The MAID | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

The MAID

The Chinese 7th month is a time when the gates of Hell open. Often known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, it is a time where the spirits of the dead wander around. Set in Singapore, a Filipino maid arrives for work on the first day and all hell breaks loose. Anticipate a colourful and creepy spookfest replete with Teochew opera, freaked-out Filipino maids and haunting 7th month vibes.

Language: Na
Subtitle: NA
Classification: U
Release Date: 18 Aug 2005
Genre: Horror
Running Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN SCREEN CINEMAS
Cast:
Director: Kelvin Tong
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Nurliana Kamaruddin

Writer Ratings:
Overall:
Cast: NA
Plot: NA
Effects: NA
Cinematography: NA

Watch this if you liked: NA

There's no stopping the influx of Asian horror is there? Japanese, Korean, Thai, Filipino and now, even Singapore is jumping into the bandwagon with a movie that promises to scare you silly. First question of the day would most certainly be, "is this movie worth a look?" Surprisingly, I came out of the cinema with a "yes".

This movie isn't spectacularly scary like "Ringu" nor is it a scream-fest like "Shutter", but perhaps, what makes "The Maid" work is the very familiar premise that it plays with and the characters on screen who can very likely be your next door neighbour. The fact that you can relate to the way the characters talk and interact with one another actually added a plus to making this movie freaky. Consider this, you don't spend so much time reading the subtitles that you get the full effect of each scene.

Alessandra De Rossi plays Rosa, a Filipino maid who has just been hired by an old Singaporean couple. It is the start of the Chinese seventh month, the month when the gates of hell opens and spirits roam the earth, also known as The Hungry Ghost Festival. Initially, things went well for Rosa. Her employers are nice and their mentally retarded son adores her. That is, until Rosa breaks some taboos of the month. Then, she begins to hear and see things that scare her out of her wits.

Like any horror movie, the lead actress normally carries the weight of the story on her shoulder, likewise for Alessandra De Rossi. Playing a Filipino maid living in a foreign country, this award-winning actress will show you exactly why she's such a screen darling back in the Philippines. She's helplessly scared, but stupidly courageous at the same time. Add that to working in an environment unfamiliar to her, and Rosa is the perfect Asian horror movie heroine.

"The Maid" was also fascinating in the sense that it played with local beliefs and superstitions that we might have had dispensed to us one time or another. Of course, though this movie pushes superstitious beliefs to the extreme (almost as though the whole of Singapore quakes in fear when the Hungry Ghost Festival comes around), it's still an interesting premise to explore. The story also started off rather slow, picking up only a bit later in the movie with a rather unexpected twist.

Repeating what I say in almost every review of any Asian horror movie - there is nothing new here either. Long-haired maiden, freaky little kids, big-eyed heroine, same ol' same old. Still, hey, what works, works, and "The Maid" roped in all the basic necessities of the formula. The tight camera angles, the gut twisting background music, the ghost suddenly skimming pass the scene - it's all here.

It's a case of been there, seen that - but if you like the same formula, then you should give this one a go. Plus, the storyline isn't bad.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008

   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P12 - Parental guidance required for audiences under the age of 12.
13 - For audiences aged 13 years old and above.
16 - For audiences aged 16 years old and above.
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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