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Repossession

By Bobby LePire | August 28, 2020

Based on its title and plot, one might presume that Repossession is a horror movie. While co-writers and directors Ming Siu Goh and Scott C. Hillyard, do trade in that genre every once in a while here, this is a drama about a prideful man who must reassess himself, his value, and his family after being unceremoniously fired. One of these things is a gripping and fascinating tale that garners sympathy and frustration in equal measure. The other only gets in the way.

By all appearances, Jim (Gerald Chew) is living the perfect life. He’s married to an intelligent and loving wife, Linda (Amy Cheng). Their daughter, Ashley (Rachel Wan), is off at university but visits often. However, the happy facade comes crumbling down after Jim is fired. Being too prideful to tell his family, he begins a lowkey search for a new position, but it does not go as planned. So, he becomes a rideshare driver, still unable to tell Linda or Rachel what happened.

However, as his search for a proper job proves fruitless, Jim becomes haunted by a demonic entity. This malevolent presence has been showing up throughout Jim’s life, taking possession of people close to him, and ensuring they befall a terrible fate as he watches on, horrified. Or, is it that Jim has always had a dark, tormented side and finally lost his grip on reality?

“…as his search for a proper job proves fruitless, Jim becomes haunted by a demonic entity.”

Whether you choose to read Repossession as a man finally giving in to his murderous impulses, or that a demon is torturing Jim throughout the years, there’s no denying how great all the non-horror stuff is. On paper, Jim should be impossible to empathize with, as he’s a prideful jerk who always lies to his family and fails to do the responsible thing until it is too late. But, the viewers come to understand his train of thought and even like him. There are subtleties in the dialogue that pepper in such empathy, but it’s mostly due to Chew’s incredible performance.

From the first time the audience sees Gerald Chew, they like him. The actor’s face contorting, unsure of how to react to the choice before him: choose resignation or termination. Either option is unfathomable, and Chew plays the moment perfectly. His chemistry with Amy Cheng is excellent, so their scenes radiate with love. In one dramatic scene, Jim finally tells his daughter about everything that’s been going on. Chew perfectly plays the shame and distraught he’s feeling.

Cheng is so warm and gentle, it’s endearing. Over dinner, she reminds Jim that he has work the next day, so no more wine. Ashley than reminds her that she too works in the morning, and takes the bottle for herself. Everyone in that scene is so affable it is delightful. Small moments like this make the drama, such as when Linda discovers Jim’s lies, all the more heartache-inducing. The acting from everyone is perfect.

Repossession (2020)

Directed and Written: Ming Siu Goh, Scott C. Hillyard

Starring: Gerald Chew, Amy Cheng, Rachel Wan, Sivakumar Palakrishnan, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

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"…a remake of Repossession that eschews the horror to strictly be a drama is something I eagerly await..."

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