6.1/10
275
2 user 22 critic

Dearest Sister (2016)

Nong Hak (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 21 April 2017 (Estonia)
A village girl travels to the Lao capital, Vientiane, to care for her rich cousin who has lost her sight and gained the ability to communicate with the dead.

Director:

Mattie Do
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amphaiphun Phommapunya Amphaiphun Phommapunya ... Nok
Vilouna Phetmany Vilouna Phetmany ... Ana
Tambet Tuisk ... Jakob
Manivanh Boulom Manivanh Boulom ... Maid
Yannawoutthi Chanthalungsy Yannawoutthi Chanthalungsy ... Gardener
Maluly Chanthalangsy Maluly Chanthalangsy ... Mimi
Brandon Hashimoto Brandon Hashimoto ... Kenji
Naliphone Siviengxay Naliphone Siviengxay ... Ana's Mother
Douangmany Soliphanh Douangmany Soliphanh ... Ana's Father
Maneevone Chanthalungsy Maneevone Chanthalungsy ... Neighbor Maid
Danouphonh Chanthakoummane Danouphonh Chanthakoummane ... Nok's Boyfriend
Oudomphone Pholsena Oudomphone Pholsena ... English Tutor
Namsoke Xayluesa Namsoke Xayluesa ... Grocer
Latsamy Inoudome Latsamy Inoudome ... Lottery Vendor I
Sivin Simala Sivin Simala ... Lottery Vendor II
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Storyline

A village girl travels to the Lao capital, Vientiane, to care for her rich cousin who has lost her sight and gained the ability to communicate with the dead.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mattie Do: [Dogs] Both of the director's dogs make cameo appearances in the film. See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits includes the disclaimer: "No animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture. The whippet was, however, quite often annoyed by the filmmakers while he was trying to sleep." See more »

User Reviews

 
Enjoyable if slightly flawed effort

Living a life of poverty, a teenager in a remote Laos village looking after her blind cousin finds that her cousin's ability to speak to the dead has grave consequences for her and her friends as they realize that the appearances might be putting their loved ones in danger.

This was quite the effective and enjoyable effort. Like it's predecessor, this is a film heavy on story and symbolism than it is on traditional genre fare like jump-scares and gore. The central aspect of the film here is the relationship between the three with this all split between the young girl, her cousin and the husband all living together as her condition manages to wear down her conscience due to the sudden increase in luck as they start taking advantage, the result of this causing a strain on the relationship that makes the sudden influence of the supernatural quite chilling. This mindset of appealing to the division between the two as the rural-raised cousin who's used to a life of poverty against the more big-city traditions and values is explored here. Going from the different conditions here with the trips into the city and the influence of technology on their lives that's beyond their reach gives this a kind of rather intriguing appeal not usually seen in Western films. Away from this stellar class-value symbolism, the film also manages to succeed nicely as a flat-out ghost story. There's a lot to like here with the supernatural sequences that comes into play here as there's a slew of solid scenes here featuring the scenes of her and her cousin experiencing the first signs of the ghostly action, where the shock of the scenes causes her to get freaked out when the situation is completely normal otherwise so something is going on with her, while the spectacular scene where the ghost appears physically before her is a solid and creepy sequence. Though it doesn't go for the jugular like so many usually do, it more than makes up for this with a rather chilling final half that really turns the tables on what happened before and gives this a decidedly different tone than what had previously occurred here, making this quite darker than expected. Now, there are long sections of the film that won't be very enjoyable for some out there. The pacing here is quite deliberate and doesn't have the same kind of relentless energy that most western films of this nature as there's a more languid and dramatic feel here than one of abject terror and shocks. The horror scenes are well- integrated into the film but really aren't apart of that much of the film's running time. Rather, this one might be way too light on such scenes for some who want a more rapid-fire and relentless tone with jump-scares s this one doesn't have that many at all and doesn't go all-in on the horror until selected moments so there's bound to be some disappointment in this one regardless of what happens or how good the film really is. However, this might be the only real problem bringing this one down.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language and Mild Violence.


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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Laos | Estonia | France

Language:

Lao | Estonian | English | Thai

Release Date:

21 April 2017 (Estonia) See more »

Also Known As:

Dearest Sister See more »

Filming Locations:

Laos

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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