The Housemaid | Ghostly Vietnamese melodrama offers romance, revenge and a spot of history
Her Arrival Awakes the Wrath of Spirits.
In war-torn 1953 French colonial Vietnam, a young orphaned woman (Kate Nhung) finds work as a housemaid in a fading rubber plantation and begins an illicit liaison with its French owner, army captain Sebastien (Jean-Michel Richaud). However, his dead wife, who drowned herself in a lake after killing their infant son in a fit of depression and loneliness, reputedly haunts the place.
A big hit in its native Vietnam, The Housemaid (Cô Haû Gaí) glides between creepy supernatural horror, steamy Gothic melodrama and anti-colonial revenge thriller, but its disparate elements and moods never really gel.
Certificate 15. Runtime 105 mis. Director Derek Nguyen
The Housemaid available on Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) from Eureka.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
By Grace Morris