VIDEOFIELD INTL. LTD
Rating – 5/10
Reviewed By – Vivian Nappier
Trailer – The Duplex
The Duplex is supposed to be a supernatural thriller but sadly comes across more like a comedy horror. The story is written by Stanley Isokoh and directed by Ikechukwu Onyeka.
The Duplex tells the story about an expecting couple who move into a new home, sold at a ridiculously cheap price and suddenly starts experiencing supernatural events that leads to several revealing secrets and twists.
Emeka (Mike Ezuronye), a family man in financial crisis with a very pregnant wife, Adaku (Omoni Oboli) is lured by a lawyer/estate agent, Akpan (Ayo Umoh) into buying a Duplex at a ridiculous amount of 12 million naira ($40,000). Emeka with a very reluctant Adaku, sells most of their furnitures and her car to buy the house with a loan help from his friend and financial advisor, Jones (Anthony Monjaro).
Strange events start occurring at the absence of Emeka like doors opening, gas turning on and the continuous occurrence of a dark mysterious character (T,J, Morgan) running around the house. When Adaku confides in Emeka, he assures her it’s her imagination but things take a different turn when the mysterious character magically takes her unborn child from her womb.
Upset, Emeka refuses to speak to Adaku until he starts seeing the creature. Frightened, he informs her he has let the issue of the miscarriage go and explains what he has started experiencing but she assures him they will have another child and should stop worrying. Emeka becomes sick, scared to death with nightmares of the creature hunting him. Adaku informs her friend, Dora (Uru Eke) that she need to get a pastor immediately. Emeka decides against it saying there is nothing wrong with the house and he is probably imagining things due to the loss of the baby.
The ghost continues to hunt Emeka and he finally decides to pray and spray water around the house with Adaku, In the process, he sees the ghost and proceed to punching endlessly at it only to discover that it was Adaku. He takes her to the hospital. Emeka confides in Jones about everything happening and they decide to see a spiritualist (Maureen Okpoko) . The spiritualist goes to cleanse the house along with Emeka and Jones. She ask Emeka why he bought the house and he informs her he had a good deal, she advised he returns the house as he is not the first to buy it. She also informs Emeka that the ghost won’t rest till it destroys him. Emeka confess through flashback that there was a grave in the house which belonged to the real owner and Jones and himself dug it up and destroyed the skeleton. The spiritualist warns Emeka that his time is running out and to find the real owner siblings and return the property. Emeka goes over to Agent Akpan and threatens him into confessing that a man named Wale (Patrick Chukwuedo) gave the house info to him and while the old owner had the same issues he went in search of Wale and saw that he had gone mad because he stole the house info and never returned it to the right owner. The spirit attacks Emeka and he escapes narrowly. He goes to Akpan once again and Akpan informs him that he now has a trace to Wale sister, Matilda (Aret Edet). They go over to her home and she informs them that although she was originally attacked by the spirit, she gave Wale the documents and the spirit left her. She states her father actually was the one that brought the document to them. While trying to book a flight to the village with Wale’s sister, Akpan once again confesses to knowing where the real owner’s son, Chukwudi (Okechukwu Oku) lives . They go over to his house to return the document. Chukwudi calls out to his sister, Adaku to bring out their ill mom. Adaku comes out with her mom (Benedicta Gbeludu). Emeka is shocked to see his wife and to know that the ghost is her father but Adaku informs him that her mom married her father after the death of her first husband – the ghost. The mom informs them of how much he went through to build the house and it was stolen from him by Maltida’s father. She states that she placed the curse on the house because the spirit pleaded with her to avenge his death. She accepts the house and ask the spirit to rest in peace.
As you can see, this story has TOO MANY inconsistencies! It dragged way too long and ended up making pretty much no sense at the ending. First, when Emeka confesses to digging up a grave, the flashback shows him at Akpan’s office AND Akpan states that the grave was cemented because it was sinking. If a grave was cemented, how did Emeka see the grave? So is the writer saying that Emeka saw a magic grave and dug through cement to take out the bones of the dead man and threw it away? REALLY?
When he went to view the house, did they not go round the house during inspection? How did they not see this said grave? Except it won’t be possible to see because it is cemented but how did Emeka magically see it enough to dig it then?
Second Problem – When the mom informed them of how much her first husband suffered to build the house, she starts by saying he built it and it was stolen from him but that story changes to he fell ill and died before the Biafra war, and then when they went to hide (Mom and Chukwudi) they gave the house document to his best friend, Balogun…. why? Was the document too heavy to put in her bags when she went into hiding? She just felt it was best to give the document, the only possession they had, to the best friend of her late husband so she can go and hide with her son?
Also, when Emeka was pleading with the son to accept the paperwork, Chukwudi states that he can’t because he wasn’t around when all of it happened. Ummm, I thought the mom JUST SAID she went into hiding with her son?!
Just so we are clear, this movie is pretty much saying that the step dad and mother of Adaku were perfectly fine with killing the unborn child of their own daughter because Emeka bought the house that was stolen from Adaku’s step-father? Also are we suppose to believe that Emeka did not know Adaku’s brother or family home even though they were married? The family of Adaku had no idea that they bought a house that magically happens to be the one stolen from Adaku’s late step father and the house her mother caused?
Also, since when do people see a ghost in their house and run to the living room to make phone call? The naija I grew up in, when we see someone who shouldn’t be in our house, we run OUTSIDE! Before making any call or calling out to neighbors.
Also there was a random scene thrown in of Adaku telling Dora that she didn’t want Emeka to know about her secret savings, of which she used some of the money to help with the purchasing of the house. If a story or statement bears no real relevance to the movie, take it out. No need mentioning it once and then never make use of that statement again. We honestly didn’t need to know that and again, Nollywood needs to stop including every scene shot on set just to make a movie longer!
Despite all that confusion, let us talk about the horrible CGI!
This is terrible, TERRIBLE! With the budget for this production, I am highly surprised that no one thought of just buying a prop kitchen faucet, connecting a little straw pipe filled with fake blood and go ahead with shooting blood running out of a tap!
Let’s introduce our Oga ghost that walks around without shoes
Nollywood, really? There were a million ways to make this ghost character much more scary! Forget the CGI, take your time to hire a makeup artist, do research, create an atmosphere, set up proper lighting, create close up and medium close up! Shoot and re-shoot till it is done right! If this was cropped properly during editing, it would have created a much better effect than this. All I see is a man in black robe walking around the house! I don’t think I have laughed so hard to be honest.
Omoni Oboli and Mike Ezuronye did great with their roles, again it was more of a comedic horror than a thriller. If that was not the goal, then Nollywood really needs to get it together and start taking time and real effort to create something magical.
I really had high hopes for this movie but at the end, highly disappointed.