Moving into a Texas country estate in order to tend to her elderly charge Dena (Jayne Taini), Filipina caregiver Evelyn (Aina Dumlao) likewise finds herself drawn into a Gothic haunted house story replete with swirling secrets and forces beyond her comprehension.
As Dena’s physical and mental decline hasten, Evelyn senses something ominous lurking. While the wallpaper is fading and the furnishings are tattered, it’s evident that there is something rotten at the core of this home. As things go bump in the night, static screeches over intercoms and smoke detectors ping incessantly, it’s as if the house itself yearns to make a deathbed confession. Investigating further, Evelyn unearths sinister elements of her employer’s past.
Taking its tonal cues from the likes of The Turn of the Screw, its visual sensibility from ‘70s horror cinea and its name from the three wise monkeys who see, hear and speak no evil, Xia Magnus’ elegantly restrained first feature is a claustrophobic thriller that deftly illustrates the perils of confronting repressed memories and unwanted truths.
Aina Dumlao, Justin Arnold, Jayne Taini, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Tomorrow Shea, Matthew Albrecht
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Please note that VIFF 2020 online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.
The son of two artists, Xia Magnus was raised in the vibrant Chicago fringe theater scene. He studied experimental storytelling and screenwriting at The New School University in New York and did graduate work in new media and interdisciplinary arts at University of the Arts London. In 2015, he and Alyssa Polk founded Oneonetwosix Films, which has gone on to produce award-winning narrative shorts and features.