Skip to main content

Lao Director Mattie Do's Horror Film, Dearest Sister

We understand Japan as one of the most globally lauded markets in cinema. Add horror to that mix and you're talking a ripple effect in marketable style and content that has been replicated as well as venerated. What often gets lost in the collective imagination are the voices from Asia that don't have that big film industry to draw upon. The smaller, the more invisible. But not much in a world of the internet and crowd funding is impossible.

"Laos' first horror film director" Mattie Do is in fact, groundbreaking. One of four film directors working in Laos, she describes herself as, "the crazy horror chick that's calculating how much pig blood I can buy for the cash I've got in my pocket." Her first film Chanthaly was an international success, making waves at a past Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.

She states that a Laos screening of Chanthaly was "the first time a Lao audience saw a horror film in their own language. THE FIRST TIME. Seriously, how cool is that?" While that blows me away, it shouldn't. It seems many countries are confined to extremely limited resources. for even the smallest of film industries to tell their stories.

Mattie's latest venture: Nong Hak (translated to Dearest Sister) is currently in full swing fundraising on indiegogo. The horror tale is described below:

Nong Hak tells the story of a village girl from southern Laos who travels to Vientiane to care for her rich cousin who has mysteriously lost her sight, and somehow gained the ability to communicate with the dead. When the poor girl realizes that her cousin is receiving messages from the spirits that allow her to win the lottery, she has to choose between nursing her cousin back to health or keeping sick in order to get rich herself.

Mattie discusses in more detail film distribution and the difficulty of getting films in Laos not only produced but shown, noting that there's only one theater in the country's capital. With the financial momentum of $15,000 she was able to raise locally, Mattie got the support to enhance the quality of Dearest Sister with a better camera, practical (no CGI) effects, and more.

The campaign pitch video is here!

Many thanks to @Dragonsong73 on Twitter for pointing me in the direction of a filmmaker that's full of life, passion for horror, and solid talent. I'm looking forward to seeing Mattie's work evolve into some of the best in horror, period.
Find Mattie Do on Twitter

Popular posts from this blog

How MIDSOMMAR Utilizes and Subverts Horror Movie Tropes of People of Color

By Mary Kay McBrayer (@mkmcbrayer)

For a film that could have been easily white-washed, Ari Aster’s Midsommar does have an inclusive cast. Before our characters are even taken to Sweden where most of the film's dread fueled action takes place, we meet them in their college town. Dani (Florence Pugh) stresses about her sister’s scary email while her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor) drinks at a bar with his buddies, only one of whom is black named Josh (The Good Place's William Jackson Harper).
I have watched enough horror movies to know—and I’ve been brown enough long enough to know—that this setting does not bode well for a person of color. The token minority, say it with me, tends to die first. Because of this ratio, I expected a few other established tropes of the horror genre in Josh’s character, too, and I have to admit, I was delighted and surprised that nothing played out the way I expected.

DARKLY: At The Heart Of Goth, Is Blackness

"Horror has always been used to illuminate cultural anxieties and gives a voice to our collective fears. So, what to make of the gothic in America, a place which by the very nature of its founding is predisposed to a culture of anxiety? The dread knowing the enemy at the gate is understandable, but in America the enemy has already passed through it, and has been brought inside. The call is coming from inside the house."
-words by Leila Taylor