Yumi Kohama, Martina Chen, Mya Lazorka, Kent Lee, Haoming Chen
Gustavo Diaz, Chaz Fenwick
Movie Review: Malice: Nu Gui
Finding its cinematic life in Chinese folklore, Malice: Nu Gui is an ambitious indie horror feature recently released via FilmHub and currently available via Tubi and Amazon Prime Video. Co-directed by Gustavo Diaz and Chaz Fenwick with Fenwick scripting, Malice: Nu Gui centers itself around the curse of Malice, a dark and vengeful Nu Gui. Vengeful spirits primarily haunting males that have done them wrong in the past, the Nu Gui here is Malice (Martina Chen).
At just over 45 minutes, Malice: Nu Gui is just past the line of a short film and instead would likely be considered a very short feature. Diaz and Fenwick pack quite a bit into the film's slight yet nicely paced running time from Malice's first act of vengeance involving a rather gory attack on Zheng Wei (Kent Lee) through a brief moment of levity involving a certain date with Joe (Jake Harrison) and an intriguing climax that proves the film's ambitious nature.
The film is largely an ensemble piece with Martina Chen's Malice leading the way and most other characters having brief moments to shine amidst the chaos. Additional supporting players include Haoming Chen's Lee, Mya Lazorka's Keo, and Yumi Kohama's Sakura.
Malice: Nu Gui is a dark and eerie film that benefits from Diaz's atmospheric lensing and Eliza Jade's special make-up effects to amplify the film's more supernatural horror roots. While the film feels underdeveloped and needs some room to breathe, there's an awful lot of promise here and Chen captivates as the demonic, vengeful spirit even if her actions don't always seem to manifest naturally.
For fans of indie horror, you can catch Malice: Nu Guy for free on Tubi and check it out for yourself. While it didn't quite click on all cylinders for me, I'm always up for supporting ambitious indie filmmakers and will look forward to future efforts from Fenwick and Diaz. Asian mythology always fascinates and the real-life Nu Gui mythology is vividly realized here in Malice: Nu Gui.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic