Dearest Sister (Nong hak) (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama, Horror
Director: Mattie Do
Duration: 101 minutes

Dearest Sister (Nong hak) (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Storytelling, Atmosphere
Bad: Slow pace, Not really that much horror to be found
User Score
(4 votes)
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Rating: 5.0/10 (4 votes cast)

We won’t claim to be true connaisseurs of the finest movies in the world, and sometimes we’re just big kids, enjoying superhero movies, binging cartoons, or even watch a silly comedy to raise the spirit, but every now and then, we come across a special movie, we’d love to feature on the site. This time we stray away from the typical Hollywood flick and head to Laos, for Dearest Sister (Nong hak), a movie about a poor country girl, having to take care of her cousin in order to earn money for her family. While this isn’t an uncommon situation, it becomes strange when the supernatural gets involved in this peculiar story about a poor girl wanting to get out of a desperate situation.

The movie starts off with Nok (Amphaiphun Phommapunya) having to move to the big city to take care of her cousin Ana (Vilouna Phetmany), who is slowly but surely losing her eyesight. Nok gets picked up by Ana’s husband, Jakob (Tambet Tuisk), who she simply can’t understand, as he speaks to her in a language unknown to her. Nonetheless, she finally arrives at Jakob and Ana’s estate, as Jakob is a fairly rich entrepreneur, who is able to afford help and can provide Ana with the necessary luxury. Ana isn’t all that happy to have Nok around, and actually wants to treat her the same way as the rest of the help, but Jakob decides against it. After a while Ana and Nok get closer, and Ana explains her situation to Nok, that she can see strange (dead) people lurking around her. Every time Ana gets touched by one of these ghoulish entities, they utter three numbers to her, which Ana repeats in a sort of trance, which eventually prove to be lottery numbers. Nok tries to take advantage of this situation, by forcing Ana into encounters with the dead, hoping to earn a pretty penny thanks to her condition.

Right off the bat we can warn you that this isn’t a typical ‘horror’ movie with a lot of scary elements. In many ways the movie is a very slow moving drama with a fairly interesting finale, making the somewhat slowly creeping pace worth the watch. If you expect a very intense horror experience, we can immediately discourage watching this movie, as it clearly won’t be your thing. If you are in the mood for something slower, with a proper build up, leaving the viewer wondering what is going on precisely and what will happen during the end stage, then this might be something you’d like. In many ways it’s actually hard to give this movie a proper score at the end of this review, as this is one of those movies that can either surprise you, or completely disappoint you due to its pacing and storytelling.

In terms of acting performances, the two leading ladies perform their roles perfectly, making the film a rather authentic story, even with the creepier elements in place. You’ll clearly see that Amphaiphun Phommapunya plays the role of the poor girl in a realistic fashion, but also that she simply wishes to escape the life of serving as a slave for her family and gain some riches herself; while on the other hand there’s Vilouna Phetmany, who simply acquired riches by marrying the right guy.

There are no special features to be found on this DVD release, which is quite understandable as the movie is pretty much self-explanatory in terms of story and effects used, making it useless to prolong the experience.


Dearest Sister is one of those movies that’s incredibly hard to place a score on, as it’s a hit or miss kind of experience. If you love a slow build up, an intriguing story and a small amount of horror elements, and don’t mind that the movie is not available in English, then this movie might give you a good time, if you expect a real horror experience, you’ll be left wanting more out of this flick. We gave our score with the benefit of the doubt, as the techniques used were certainly on par with big budget movies, and the overall idea and story are very original.

This review copy was provided by The movie can be found here.

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Rating: 5.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Dearest Sister (Nong hak) (DVD) - Movie Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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