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Vietnamese Horror Film Reviewed by New York Times

Earlier this year, the government announced plans to overhaul Vietnam’s film industry. Looking to copy the success of Korea and Japan, officials are planning to invest over US$300 million of the state budget in new theatres and production facilities by 2020.

While this funding will likely take a while to be dispersed, Vietnamese cinema continues to develop on its own with mixed results. One of the most recent Vietnamese horror films to hit the silver screen was Le-Van Kiet’s, “House in the Alley” which was released earlier this year and was recently reviewed Andy Webster of the New York Times.

Though Webster concludes that the film isn’t anything special, he sees potential for the future:

“Mr. Kiet is proficient with pacing and textures (the couple’s home is a damp fixer-upper, scarred with peeling paint and strewn with debris from the rainy season). Ms. Van makes a convincing, implacable adversary, while Mr. Son manages to instill his feckless character with sympathetic shades. Little here is shocking — the film may not be rated, but the gore is strictly PG-13 — and the denouement is unpersuasive. Mr. Kiet, who wrote “House in the Alley,” needs a better script. And yet he shows promise."

For what it's worth, the film sports a 8.7 rating on IMDB.

It will be interesting to see if the government or the private sector will pave the way for a significant uptick in cinematic standards. We’d bet on the latter.

Check out the trailer for the film:

[New York Times]

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