The Maid: A haunted house film that soon descends into something even more disturbing, its twists and turns are gorily surprising and upsetting in a gripping revenge thriller. Joy (the innocent looking Ploy Sornarin) is the new maid in the wealthy household of Uma and Nirach (Savika Chaiyadei and Teerapat Sajakul), tasked with looking after their daughter Nid (Keetapat Pongrue). The couple seem far from happy and there is a heavy atmosphere in the house; Nid has been diagnosed with a rare brain condition, supposedly hereditary, and she is plagued by hallucinations.
Their last maid had gone missing, something the couple and their staff will not expand upon. Two rules exist, however, laid down by the grumpy head housemaid: do not pry into the master’s business, or go into the mistress’ bedroom. Nid’s strange visions are shared by the ghostly, jump-scarey Joy, but allowing the child to sleep with a spooky monkey doll probably doesn’t help much. Nor does singing her creepy lullabies.
When Joy also discovers a picture of her missing sister Ploy (Kannaporn Puangtong) with her master and mistress, events take a very alarming turn. A superbly judged performance from Sornarin manages to bridge an extreme plot leap, as events escalate quickly with a good deal of blood. Director Thongkham creates a winning slow-burn tension in the opening two chapters of the film, before allowing all hell to break loose at a birthday party for Nirach as the film heads to its OTT finale.
Genuinely creepy, then genuinely disturbing, The Maid is a Thai horror with a Hitchcockian tone that ultimately takes no prisoners, with some wince-inducing moments involving plastic bags and a merciless use of knives. There is also a baboon.
Dir: Lee Thongkham (18, 103 mins)
Out now via digital download
words KEIRON SELF