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The Housemaid

Directed by Derek Nguyen

Cinema Asia / Vietnam / 2016 / Narrative / 105 mins / Vietnamese with English subtitles


A young woman knocks on the giant doors of a colonial plantation in the distant woods of French Indochina, a young woman. Linh is here for sanctuary from the rain and a job that she soon discovers may be cursed. Buried in the forests around the manor are the bodies of laborers who didn’t survive their tenures under the handsome Captain Sebastian Laurent and the property’s ominous overseer, Mrs. Han. Neither the signs of sadism nor the ghastly nightmares that awaken her seem to scare Linh away though, for behind the watchful eyes of Mrs. Han are the sensitive, lustful ones of Laurent, promising Linh a life of passion.

A funhouse full of haunts — blood dripping from trees, outlines of a mysterious woman emerging from a thick fog — THE HOUSEMAID is a high-pitched screech of a horror romance, unspeakable attraction and gothic stylings moaning in a terror-filled compound full of unmarked graves. Joining fellow Vietnamese American horror filmmakers Victor Vu and Ham Tran, first-time director Derek Nguyen lunges into the ghost film with visual bombast, the checkout line eroticism of a bodice ripper, and a cheeky spin on colonial history that bleeds both romanticism and paranoia.

— Brian Hu

Co-presented by: Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, Zombie Popcorn


Writer: Derek Nguyen
Producers: Timothy Linh Bui, Ha Quynh Vu
Cinematographer: Sam Chase
Editor: Stephane Gauger
Cast: Kate Nhung, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Svitlana Kovalenko, Rosie Fellner