Dearest Sister Review
by Phillip Wilcox "Our Movie Demon"
If there's any part of the Asian film community that hasn't gotten any attention, especially because of a lack of resources, it's Laos. Of course everyone knows and has seen films based from Korea, Japan, and China, but you never hear about any films coming out of Laos. Well all that is going to change now that director Mattie Do is on the scene! Having gotten her feet wet in the director's chair with her first film Chanthaly, Mattie is here to bring Laos culture to the spotlight through cinema. And I cannot say enough great things about this woman's second film Dearest Sister, which you can now find on Shudder, channel you can download and watch all the horror, thriller, and chiller films you can take - classics and new films! And Dearest Sister is a part of that roster of great films, and justifiably so! The film is about a young woman named Nok, from a village, who travels to Lao capital, Vientiane, to care for her wealthy cousin Ana who is in the process of going blind, but at the same time is able to carry on a connection and communicate with the dead from the afterlife. These spirits of the dead, while communicating with Ana, reveal a series of numbers that are the winning numbers to the lottery. Now, this is a very unique turn of a plot, one that I find like a breath of fresh air. This film is suppose to be in the genre of horror, and Is considered to be a horror picture. However it is an unconventional one in the best way possible. It doesn't follow your typical horror movie tropes and formula. It doesn't cater to what the United States finds scary, like a butt-load of blood, gore, and an endless amount of jump scares.This is a film that is a slow burn but a burn that lasts. It doesn't burn bright and then flicker out half way through like most horror movies that are made out there. The horror comes through from the drama, the arc these characters take and the morality of what is happening to them as they go through changes once money is introduced into their lives. Especially the character of Nok. She goes through a huge transformation due to using those winning lottery numbers. I myself saw it as a morality tale told through a supernatural horror story. It is a story that, for me, sent chills through out my being. And that doesn't happen very often to me, so when it does, I relish in it. I savor every moment in every scene, and I am so glad I did watching this picture.The film takes its time but isn't overly dragged out. The pacing in editing was exactly where it needed to be. The performances were solid and natural. Nothing about them felt forced, and in fact, I sincerely hope to see more films with these actors! More so, I hope to see more Laos based films, specifically from Mattie Do, she brings forth a different and fresh look at other cultural beliefs and stories that I myself believe we all crave deep down! She's a filmmaker with a strong vision - One that is to be respected and sought after to be seen in more films! Allow this film to take you by the hand and be lead to witness a dark tale about human drama and horror.