Most Malaysians prefer to watch international films over ones made right here in our own country. You might not even know that some of the local movies are actually the bomb. So we’ve made a little list for you to get started.
#10 Hantu Kak Limah (2018)
Directed by Mamat Khalid, this movie combines the elements of horror and comedy in the best way. It focuses on a fictional village called Kampung Pisang and Kak Limah who gets possessed and starts messing with everyone. It guarantees scenes so funny your tummy will ache as well enough scary moments to make you jump.
#9 Paskal (2018)
This action-packed military movie was directed by Adrian Teh and was the most expensive movie Malaysia ever made. It’s about the journey of an officer named Arman Rahmat a member of the Malaysian Navy special forces unit. This film is filled with action scenes that are up to par with international movies so you know it's gotta be good.
#8 Dukun (2018)
A horror-thriller, Dukun is about a shaman who is investigated for homicide after a ritual on a businessman goes terribly wrong. Directed by Dain Said, this film caused many in the cinema audience to freak out because it’s just that creepy. It’s also loosely based on the Mona Fandey trial which just emphasizes the spookiness, give it a watch if you dare...
#7 Jagat (2015)
Jagat is an amazing Tamil-language film based partially off director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal’s own childhood. Historically, it’s a fantastic display of Malaysia’s ethnic Indian community in a tiny town during the 1990s. It’s about a boy named Jagat who despite his father’s encouragement to study well, chooses to be a troublemaker which many of us can completely relate to.
#6 Munafik (2016)
Directed by Syamsul Yusof, this supernatural horror film is the first in the Munafik trilogy. We watch Adam, a Muslim medical expert who after his wife’s death is unable to continue his job anymore. All seems tragic for him till he meets Maria who unbeknown to him is possessed by a super scary evil spirit that will make you scream more than once.
#5 Mukhsin (2006)
Mukhsin a 12-year-old boy befriends 10-year-old Orked and starts crushing on her hard. Director Yasmin Ahmad accurately portrays the intense feelings of young love, hitting us right where it matters. The movie delves into the heartache of first love seen through the eyes of these innocent children. Though a love story, this film intervenes between scenes of the lives of Malaysian villagers and the different dynamics of families.
#4 Sepet (2005)
This classic and another one of Yasmin Ahmad’s momentous achievement shows us the lives of two teenagers from different cultural backgrounds. A Chinese boy falls in love with a Malay girl who has a higher social standing than him. This movie is so romantic you will feel your heart skip a beat and also cry your eyes out.
#3 The Journey (2014)
The Journey is a comedy-drama film directed by Chiu Keng Guan and is about a Chinese girl coming home from England to introduce her very traditional family to her fiance. The catch? He just happens to be a ‘Mat Salleh’! Her father reluctantly agrees and he and his future son-in-law go on a nationwide journey to hand-deliver wedding invitations while bonding in their own way.
#2 Ola Bola (2016)
This sports football film directed by Chiu Keng Guan will make you go all patriotic and remember what it truly means to be Malaysian. Inspired by the time our national football team participated in the 1980 Summer Olympics, this movie portrays the perseverance it takes to achieve results in spite of failure and will have you and your family fully entertained.
#1 Suatu Ketika (2019)
Another sports football film, Suatu Ketika directed by Prakash Murugiah is set in 1952 before Merdeka. It tells the story of a kampung boys football team that competes in a small local teen cup tournament against a winning British team. Now, this film tops the list as it delivers messages that will make your heart swell, working together despite differences towards a common goal which is exactly what Malaysia was built on.
Now that you know where to start with our local film scene, you might just be inspired to make your own additions to the list. There are way more Malaysian movies out there that are just as good as international ones and will make you proud of our local filmmakers. To know more, check out WTF's episode on the local film industry.