Muoi: The Curse Returns takes many pages from other Asian horror franchises but fails to do anything impressive with them. Read our full review here. If, in your case, you spent your Sunday watching this film, the convoluted ending may have confused you enough to forgo the whole thing or look up the ending online to make sure you actually caught everything. Here, we’re going to try and explain everything that happens in the final act of the film.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Muoi: The Curse Returns’?
Many years ago, a father and his twin daughters lived in a house in the middle of the woods in a small town in Vietnam. His daughters would fight a lot because they had to share everything they had, and one was naughtier than the other. One fine day, the older twin found a ring in a small fountain near the house, but her sister stole it from her. After this, the father begins to hear odd noises; he walks toward what looks like a hidden painting and hears sounds from behind him, but before anything happens, his older daughter brings him out of the trance. He immediately tells her to hide away, even if she hears anything.
In the present day, Linh is working in an art gallery and exploring the works of many artists. She gets an urgent phone call from an old friend and is told that a man named Kiet has been found dead. We can assume Kiet was a close friend because of the way Linh’s demeanor changes. She is told that Kiet’s body was found bloated out of proportion near the swimming pool, and his face was so degraded that even his parents couldn’t recognize the body. While exiting the funeral, Linh meets her old, dear friend Hang. Hang looks pale and terribly sad. Previously, we had heard Linh speak on the phone to her mother and tell her that she would also like Hang to come over again, like in old times. We understand that Linh and Hang used to be like sisters, but they have been estranged for a few years now. Hang immediately gives Linh a hug, and they sit down to have a little chat. Linh finds out that Hang is living at famous artist Le Chanh’s home and copying his paintings. Hang looks sickly, and she has to take a long bus ride home. Now Linh has to at least drop her back home. On the way there, Hang says it will feel like old times after they spend some time together, and Linh agrees; she hopes to take her back home to her mother too. They arrive at the mansion, and Linh has an eerie feeling. A long walk through the forest leads to the main house, and by the time they reach the house, it is already dark. Linh is told to ask the landlady for permission to stay with Hang. The landlady looks very happy to have another person in the house, but there is something odd about her. Linh doesn’t love the place immediately. The paintings, on the other hand, are lovely, and she observes a portrait of the twins and their dad but realizes there is something strange in his eyes. Upon closer inspection, she sees a spirit with long hair and a white outfit in the portrait before Hang calls her. Things start becoming strange immediately, and Linh offers to cook for them because Hang looks very weak. Hang agrees and tells her everything is in the fridge. Linh doesn’t find anything except some eggs and a couple of packets of noodles. She cracks one of the eggs and finds blood and maggots. Finally, they just eat some instant noodles, and Hang barely touches her food before turning in for the night. Linh takes a shower, and the power goes out. At night, she gets nightmares about a woman in a white outfit with long hair who places a ring on her finger. The next day, Linh sees that Hang’s condition has worsened, so she heads out to bring some medicine. The town itself is slightly eerie, and the one shop that sells medicine is run by a woman with one blind eye. Upon seeing Linh, the woman grabs her hand and tells her that she should get out of the house immediately. Linh is frightened by the woman but rushes back home. In broad daylight, she can still see the ghost all around her and becomes lost in the forest. The landlady finds her and cryptically wonders why Linh would go out alone in an unknown place. Because Hang is worsening, Linh promises to take care of her and stay another night.
What Happened Between Linh And Hang?
During their time in college together, when both girls were studying art, Hang found a lover named Kiet. The girls lived together like sisters, and Hang promised to introduce Linh to her boyfriend. Kiet is immediately smitten by Linh when they meet. They begin a secret affair and see each other a few times before Linh decides she should stop, but Kiet convinces her that he will set things right with Hang. But on the same day, Hang had seen them together in the swimming pool. Back home, she had asked Linh if she had seen Kiet at the swimming pool because both of them had a cold. That’s when the two girls became separated, and Hang continued to be an artist, whereas Linh became a curator at a gallery.
