Conjuring Spirit (org. title Chung Cu Ma) is a Vietnamese horror movie that definitely has its moments. Including some well-timed comedy. Watch it on Netflix in several countries now!
In fact, at the very beginning of Conjuring Spirit, a woman is watching The Ring (the original from Japan, of course). Let’s just say, this isn’t a woman who seems very hardcore.
For a horror-loving audience, this is the perfect way to warm our hearts. And also, make us feel that the filmmakers truly love this genre.
Not a horror comedy
The scene at the beginning, where a woman is watching The Ring, also offers a few funny moments. As someone who adores horror-comedies, I always enjoy some fun moments in any horror movie.
However, IMDb lists Conjuring Spirit as an actual horror comedy and that is definitely taking it too far. It only has very few funny moments. The rest is much more of a ghostly horror story!
Other elements include family connections, some romance (or attempts at it), and a real creep. You’ll know who the creep is from the opening scene.
30 minutes too long
While Conjuring Spirit has a very acceptable runtime at just under two hours, it’s still too long. The Vietnamese horror movie – with the original title Chung Cu Ma – could easily have cut 30 minutes.
For the record, it’s not that it gets boring or irrelevant. On the other hand, the romance story isn’t really something that helps the story along. It does, however, offer some funny moments that I definitely enjoyed.
The lead role as Lan is portrayed by Phuong Mai, who did a decent job but fell a bit flat during some scenes. For me, it was the boy portraying her son that stole the show. His name was Bi, but unfortunately, I can’t look up the name of the young actor anywhere.
Also, the scenes featuring Lan with her son were just perfect. There two actors worked brilliantly together!
In a smaller role, you’ll see a face you might recognize. Lan’s estranged husband is portrayed by Tien Pham. He’s been a guest star on various TV shows such as NCIS: Los Angeles and Rules of Engagement.
Watch on Netflix if you like Asian horror
Conjuring Spirit was directed by Van M. Pham and written by Erik Martinez. The two previously made the sports drama Beyond the Mat.
Clearly, they’ve found a partnership that works for them. And if the storytelling has been just a bit tighter, then this would’ve gotten a higher grade quite easily. The ending is something you might have guessed ahead of time. This doesn’t make it bad, but it doesn’t exactly make it better either.
Conjuring Spirit is definitely worth your time if you enjoy Asian horror. In particular, the Japenese horror movies. The influence from Japan is obvious at many turns – it’s even mentioned during the very first scene.
Conjuring Spirit is out on Netflix in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and many more countries now!
Director: Van M. Pham
Cast: Chi Pu | Phuong Mai | Quang Su | Hoai An | Hoang Phuc Nguyen | Tien Pham
In the wake of her husband’s betrayal, a novelist and mother moves to an old building, where she receives a music box and encounters a strange spirit.