The Maid, the horror that tried to be.

Introduction

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.

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This was me by the halfway point.

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?

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Help! Help! I’m helpless~

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.

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Oh wow, another ghost.

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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Thanks for reading my rant!

Enjoyed my post? Leave a comment in the comment section below!  ヾ(@⌒▽⌒@)ノ

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11 Replies to “The Maid, the horror that tried to be.”

  1. Wow Shaawn, for the first time ever, I agree with you! It was honestly a dry and boring horror movie and more could have been done to make it a better one. A plus point for the movie was that it was as Singaporean as it could get. It stuck true to the local roots. The exaggerated effects were extremely unnecessary. Loved your point about the “hasty transition into horror”. Such transitions do not give viewers the chance to fully connect with the central character who in this case was Rosa. Perhaps that was why you were unable to sympathise with her. Hmm. All in all, poor movie!

    P.S. we have the same feelings about Postman Pat. Tsk tsk!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. First of all! I love how you invoke a question to the readers if The Maid was an exceptional horror film as compared to the general Singaporean films and immediately diminishing that thought away with a clear no. Moving on, I actually disagree about Rosa making no attempts to unravel the cause of her haunting, like she did chase after to investigate the illogical bursting open of doors. However, I do agree on her unrelatable actions, like there was one scene where she blatantly admitted knowing the crimes that her employers had committed right infront of them, only to attemp to escape afterwards. Lastly, I too agree that the decrepit old house quickly built up the horror ambience without the smooth transition which the film was probably trying to build at the start.

    P.s. I totally dig that sleeping potato(:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like how Sean started his post with a short and sweet introduction of the film, followed by how The Maid (2005) failed to impress him. I like how he managed to break down specifically on which points this film did not do well. I agree on his point that the unnamed mailman is an unnecessary cast member. Initially, when the mailman appeared in the climax, I thought he was there to save Rosa or he will be doing something about it. However, to my disappointment, he did nothing in this film. I personally feel that this film is quite boring towards the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting read! I have to be honest though that I did giggled throughout this post. Well~ in a good way of course, simply because of how well you have actually deconstructed the film together with some slight insinuations. One point that I must agree with was the redundant introduction of characters. It is obvious that majority of the audiences till now have no inkling of why the mailman had to appear that many times. Without a doubt, most transitions of scenes were quite abrupt, making no sense or at the very least making it tough for us to interpret. Without a doubt, it can indeed be a hassle to go through scenes in which us locals are highly familiar with. Anyways! I have to say that this is indeed an awesome post and do keep up the awesome writing! Will certainly be looking forward to your next post!

    Cheers Nicholas

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Heyy Sean, I totally agree with some of your observations about the film. I do think the production team could have done a better job with the postman. I felt he was there as an extra, and only added a bit of suspense at the end he knocked on the door, making us think he is going to rescue Rosa from her ordeal, but did not.

    I also agree that her actions can come across as stupid, bringing down the film’s quality. I rolled my eyes when she told her employers that she knew the crimes that they had committed when she didn’t even have an escape plan.

    On the other hand, I don’t second your thought about Rosa making no attempt to unravel the cause of her haunting. I felt she was always trying to find out what caused the apparitions. For example, we see her repeatedly asking a few people like Wati and Ah Soon who Esther is. I just feel that she isn’t that naïve. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am living for the sass, Sean!! I completely agree that most Singaporean films are pretty cringe-worthy, ESPECIALLY when they attempt to compose songs for the movie *coughahboystomencough*

    But anyway, jokes aside, I agree they could have injected a lot more character into Rosa as she was boring and was pretty much Esther, just with more luck. Also, the film did progress hastily and I, too, failed to feel the sense of security from the supposed ‘well-established order’ in the Teo household and that may be why I was kind of numb throughout the film. However, I have to say the film did do well in creating suspense as to what happened to Esther and why Esther was haunting Rosa!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I honestly don’t know why I was spooked by this movie back when it was first released. Count on young and naive me to believe in the stupidest things, amirite. The Maid is truly the horror movie that tried to be. The mailman was so redundant that I actually forgot about him until you mentioned his existence! Also, I think we, as the viewer, did not empathise with Rosa as much because it seemed like she did not try enough to escape the wraths of the Teo family. While ghost marriage is still a thing here in Singapore, it was more of the Teo couple that freaked me out. How did they manage to burn someone alive and get away with it? And how did they remain strong believers in the afterlife but still sleep in the same house as Esther’s remains???

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg I never grow bored of your post… It interesting in a way you describe it. Yeah indeed it may be a boring horror film, but this film is educational in a way to show the non-believers about the local traditions. Well good observation in noticing the last and most unnecessary cast member would be the unnamed mailman. Lastly I do agree of this quick transition into “horror” in your opinion that was too hasty, failing to lure me into a sense of security. I do feel the same way with this with the rapid fire of cheap jump scares.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Sean,

    Yet again clever use of language in this post. I also liked how you incorporated a lot of “sass” into this post, it was amusing.

    I agree with you, it is a horror film that tried to be. Started off interestingly enough for me personally, but as the film went on, I did feel that it got quite draggy and the “jump scares” were just there for “jump scare” sake. I also agree with you about the redundancy of the postman. Initially, it occured to me that maybe he had a large role in the film, one that would be revealed later on but never have I been more disappointed…

    You mentioned that Rosa made no attempt to unravel the cause of her haunting, but i felt that throughout the film, she was always curious as to why all those supernatural experiences were happening.

    Overall, I feel it was a good review, yet again, loved how you ended it with a meagre 3/10 rating!

    Like

  10. Hey Sean, I thoroughly enjoyed your post! It was hilarious. Very witty and apt use of references. My opinions and thoughts completely align with yours for this film. It was boring, and very uninventive. I was excited to watch a movie that could have been somewhat relatable for me as far as observing superstitions go, but I was left really disappointed. I wanted a true scare and I didn’t experience one at all. I finished the film feeling like I was cheated. For that reason, I, yet again, totally agree with your 3/10 rating for the film. Keep up the great work!

    Like

  11. Hey Sean! It’s my first time on here and I absolutely love how creative your blog looks! I totally agree with you that this film is so corny that is does not warrant a watch. Besides the obvious impending-doom and jump scares, nothing else stood out to me. I second that as a local already residing in Singapore and used to the traditional Chinese customs, I basically learned nothing and presume that this film would be much better received abroad if anything at all – at least it’d educate the foreigners on the differing customs in Asia!

    Like

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