by AZALEA AZUAR / pics courtesy of Brando Lee
“DON’T Look at the Demon” is the first local film to be screened in the US which also features Hollywood actors and actresses.
In efforts to encourage more home-grown productions to screen internationally, this film will be screened in more than 20 countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Mongolia, Cambodia, Canada, Poland and the UK.
In the US, it will be screened in more than 250 theatres nationwide.
The cast includes Hollywood actors Fiona Dourif, who was in “Chucky”, “Dirk Gently”, “The Blacklist” and “Tenet”; Harris Dickinson (“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”, “The King’s Man” and “Triangle of Sadness”), as well as local actors Lenny Ooi and Hafidzuddin Fazil.
“Don’t Look at the Demon” revolves around a group of American paranormal investigators who travelled to Fraser’s Hill in Pahang to investigate supernatural occurrences in a 1970s house.
The crew later discovered that the house was used by people practising some forbidden ancient Thai rituals.
The film was directed and produced by Brando Lee, and inspired by true events.
Lee went through a detailed process of examining and understanding the process of ancient demonic rituals to depict the most culturally accurate representation of the hauntings.
The film crew also consulted with highly skilled exorcist Thai monks to get a better grasp of the procedures and equipment used to drive the spirits out.
Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said by taking Americans’ perspective of Asian folklore, this will generate global interest and make it more relatable to an international audience.
He felt that this film would enable Westerners to learn and understand the cultures, traditions and tourist attractions in Malaysia, which in turn 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, Emmys and so forth, in the future,” he said at the special screening of the film on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Lee hoped that the global release of this film 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 it is the success of all of us in Malaysia and I am extremely proud to set this benchmark and bring pride to our country.
“‘Don’t Look at the Demon’ will forever be an emblem to remind Malaysians that no goal is too big if you set your mind to it,” he said.