Movie reviews: Reside, After
This Thai horror flick revolves around a mysterious ritual ceremony performed in a house that goes awry, paving the way for chilling supernatural possessions that influence its residents to behave in violent ways.
Here, domestic spaces are just as important a feature as the sinister spirits.
And Reside almost never leaves its singular location, opting instead to build up every inch of dread within its four walls.
Aside from the natural magnetism of its handsome star Ananda Everingham who plays Dej, an apprentice of the Jit Asongkhai cult, Reside is also built on effective jump scares.
Coincidentally, this film marks the reunion between box-office hit Shutter's (2004) lead actor (Everingham) and actress (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee).
It is also a patchwork of iconic scenes from classic horror movies such as The Sixth Sense and The Exorcist. Its fragmented narrative delivers the right amount of tension and mystery but is let down by a fairly feeble ending.
Reside should also come with a headache-trigger warning, as it substitutes meaningful dialogue with annoying, repetitive name-calling, which just seems like lazy writing. - JASMINE LIM
Based on Anna Todd's best-selling 2014 new adult fiction novel of the same name, this romantic drama is unabashed about feeding its target audience exactly what they desire.
It follows Tessa (Josephine Langford) - dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend - as she enters her first semester in college.
But her guarded world is opened up when she meets Hardin (Hero Fiennes-Tiffin), a brooding rebel who makes her question everything she knew about herself and what she wants out of life.
After does not shy away from glamorising thrill-seeking adolescent misdeeds - often to the point of absurdity.
The performances are spotty and half-hearted, even the most serious of lines are laughable.
Regrettably, the most noteworthy thing about After is its abundance of ardent make-out sessions between the leads. - JASMINE LIM