THE GUARDIAN (2021) on Netflix is a new horror-thriller from Vietnam (org. title Thiên Than Ho Menh). At just over two hours, the runtime is way too long. Production quality is high though. Read our full The Guardian Netflix movie review here!

THE GUARDIAN (2021) is a new Netflix horror thriller. The story features a doll (or several dolls), which is hardly anything new. However, the part these dolls ultimately play in the movie is quite different.

To me, the real issue of this new Vietnamese horror movie (org. title Thiên Than Ho Menh), is the slow pace. Also, you should prepare for a few songs throughout this movie. A few of the key characters are singers, so it does happen naturally. But it takes up way too much time for my liking.

Continue reading our The Guardian Netflix movie review below.

Too slow and way too long

As a huge fan of South Korean genre films, I have also watched a few movies from other Asian countries that work remarkably well. The Vietnamese movies, I’ve seen so far on Netflix, have not been all that great.

YOU COULD CHECK OUT

Our Netflix review of the Vietnamese horror movie Conjuring Spirit here >

While the production quality is truly impressive with The Guardian (2021), it just doesn’t have enough story for its runtime. And at just over two hours, the runtime is way too long.

Or rather, the slow pace combined with a long runtime is what made it much less enjoyable for me. I did like some of the twists towards the end. However, I do not need a good 10-15 minutes of various flashbacks to help explain these twists.

The Guardian (2021) – Review | Netflix Horror

Watch The Guardian (2021) on Netflix now!

Victor Vu is the director of The Guardian which was written by himself along with Kay Nguyen (Furie). Victor Vu is a Vietnamese-American film director who already has quite a lot of movies on his IMDb resume. I can’t claim that I’m familiar with them, but some of them seem to have similar themes.

Also, as much as I enjoyed some of the twists, I absolutely loathed the final “message”. Essentially, it seems to be shaming young girls into focusing on school instead of chasing their dreams. Not a bad message in itself, but a total victim blaming angle in this particular case.

By now, everyone should know that the whole “if girls just behave, they will be safe”-message is absolute nonsense. As a horror movie, it did have a few moments that made me jump a little. As a thriller, it was hardly very thrilling. Overall, I just wasn’t really entertained by this one.

The Guardian (org. title Thiên Than Ho Menh) is out on Netflix from December 16, 2021.

Details

Director: Victor Vu
Writers: Victor Vu, Thi Nga, A Type Maxhine, Binh Bong Bot
Stars: Amee, Trúc Anh, Salim, Samuel An, Trong Trinh, Thanh Thuy

Plot

A tragedy surrounding a pop star propels her backup singer to fame, but the new star is plagued by supernatural occurrences.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina