the body of the developed twin. Some researchers hypothesis fetus-in-fetu to be a mature type of teratoma, and the two conditions are so similar in appearance that fetus-in-fetu is often misdiagnosed as a teratoma tumor, since teratoma's are far more likely to occur.
    • However, Gabriel is not a fetus-in-fetu, being an external mass with developed limbs and facial features growing on Maddie, rendering him with more similarities to a craniopagus parasiticus (another type of parasitic twin). Although post-surgery, he does possess fetus-in-fetu characteristics, spending most of his time enclosed in Maddie's cranium, rendering him unable to be seen externally.
    • Both teratoma's and fetus-in-fetu can be malignant growths.
  • Gabriel's main weapon, his golden dagger, has an ironic twist to it. Forged from a trophy belonging to Dr. Weaver, the trophy was originally adorned with and upside-down Caduceus. In Greek Mythology, the Caduceus is the staff of Hermes and a symbol of healing in modern medical fields. Gabriel in tern, takes the medical symbol for healing and turns it into a weapon, perverting the symbol and giving his weapon a sense of irony.

External Links

  • https://screenrant.com/malignant-movie-ingrid-bisu-story-interview/
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