“Don’t Look at the Demon” is M’sia’s first film to debut in US market

LOCAL horror film Don’t Look at the Demon is the first Malaysian film to be screened in the US, with screenings slated in more than 250 cinemas in the North American region alone.

The laudable accomplishment sets the bar high for local productions and paves the way for similar international successes on the big screen.

The global release of the film, which will be making its way to cinemas in over 20 countries soon, including Malaysia, was held recently and graced by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin.

Based on true events, Don’t Look at the Demon follows the story of a group of American paranormal investigators who travel to Fraser’s Hill in Perak to investigate supernatural occurrences in a house that was built in the early 1970s. 

However, they got more than they bargained for as they dived deeper into their investigation and uncovered dark secrets about the house and its ties to forbidden ancient Thai rituals.

Joining the cast of renowned personalities are Hollywood celebrities Fiona Dourif (well-known for her roles in the Chucky franchise and BBC America’s Dirk Gently, The Blacklist and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet) and Harris Dickinson (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, The King’s Man and Triangle of Sadness).

The cast’s world-class performance is sure to send shivers down the spines of anyone who watches the 93-minute film.

In a statement, Global Creative Media Agency, which is marketing the film, said the inclusion of Hollywood stars has enabled the film to be relatable to the vast majority of people in the world.

Besides that, it has helped generate global interest in its unique approach to portraying an American perspective of traditional Asian folktales.

The film has already captivated audiences from all across the globe, with screenings slated in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Mongolia, Cambodia, Canada, the UK and Poland, to name a few countries. 

“Most culturally accurate depiction”

Don’t Look at the Demon director and producer Brando Lee also went to great lengths to examine and understand the process of ancient demonic rituals to depict the most culturally accurate representation of the hauntings. 

For instance, several consultations were held with Thai monks highly experienced in exorcisms to get a better grasp of the procedures and “weapons” used to drive spirits away.

Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin (middle, in white shirt) and Brando Lee (on Zahidi’s right) during the gala premiere of the film on Sept 29, 2022

Commenting on the film’s debut in the US market, Zaidi said it provides an opportunity for people from other countries to learn and understand the cultures, traditions and tourist attractions in Malaysia, which may contribute to the improvement of the tourism sector.

“Now that we have entered the American market, we can strive for reaching new heights by aiming to obtain awards such as the Oscars, Emmy and so forth in the near future,” he said.

Lee, on the other hand, said he hopes the film’s global release will inspire local producers to reach for the stars and keep pushing forward to represent Malaysia on an international scale. 

“The release of this film is not just my success, but the success of all of us in Malaysia,” he added. “And I am extremely proud to set this benchmark and bring pride to our country. 

Don’t Look at the Demon makes its way to local cinemas nationwide beginning Thursday (Oct 6). For more information about the film, check out their website. – Oct 2, 2022


All photos are credited to Global Creative Media Agency

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