Cast: Jaime King, Terry Chen; Director: Ernie Barbarash; Producer: Andrew Koster; Screenwriters: Trevor Markwart, Carl Bessay, Doug Taylor; Music: Hal Beckett; Editor: Lisa Robison; Genre: Horror; Cinematography: Gregory Middleton; Distributor: Brightlight Pictures; Location: Canada; Running Time: 89 min.;
Technical Assessment: 3.5
Moral Assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14 and above
After three years of stay in Shanghai China, couple Jason (Terry Chen) and Sarah (Jaime King) along with their son Sammy (Regan Oey) return to Canada for the funeral of Jason's uncle. The timing of the travel coincides with the Chinese festival of Ghost Month where it is believed that during this time ghost’s turn to demons if no offerings and sacrifices are made. Soon after their arrival, many strange occurrences happen which include Sarah and Sammy seeing ghosts, and worst when Sammy became mysteriously ill. When modern medicine fails, Sarah desperately turns to a Chinese pharmacist (Henry O) who tells her that her son is likely in a death grip by a disturbed ghost of a Chinese teenager and Sarah may lose him forever by end of Ghost Month festival if she will not subject herself to a dangerous ritual that will bring peace to the angry ghost. Will Sarah submit herself to the ritual and save her dying son?
They Wait offers a good package of horror film that has an interesting plot and compliments of acting, sound effects, and production design. The visual effects are likewise commendable for being effective in jolting the viewers without being destructive. The combined Western and Asian setting blend well for overall theme of the movie. There were scenes that were bit slow and dragging like when the child was being haunted and during the funeral wake with camera panning on the guests. But in general, scenes were well-coordinated and keep up to the interest of the viewers. Technically, the film has above average quality that pays off the time and money of the viewers.
The film gives emphasis on the importance of respect for the dead for peace of their souls and those who are living. Otherwise mysterious thing can happen and poses danger to life like what the family in the film has experienced. Similarly, life is precious and should be protected. Any dark secret specifically against life will come out no matter how long it takes and those responsible will pay for it. Whilst the overall theme of the film is horror and overpowering evil ghosts in the context of Chinese culture, it also highlights one great love of a mother to a child. A mother did not have second thought of risking her life to save the life of her son. A husband who is equally concerned to his child listens to the plead of the wife and trusts and supports her all the way. On the whole, "They Wait" is a positive film projecting values of respect, love, peace, faith and justice. However, scenes may be too scary for children, CINEMA recommends to viewers age 14 and above.