Chapter 2 of “The Origin: Madam Koi Koi” – A Cinematic Journey Through Nostalgia and Horror
The film’s first act masterfully captures the essence of suspense, luring viewers into a world where the mundane and the supernatural collide. The sinister folklore of Madam Koi Koi, Bush Baby, and Mr. Cabin, ingrained in the memories of those who attended boarding schools, takes center stage. This narrative choice serves as a poignant nod to shared experiences, creating a nostalgic resonance that instantly connects with the audience.
Led by a formidable cast including Ireti Doyle, Chioma Akpotha Chukwuka Jude, and Martha Ehinome, the film brings these chilling tales to life. The performances, particularly that of Ireti Doyle as Mother Superior, contribute to the immersive quality of the film. Doyle’s portrayal encapsulates the duality of a two-faced nun, adding depth to the character dynamics.
The narrative unfolds in 1991 as Amanda, portrayed by a talented ensemble cast, grapples with the challenges of adjusting to boarding school life. The film deftly navigates the complexities of teenage relationships and societal issues, adding layers to the horror narrative. The initial assembly scene, where Amanda’s friend warns her about a group of boys with a dark reputation, sets the stage for the unfolding horror.
As the plot unravels, the film introduces a tragic incident involving Amanda, the mysterious creature, and a chilling manifestation of revenge. The first part lays the foundation for the horror, skillfully intertwining elements of supernatural terror with real-world issues.
The cinematography emerges as a standout element, employing techniques that resonate with a modern audience. The dynamic camera movements, strategic use of lighting, and eerie sound design collectively contribute to the film’s ability to send shivers down the audience’s spine. A notable example is the portrayal of Amanda’s visions, where the camera tilts to enhance the surreal and unsettling nature of her dreams.
The visual effects deserve commendation, particularly in scenes where Madam Koi Koi makes her harrowing appearance. The combination of red lights and black fog creates a visually striking and genuinely terrifying spectacle. The makeup effects on the faces and bodies of the corpses further elevate the horror, striking a delicate balance between gore and realism.
However, the film encounters turbulence in its second act. As the narrative progresses, it grapples with horror tropes, becoming somewhat anticlimactic, bland and, most notably, deviating from the established concept of Madam Koi Koi. The iconic clack of her heels, synonymous with folklore, transforms into a stomping portrayal, altering the character’s essence and diluting the impact of the legend.
The intricacies of the plot, while engaging in the first part, succumb to predictability in the second. Clues and mysteries become glaringly apparent, robbing the audience of the joy of deciphering the narrative twists. Amanda’s role as the unknown figure triggering the creature’s arrival unfolds in a manner that lacks the subtlety present in the earlier sequences.
Believability also takes a hit as the narrative unfolds. The film introduces plot points that stretch the boundaries of plausibility, including Amanda’s seemingly swift acceptance of a sacrificial role and the inexplicable disappearance of a key character, Idowu, without further exploration or consequence. The village’s awareness of a rape case triggering supernatural events feels contrived, violating the principle of “show, don’t tell.”
The second part introduces a witch trial, an ex-herbalist, and detectives on a mission to banish the malevolent force. While these elements add depth to the lore, the execution lacks the finesse displayed in the first act. The narrative becomes burdened with exposition, sacrificing the subtlety that characterized the initial portrayal of horror.
Despite these shortcomings, “The Origin: Madam Koi Koi” stands as a testament to Nollywood’s evolving approach to horror. The film takes commendable risks in exploring indigenous elements of horror, ushering in a new era for the genre within the Nigerian cinematic landscape. The flaws embedded in the storyline do not overshadow the film’s overall impact, positioning it as a notable entry in the horror genre.
In conclusion, “The Origin: Madam Koi Koi” succeeds in weaving a tapestry of nostalgia and horror, despite stumbling in its second act. As Nollywood continues to embrace the challenges of the horror genre, “The Origin: Madam Koi Koi” serves as a harbinger of the potential that awaits, both in indigenous storytelling and spine-chilling cinematic experiences.
For those daring enough to tread the eerie corridors of nostalgia and horror, “The Origin: Madam Koi Koi” awaits on the streaming platform Netflix, inviting viewers into a world where the past and the supernatural collide in a tapestry of suspense and terror.
Release Date: November 7, 2023
Runtime: I hour and 38 minutes
Streaming Service: Netflix
Director: Jay Franklyn Jituboh
Cast: Ireti Doyle, Chioma Akpotha Chukwuka Jude, Martha Ehinome, Nene Aliemeke, Tolulope Odebunmi, Omowunmi Dada, Ejiro Onojaife, Chuks Joseph, Kevin T. Solomon, Temidayo Akinboro, Iremide Adeoye, and Racheal Emem Issac