The Guardian (2021) Review: Truc Anh’s Thriller Gets It Right

The Guardian, or Thiên Than Ho Menh, is a horror-thriller movie directed by Victor Vu and stars Truc Anh, Amee, and Salim, alongside other cast members. The movie has a runtime of 127 minutes.

Netflix describes the movie as:

A tragedy surrounding a pop star propels her backup singer to fame, but the new star is plagued by supernatural occurrences.

– The Guardian review does not contain spoilers –

[TW: Sexual assault, suicide]

The Guardian starts off with a suicide. No beating around the bush with this one. To top it off, the movie has these creepy dolls that everyone calls guardian angels, but if you have seen enough creepy doll horror movies, you know those never go down well.

The movie, from its very beginning, has a sort of spunk that keeps it pretty interesting. You want to know whether idol singer Phuong was murdered by her Kumanthong doll Yuki or whether the suicide was a fallout of a leaked sex tape. Either way, Ly, too, goes down the same route as her former boss/”sister”. However, things aren’t as they seem and there are so many secrets here that it will keep your head buzzing.

A big chunk of the first half of The Guardian is the backstory for Ly’s rise to fame and her spooky encounters. It also slowly shows us Ly’s obsession with her own Kumanthong doll and jumps back and forth between the present Ly and the night that she and Phuong went to a shady party. What follows after the first half is absolutely shocking to watch.

Thiên Than Ho Menh isn’t like your usual “haunted house” or “creepy doll” movie. It’s extremely gruesome, creepy and very scary. First of all, the movie talks about the worst of humanity and the result of fame. Using demon dolls might make you rich and famous very quickly but it comes with its fair share of problems.

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On the other hand, the way the movie showcases the dolls, the spirits that reside in them and the way Ly becomes obsessed with it. Also, a teenager dating an adult is horrible and very illegal. Thiên Than Ho Menh makes great use of the atmosphere and horror at hand. There’s something very scary about baby ghosts and the movie knows that. It uses that thought to its advantage and creates an atmosphere that is very effective and scary. The background on why the horror happens is, of course, horrifying. But the supernatural bit is extremely effective as well. It keeps you guessing and scared throughout.

The twist at the end was expected but brought about really well. You might be able to get that there’s something shady going on, but the way it brings about the horrifying truth will come as a shock to you. Thanks to the twists and turns, the movie’s runtime doesn’t feel too long. It’s a little dramatic at some points, but that will pass easily.

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For those of you who don’t like a lot of blood and gore, this might be a slightly difficult watch. Although it’s not SAW or something similar, it still has its fair share of blood and guts that will make you sweat a bit. Those who like their movies bloody, Thiên Than Ho Menh will be a delightful watch.

The characters are really believable as well. Ly is both extremely stupid and vengeful – something that you expect from a teenager. I loved Truc Anh in the movie. She’s great as the extremely naïve, scared and revengeful Ly. She embodies the role and her attitude will make your blood boil and sometimes, have sympathy. I am a little taken aback by the fact that no one really talks about the fact that Ly was also a victim. She’s selfish and greedy, sure, but I mean. Come on?

Summing up: The Guardian

Thiên Than Ho Menh is an effective horror, revenge-thriller that will keep you guessing. There are not a lot of movies that can effectively juggle the different parts of a movie like this but this one does a really good job at doing what it’s supposed to do – keep you scared and guessing.

The Guardian, or Thiên Than Ho Menh, is streaming on Netflix.

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The Guardian, or Thiên Than Ho Menh, is an effective horror movie that has some great twists and turns.


  1. Please rephrase -it contains spoilers because now I feel like I don’t even need to see the movie -thanks
    Now I’m just irritated

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The Guardian (2021) Review: Truc Anh's Thriller Gets It RightThe Guardian, or Thiên Than Ho Menh, is an effective horror movie that has some great twists and turns.