The cult section of the literary world

World Horror Cinema: Singapore

By Sam Reeve

ghost_childTitle: Ghost Child

Year: 2013

Language: Mandarin

My rating: 6/10

I’m kind of a sucker for ghost movies, and Ghost Child met my minimal requirements by having at least one character I could root for and enough creepy shit that it felt like a true horror movie…and then came the ending, which made up for any shortfalls. [SPOILER ALERT] There was a god damn fetus ghost-monster-thing. Creepy as shit. Had a weird pig nose and everything. Terrible CGI, but still. That thing will haunt my dreams.

Ghost Child is based on the South-East Asian myth of the toyol, a mischievous ghost that’s conjured up using a fetus and black magic. They’re typically used by the owner to gain wealth, and can be notoriously difficult to get rid of. Choon meets Na, a mysterious Indonesian woman with a dark secret, when he saves her from some thugs. He brings her back to Singapore to his estranged mother and teenage daughter, but weird things start happening upon his arrival. Choon’s mom gets the shit haunted out of her most of the film, but  Choon and his daughter Kim, things get weird at a slower rate. A loner at school who receives low grades, Kim suddenly aces a test and beats the swimming captain in a race. Meanwhile, her father seems to have good fortune as well, and suddenly becomes rich when his asshole boss has an “accident”.

ghost child1

But as soon as things seem to be taking a turn for the better (except for the old lady, who got the shit-end of the haunting stick), everything goes terribly and that ghostly fetus decides it wants more blood! Can Na call it off and save them? You’ll just have to find out…

Although it wasn’t the most terrifying thing I’ve seen, Ghost Child was a satisfying movie and easy to digest. The ghost fucking over Kim’s antagonists at school felt particularly good going down, but of course until the toyol explanation at the end, it was fairly confusing when she started getting haunted, too. Overall, not a waste of time, and the movie closes with some creepy implications.

Here’s a great trailer that’ll give you a good idea of what you’re in for, and below that is the full movie on Youtube with simultaneous English subtitles and some other language I can’t distinguish. Enjoy!

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