Three bites of Malaysian horror

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — A good storyteller and a ghost story are a match as satisfying as wine and cheese, coffee and chocolate, pulut and rendang. So how can you not be excited when film auteur James Lee brings together three young promising directors from diverse backgrounds to give us not one, but three short horror stories back to back in one film?

3 Doors of Horrors comprises three films directed by Leroy Low, Ng Ken Kin and Edmund Yeo. Low’s most known for his music videos for local artists like Kit Teo and Ke Ching while Ng is a already a veteran of local TV and film production. Yeo’s body of work is more arthouse than commercial; his film Inhalation won the Sonje Award for the best Asian short film at the Busan International Film Festival in 2010.

Charlene Meng gives a standout performance as a hapless intern forced to babysit a demonically possessed actress.
Charlene Meng gives a standout performance as a hapless intern forced to babysit a demonically possessed actress.

The horror anthology opens with Low’s short “I Miss You Two”, with a seemingly innocuous plot — a young man shooting a video log, looking for two childhood acquaintances.

Low overdoes it a little with the cheesy sound design to the point there is no mystery to the plot. As soon as the squeaky violins start, you know something spooky is coming around the corner.

Yeo’s “Floating Sun” on the other hand is more nuanced, departing from formulaic horror and haunts you not with cheap scares but questions. Who is the mysterious girl floating in the water? What secrets from the past are haunting Fiona? These questions linger long enough that viewers are likely to rewatch the film on YouTube just to find the answers.

Daphne Low and Emily Lim as the teenage and adult selves of the main protagonist, Fiona, acquit themselves well, lending the necessary gravitas to Yeo’s script without descending into melodrama.

The last film, Ng’s “Horror Mission” tells the story of a hapless production company intern trying to bring back the lead actress to the studio... but she is unfortunately possessed by a malevolent spirit.

Charlene Meng is indubitably the star of the film, and perhaps the entire anthology. Her performance elevates a rather mundane script, as her portrayal of the intern elicits both laughs and empathy.

While uneven in parts, 3 Doors of Horror is a worthy watch and a good showcase of local talent, especially in the case of Yeo and his cast as well as the stellar Meng.

3 Doors of Horror will premiere on YouTube tonight at 8.30pm. Watch the trailer below:

If you’re keen on a more ‘substantial’ experience of the anthology, you can attend the premiere screening at Toccato Studio in SS2 for a minimum donation of RM25 which will have music and dance to add a different kind of chill to your spine. Details are as follows:

Date: Aug 17, 2013

TIme: 8:15pm-10pm

Venue: Toccata Studio, 19B, SS2/55, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Admission: minimum donation RM25

Contact: 016-3618504, 014-2486248


FB: Toccata Studio