THE ANCESTRAL is a new horror movie on Screambox. It’s from Vietnam (org. title: Bóng Ðè) and has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, it does also run too long and the use of CGI isn’t impressive. Read our full The Ancestral movie review here!
THE ANCESTRAL on Screambox is a new Vietnamese horror movie (org. title: Bóng Ðè). It has a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes, which does seem to be too long. For me, anyway. However, having said that I also need to point out that it also has moments of being really good.
The child actors in this movie deliver impressive performances as the main characters. The use of CGI makes it a lot less scary than the super-efficient creepy vibe that otherwise hit hard. During those non-CGI scenes, you’re trapped in a nightmare right alongside the kids.
Continue reading our The Ancestral movie review below. Find it on Screambox from May 2, 2023.
Nightmares become reality
One of the taglines of The Ancestral is the very catchy “When nightmares become reality and reality becomes nightmares, there is no escape”. It might sound like a classic horror movie tagline, but for this particular horror movie, it’s also very accurate.
We meet the small family after they’ve suffered a family tragedy. A widowed father moves his two daughters to a new home in the aftermath of this tragedy. As the father is now a widower, it’s already revealed that the tragedy involves him losing his wife and the girls their mother.
When they all move into a centuries-old ancestral home, things quickly evolve and escalate. Especially as both daughters suffer from an intense form of sleep paralysis combined with night terrors.
A few twists in the tale
To help his daughters, who are already traumatized from losing their mother, the father gets help from a local psychologist. Regarding this particular element of the story, I was so happy to see that she was a very kind and soft-spoken woman. I would’ve hated it if these kids were met with someone trying to push and force things.
However, nothing is quite as it seems in The Ancestral. There are strange secrets and frightening visions which ultimately give way to a whole new kind of story.
While I do love a few good twists, there were elements of the story in The Ancestral that felt a bit forced. Or rather, familiar and not necessary.
It does work well in the whole horror movie setting, but in terms of good storytelling, I wasn’t as impressed. Still, I can understand why The Ancestral managed to hold the top spot at the box office in its native Vietnam when it was released there last year.
Watch The Ancestral on Screambox now!
Director Le-Van Kiet clearly has both an eye and feel for horror and action. He also directed the movie Furie which became the highest-grossing film of all time in Vietnam. A sequel to that movie was recently released on Netflix.
DO CHECK OUT
His latest horror movie, which is now on Screambox, was also written by Le-Van Kiet himself with contributions from Vo Nguyen Dan. Right now, Le-Van Kiet is also focusing on an international career, so you may know his work from the shark thriller The Requin starring Alicia Silverstone and Joey King.
The stars of this Vietnamese horror movie might not be familiar, but that’s certainly not for lack of talent. Lâm Thanh Mỹ (The Third Wife), Quang Tuan, Mai Cát Vi (Furie), and Dieu Nhi star in the horror movie. Do check it out for the deliciously creepy horror vibe – and try to ignore the CGI when it gets too much. I couldn’t, but now you’re warned.
The Ancestral is out on Screambox from May 2, 2023.
Director: Le-Van Kiet
Writers: Le-Van Kiet, Vo Nguyen Dan
Stars: Lam Thanh My, Quang Tuan, Mai Cát Vi, Dieu Nhi
Following a family tragedy, a widower moves his two daughters to their family’s centuries-old estate. When both daughters fall prey to unsettling visions and night terrors, their father seeks the help of a local psychologist. Something far more sinister inhabits the walls of this ancient home, and the family must band together to free themselves from the terrifying grip of the past.