A maid arrives in the Phillipines to uncover twisted family secrets during the Chinese lunar seventh month.
Dealing with notions of class and loyalty, but essentially a study in self-destructive loneliness, Sebastián Silva’s second feature is dominated by Catalina Saavedra’s superb performance. Yet, with the ensemble being as superb as Sergio Armstrong’s fluent handheld camerawork (which stealthily confines the characters in their Santiago townhouse), Silva keeps a lid on the melodramatics, even as Saavedra’s passive-aggressive territoriality becomes increasingly sinister. Her showdowns with the three assistants brought in to lighten her workload are disconcertingly hilarious. But Silva’s compassionate depiction allows Saavedra to explore the emotions she has suppressed over 23 years in order to serve Claudia Celedón’s affectionate, but unappreciative, family. Tense, touching and authentic, this is impeccable and compelling.
A somewhat unique Asian horror film that is satisfying and complete. Repetitive regarding the Chinese superstition, but fully substantiated with great drama.