POSSESSED (2022) on Netflix is a new horror movie from Malaysia (org. title: RASUK). We’re dealing with demonic zombies of a sort. They’re definitely a kind of zombie and there’s a curse somewhere in the mix. Read our full Possessed horror movie review here!
POSSESSED is a new horror movie on Netflix. This one is from Malaysia (org. title: RASUK), but the story itself is quite universal. It’s a zombie movie that uses both practical effects and some CGI. Unfortunately, neither is very good. Not by the style or standards we’re used to in most horror movies.
In fact, the make-up used reminded me more of a film school project. Or actually, the zombies in One Cut of the Dead. But in that movie (which is brilliant and recently had a French remake that premiered at Cannes Film Festival), there was a point to the make-up and there isn’t in this one.
Continue reading our Possessed (2022) horror movie review below. Find it on Netflix from February 15, 2023.
From friends to mindless zombies
We begin by meeting a group of friends (a few of them also related) who have time off from school and are having fun by a lake. The boys return to their school, where they also live, while the girls go home. However, one of the boys brought something back with him.
Meanwhile, we meet Zamri, who is brought in to be a substitute warden of the school. While he is going through his own existential crisis, he now finds himself with 27 students that start turning into zombies.
The main cast obviously consists of teenagers who are studying at a boarding school of sorts. The school is run by a warden, which is not to be confused with a prison warden. It’s just a title used more in British English, whereas you’d use the job title of “Headmaster” or “Principal” in many other English-speaking countries.
Since this school seems inspired by the British school system, the title of the warden is probably appropriate. It just threw me off at first since the subtitles do leave something to be desired. During the final moments of the movie, the school is even referred to as a “hostel”, which does not help clarify things.
Demonic zombies that squeal like pigs
I’m afraid I felt that watching Possessed (or Rasuk) on Netflix was a very underwhelming experience. Mostly, it felt like something I’ve watched a few times before. The movie doesn’t offer much new to the zombie genre. Well, except for maybe the added element of them being infected via a curse.
Also, the zombie-like creatures squeal like pigs which is strange. Creepy? Sure. Weird? Definitely.
This hybrid of having zombies make weird sounds that aren’t as much predatory as just strange is an interesting choice. Not one I mind, but it doesn’t make much sense to me. The whole curse element is more interesting though we don’t dive too much into it. And then what’s the point really?!
Watch Possessed (org. title: Rasuk) on Netflix now!
James Lee is the director of Possessed which is based on a screenplay by Adib Zaini. Previously, James Lee has directed movies such as the action thriller Kill-Fist (2019) and the horror mystery Two Sisters (2019), but most recently, he directed the horror series Histeria the Series (2022).
For this new Malaysian zombie movie, however, I just felt it was lacking in too many ways; Not scary enough in the classic horror or action department. No humor to keep things light or emotional elements to amp up the drama. Unfortunately, this results in a rather forgettable zombie movie.
Since the Malaysian movie in the HBO Asia horror anthology Folklore was my favorite, I was hoping Possessed had more in store. And I’m not difficult when it comes to zombie stories as I love pretty much every subgenre.
I love the horror-comedy angle in Santa Clarita Diet or Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. But the more action and fast-paced style of Train to Busan or World War Z is perfect for me as well. Even the horror-drama of movies like It Comes at Night or the Black Summer series.
Also, aside from the already mentioned Train to Busan, there are some awesome zombie-based horror movies from other Asian countries. The brilliant Taiwanese movie The Sadness (2021) and the South Korean Netflix series All of Us Are Dead (which also takes place in a school) are just two examples. And, of course, the Netflix zombie period piece Kingdom.
What I’m getting at is simply that you could check out this new Malaysian zombie movie on Netflix. But there are so many other (and better) zombie stories you should make sure to check out as well. And probably first!
Possessed (2022) is on Netflix from February 15, 2023.
Director: James Lee
Writer: Adib Zaini
Stars: Alif Satar, Ikmal Amry, Abbas Mahmood, Elisya Sandha, Alicia Amin, Taufiq Hanafi, Ayie Elham, Syazwan Razak, Atiq Azman
A teacher must put aside his personal traumas to rally his school in a fight for survival against a group of violent, possessed students.
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