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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Foreign > Singapore > The Maid (2005/Tartan/DTS)

The Maid (2005/Tartan/DTS)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Film: C+



Films have been shot in Singapore, including some exciting scenes from the recent Mission: Impossible III, but like the James Bond films, the visiting of exotic locales in big Spy action productions gets made out to be an exciting exotic locale no matter the reality.  In comparison, Kelvin Tong’s The Maid (2005) makes the city look good without glamorizing it, and then tears slowly at the image as the Horror seeps in.


The film is not the usual Horror formula film, though it is still part of the tired cycle of “the demonic other” film.  However, for a change, it is also a character study of the protagonist (Alessandra de Rossi as Rosa) that is more than just one “Boo!” moment after another.  Not that those work, but that is another issue.


She is actually from the Philippines, coming to the city to take up the title occupation, but is naïve to possible supernatural evil going on there.  I don’t know if this is suddenly surfacing since China took over from Great Britain, but that could be implied.  What is good is that despite not being a great film, it is far superior to other films in the cycle by simply having more character and story development.


It should also be added that this is the 89 minutes long cut and is reported to be as long as 93 minutes.  Whether that footage made a big difference, we cannot tell, but if you like this kind of Asian Horror film, this is as must of a must see as any in the cycle.


The letterboxed 1.66 X 1 image has good color and sometimes even good depth, which is all the more a shame it was not anamorphically enhanced.  Director of Photography Lucas Jodogne takes advantage of Singapore like we have not seen it before and that raises the quality of the film up a good bit.  The bilingual sound is here in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1, with the DTS having a slight edge, with articulate sound, but also moments of echo-filled location audio and limited surrounds.  If this had used all 5.1 channels, this would have been amazing.  Extras include the original trailer and a making of featurette.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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