Monday, October 11, 2010

The Maid (2005)

At face value, THE MAID appears to be another knock-off of the popular Asian ghost films that controlled the early 2000's. Thankfully, it has much more to offer in its unique approach and interesting characters. Rosa is a young Filipino girl that is hired as a maid to an elderly couple in Singapore. Rosa arrives as the seventh lunar month begins in China, a month filled with superstition when the gates of hell open and vengeful spirits are free to roam the Earth. While cleaning, Rosa accidentally disturbs one of the alters used to appease the spirits, opening a door that allows her to see into the spirit world, but one that also allows the spirits access to her. Now, she must find out what it is the ghosts desire before it is too late! THE MAID breaks away from conventional stereotypes by deeply rooting the story in Chinese myth and culture. Rather than being cursed for some violent crime, Rosa incurs the spirits wrath by mistake due to her own naivety. Alessandra de Rossi is very good in the role, bringing with her a gentle sincerity and fright that feels authentic. Unfortunately, the THE MAID traps itself is in the cheap jump scares that are found all throughout the picture. This is where a much subtler score along the same lines of THE EYE would have tremendously saved the film, but instead, it reduces the effectiveness of its tenser moments with a loud shriek and the fleeting image of a pale-faced ghost. THE MAID is otherwise a decent entry in the genre, and one that will appeal to fans of both JU-ON and the vastly underrated STIR OF ECHOES.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked THE MAID, check out:
THE SIXTH SENSE, STIR OF ECHOES, THE ECHO.

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