“There’s a bad spirit here,” we are told in a new trailer for Jenna Kato’s “Good Madam.” The South African horror photo shows Cidi (Chumisa Koza), a single mother forced to move in with her estranged mother, Mavis (Nozifo Mtebe), a domestic worker. Mavis takes care of a mysterious, sick white madam. She agrees to let Cidi and her young daughter (Kamvaletu Jonas Razia) move in, but quickly reminds them of the house’s rules. “You can’t run, you can’t touch the fridge, you can’t go into the pool alone, and most importantly, never go into a lady’s room,” she said.
It wasn’t long before Cidi was convinced that something sinister was happening in the house. “It’s not that mom doesn’t like the house – the house doesn’t like mom,” she tells her daughter.
“All the movies I work on come about when a few things fall into place or click in my head. In this case, I really wanted to explore the horror genre. Bass told us. “For most of my life, I was completely incapable of watching scary movies: I was a sensitive child. At the same time, the genre means nothing to me without content – what it says about our world. So I wanted to tell a story about a domestic worker who managed to get her agency back, along with the home where she lived and worked all her life. So using this particular genre was a way to provide a literal exorcism of trauma in our country.
Bass is the co-author of Rafiki, Wanuri Kahiu’s 2018 romance for two women in Kenya. Her directing includes “Flatland” and “High Fantasy”. The first was the first Berlinale Panorama 2019 film.
“Good Madam” made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2021. You can watch it in Shudder from July 14.