By Peter Chai
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"Minyak Dagu" is directed by Azhari Zain and the horror film follows the tragic happenings that turn Emelda's (Yana Samsudin) happy life into a nightmare after she is cursed by her ex-fiancee Azman (Fezrul Khan), who applies a special oil provided by a Malay shaman on her during a meeting. Since then, Emelda behaves wildly and soon grows increasingly unstable mentally after getting married to her childhood friend, doctor Johan (Fizo Omar). Although she returns to Azman's side, he realizes that his selfish actions have brought the ghosts into his life as well.
Throughout the film, the audience will be fed with whole lot of suspense that keeps us wondering about the relationship between the Malay shaman's practice and the experience the main characters go through. You might find it hard to see how the special oil named "minyak dagu" can be related to Azman's desperate and harmful attempts to have Emelda for himself until you reach the middle part of the story.
Before Emelda is cursed and goes mad, the storyline is too draggy and nothing is interesting except the intensity of Azman's controlling behaviour and his unforgivable abuse of Emelda.
There is a problem with the dark cinematography during the hospital scene where Emelda meets her crush Johan. It really does not make sense to see the cast communicate with each other at a health care institution in the dark.
The only thing that light us up a bit in this dark horror film is the characters' performances especially Yana Samsudin, who is taking the heroine spot more often in recent local titles produced by MIG. She does deliver a pleasant portrayal of a terrifying person who is driven to such extremes because she is haunted, which builds empathy among audiences. Meanwhile, Fizo Omar is as good as he can be as her husband who cannot understand why she is behaving the way she is.
The producer might be excited to kick start the new year with Azhari's horror feature but from the reviewer's point of view, "Minyak Dagu" could be a nightmare to the moviegoers especially for those who are keen to witness a good supernatural themed-story.
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