Minyak Dagu

  • Boring horror film that’s neither scary nor entertaining
  • Viewers will find themselves scratching their heads more than feeling petrified 

MINYAK Dagu is a Malaysian film by director Azhari Zain that does great injustice to the concept of horror. It’s neither scary nor entertaining. The acting is dismal, the storyline is old and the flow of the story is flawed.

For example, viewers are left scratching their heads when a woman possessed by an evil spirit is locked in a room in her house.

Next moment, however, she opens the door and walks into her ex-fiance’s office. Huh???

Also, for a woman possessed, she exhibits great dexterity and wit to climb out from the room in a double-storey house by using pieces of clothes seen in Hollywood jailbreak films.

Sleeping with the enemy: Yana Samsudin and an evil spirit.

If that’s not enough to defy reality,  she runs away barefoot to her ex-fiance’s house. This scene really upsets me. There’s no way even a crazy person would have braved Malaysia’s searing heat and roads filled with innumerable potholes to walk anywhere.

And with her deranged looks and dishevelled hair, she would have been knocked off the roads by motorists.

The woman in question is Emelda, or Mel (Yana Samsudin, in her second consecutive flop, the first being Strawberi Cinta). She has a hot-headed fiance,  Azman, or Man (Fezrul Khan), who erupts with jealousy when he sees her talking with an old friend, Dr Johan (Fizo Omar).

Yana and Fezrul Khan in a big fight.

Dr Johan calls her gemuk, in reference to her being fat a long time ago. This comment is, of course, sexist and impolite. If I were Mel, I’d have kicked him out the house immediately. But wait till you find out what he does to her later.

Azman is a salesman, and not a good one at that. He can’t even get one sale, which is supposed to make it okay for him to abuse his fiancee. But as the story progresses, there’s no more talk of him being bad at work. His boss also can’t motivate him to improve his attitude. Instead, he ridicules Man.

Mel breaks off the engagement, which triggers histrionics in Man.

There’s a scene of someone visiting a bomoh (witch doctor) called Wan Minarjo to seek help to get the woman of his dreams. The bomoh prescribes minyak dagu, or blood from someone who has just died.

A possessed Mel (Yana) is inspired by jailbreak films.

The film doesn’t let the dust settle to let viewers absorb the implications of Mel breaking off the engagement, for she’s already inviting Man to her akad nikah (solemnisation) with Johan in the next scene. Viewers are again left scratching their heads.

Viewers won’t understand why two men would want to fight over an unemployed sweet woman such as Mel. There’s nothing in her personality that would attract either man.

Yana doesn’t do scary very well. Her idea of looking frightened is too open her eyes wide and shout at the top of her lungs.

The good doctor, for all his supposed knowledge, doesn’t do enough to get to the bottom of Mel’s drastic change in behaviour. Instead, viewers will see him also getting jealous at the sight of his wife flirting with her ex-fiance.

What comes next is the film’s weirdest moment. Johan uses chains to tie up his wife’s feet in the living room of her family’s house, despite her parents’ protestations.

Bad chain reaction.

Are both parents so weak that they can’t stop an educated man from doing this, or is Malaysian culture so accepting of such a despicable act?

Perhaps the film is suggesting that even in moments of madness, a man can do whatever he likes to control his wife.

Mel will stay in the chains, like a slave, for some time.

The film’s greatest strength is that it ends after 82 minutes.

1 out of 5

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.



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About jeff

Malaysia is my home, Writing is my background, Photography is my hobby, Movies are my passion, And Man Utd is my life. I cover movies made in Malaysia and Singapore fervently. This is probably the only blog in Malaysia that regularly reviews English, Malay, Chinese and Indian films.
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