A Filipino maid comes to Singapore to find work but finds the supernatural instead. Ghostly apparitions haunt her every waking hour as she learns the shocking truth of her newly found employers.
Singaporean films have often come off to me as cheesy, neutered and frankly boring. Would The Maid be the one to change my opinion? Sadly, no. The typical tropes of Singaporean films were ever present, making the 93 minutes a slow grueling process. To prove that I am not trying to be contrarian, I shall start to dismantle this abomination of a movie.
First, I shall start with their uninspired cast. Rosa is just a typical damsel in the distress. Imagine a blonde girl escaping an axe-murderer, all the while running away screaming in terror. In a nutshell, that is the entirety of Rosa’s character. She makes no attempt to unravel the cause for her haunting, squeaking from scene to scene only to scream again. While I understand that her role was for the audience projection, her actions were unrelatable to me. I mean who in god’s name would scream to potential murderers that you found out their plot?
Next up we have the Teo family, consisting of Mr and Mrs Teo and their mentally disabled son. While the main roles of Mr Teo and his son aren’t particularly apparent till the later part of the film, Mrs Teo seemed to be the resident educator Singaporean films seem to enjoy so much. Each time Rosa accidentally offends spirits, she goes into a tirade about how it is unacceptable. One would assume that this was to get those unfamiliar with the traditions to get up to speed. However as a long time resident of Singapore, these scenes were a hassle to get through.
The last and most unnecessary cast member would be the unnamed mailman. He swoops in to assist the protagonist in one scene before disappearing again. He later appears in the climax only to add nothing to the table. Truly I have no idea why he even exists. Because if it was for suspense it ain’t working girlfriend.
An important factor of a successful horror film would be its structure. While the friendly welcome of the family did attempt to form a semblance of social order, this was quickly shattered. The decrepit old house and eerily chants in the night quickly washed that aside as Rosa begun her first day. This quick transition into “horror” in my opinion was too hasty, failing to lure me into a sense of security. Supplement this with the rapid fire of cheap jump scares, the novelty soon ran dry. The lack of suspense and absurdly loud effects soon made me immune to the following scares.
Overall the film did nothing to set itself apart from others in the genre, offering a corny generic film which is average at best. If you have an hour plus to spare I suggest you go watch paint dry instead. 3/10.
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