Parallels Between Nguyen’s Story And Hang’s Story
Similarly, back in Le Chanh’s time, he had a best friend named Nguyen who fell into the trap of infidelity. Nguyen, too, was an artist like his friend and may have been even better than him. He was asked to paint a portrait for a woman named Muoi, and the two fell in love. Nguyen had gotten matching promise rings for Muoi and himself, but Muoi later found out that Nguyen was engaged to be married to a woman of high status named Hong. Hong was furious when she learned about Nguyen’s affair and decided to take matters into her own hands. Hong took some goons to Muoi’s home to break her leg and pour acid on her face so she would never be beautiful again. Muoi couldn’t handle the pain and suffering anymore and committed suicide soon after. Nguyen, who couldn’t bear the pain, had to stay married to his wife because of family obligations. He never loved her and found an outlet for his feelings in Le Chanh’s house. He would tell his friend about Muoi all day, every day, and so Le Chanh gave him his art room to work on portraits of Muoi. In the meantime, Hong, who didn’t have children of her own, began to take care of the twins and spend time with them. She enjoyed spending time with them but also managed to get information from them. One fine day, she asked the girls if the men spoke about her in the house, but the younger, more excitable twin accidentally told her the truth about Muoi’s paintings. Hong is furious and goes to see Nguyen immediately. In a daze, she sees the woman appear out of the painting and hug her husband, who is fondly looking at the rings they share. In a fit of jealousy, Hong stabs who she thinks is Muoi hugging Nguyen, but she kills her own husband. Hong sees Muoi, and in her anger and sadness at her husband’s passing, she jumps out of the window, killing herself too. When Le Chanh arrived, he found his friend dead in front of the unfinished painting of Muoi and decided to cover it up. Because of Le Chanh’s misinterpretation of both the husband’s and wife’s deaths, Muoi’s curse was born. Every full moon night in July, Muoi would return to take the lives of women. At a later time, many women were mysteriously dying at the house, proving that there was in fact some truth behind the curse of Muoi.
Who Is The Haunting Spirit, And Which Of The Two Friends Survives The End?
Linh tries to escape the home and meets the old lady from the medicine shop. The old lady tells her the story of Hong and the twins and tells her that Hang is in grave danger, but she should run away because the same fate awaits her. Linh can’t leave her only true friend behind, so she heads back to save her. The landlady has sent up an exorcism and tells Linh that she needs to free Hang’s soul by stabbing her in the chest. Linh had been told by the old lady that she needed to destroy the painting to save Hang. Linh defies the landlady and rushes up to the room with the painting. She tries to slash it open and destroy it but is met with Muoi’s soul. It turns out that Muoi was never the one who possessed anybody, but it was Hong who was obsessed with Muoi even after her death. Hong wanted to besmirch the name of the beautiful village girl who stole her husband and began to haunt all the cheating women who came to the house. The women would come because of the landlady, who we find out is the older twin. Previously, Linh had thought the whole family had died that one night (which was never made clear; why didn’t they show us what happened to Le Chanh?), but the older twin had probably survived Hong’s wrath. She had found Hang at an art exhibition and brought her for the task. She used Hang’s sadness about Kiet and Linh to traumatize her and finally possess her. Hang had been assaulted by a couple of men when Linh had been away with Kiet; she had not spoken to Linh after that. In the present day, the landlady tries to make Linh stab Hang so that Hong can possess her body next, but Linh fights her off. The landlady suddenly sees her twin sister and falls down a flight of stairs in her fright, dying instantly (at least if we had known how her sister had died, this would’ve made some sense; now it’s like the twin was added as a last-minute addition for another cheap trick).
Now, Linh tries desperately to save her friend Hang, who has been possessed by an evil, vengeful spirit. Her solution is to be possessed by Muoi and have Hong and Muoi face each other. Muoi, the nicer of the two women, admits to Hong that she did the wrong thing by cheating on her husband (even though she didn’t really know). Finally, it’s the two present-day friends who are fighting each other. Both Hang and Linh want to sacrifice themselves in order to save each other. Linh gets the chance to apologize to her friend, and she wishes she had done so earlier. Finally, it is Hang who stabs herself and falls out of the window to her death. Linh leans out of the window and cries while Muoi looks over her. Hong’s ghost stands over Hang’s body in a sinister manner, making it look like Hang’s death was futile. But, as Muoi looks over, the ghosts of other girls who had died in the house grab Hong and pull her into the ground for good. Linh made her way out of the house the next day, hand in hand with Hang’s free soul. They finally get over the jealousy and hatred, and Hang will possibly protect Linh forever.
Muoi: The Curse Returns is a 2023 horror thriller film directed by Hang Trinh.