Since its premiere earlier last month, the Syafiq Yusof-directed psychological horror film Misteri Dilaila was haunted by rumours on social media that came about when eagle-eyed audience members and film buffs claimed that it is a rip-off of 1986 Hollywood film Vanishing Act and 1964 Tamil film Puthiya Paravai.
According to Harian Metro, viewers claimed that nearly 80 per cent of Misteri Dilaila’s storyline bore similarities to the David Green-directed film which starred Mike Farrell and Margot Kidder. Vanishing Act‘s plot revolved around a honeymooner (Farrell) who reports his wife (Kidder) missing, then learns she might not even be the woman he married when a strange woman shows up a few days later claiming to be his missing wife, despite his inability to recognise her.
Misteri Dilaila centres on a quarrelsome couple–Jeffri (Zul Ariffin) and Dilaila (beloved amoi Elizabeth Tan)–spending their holiday at their vacation home in Fraser’s Hill. But a number of strange occurrences begin to take place. By the end of it, Jeffri is convinced that Dilaila was replaced by another women. Notice a theme there?
Mostly putting their thoughts on Twitter, some horror fans noted that the only difference was replacing the dog in Vanishing Act with a cat, while others expressed disappointment for being fooled by the uncannily similar storyline.
Almost 80% the same and the director was so proud of his “own creativity” 👏🏽….. pic.twitter.com/HMp8JbnH1z
— Naqib nee-san (@Bear_Uang89) February 25, 2019
Watched ‘Misteri Dilaila’ and thought it was a brilliant local horror/triller/crime movie with 2 different plot twist/ending. But was just got to know that the movie has 80% similarity to the 1986’s movie ‘Vanishing Act’
This is plagiarized work. Very disappointed.
— Johnny Toh™ (@Johnny_Toh) March 4, 2019
‘Sama tak? Yang tak sama kucing jadi anjing, ustaz jadi paderi dan kopi jadi arak, kitab jadi injil…hehehehe…master of plot twist, satu Malaysia kena twist!’
Siapa yang belum tengok Vanishing Act, boleh tonton di YouTube.
I have NO intention to watch #MisteriDilaila… pic.twitter.com/xKWXqGc2cw
— Adam (@ATMology) March 5, 2019
In a report by NST, Syafiq Yusof took a page out from the Tun M playbook and responded to the rumours by saying he “looked East” for inspiration.
“Two South Korean films inspired Misteri Dilaila, they are The Forgotten and Challenging. I enjoy watching Korean movies, especially horrors,” said Syafiq.
He also claimed that he has never heard or watched the Tamil film either. Syafiq’s father and Misteri Dilaila producer Datuk Yusof Haslam asked the public to give his son space to address the allegations of plagiarism.
“We will give a formal statement on this matter in due time,” the veteran filmmaker said.
Up until now, Misteri Dilaila has earned over RM4 million in box office collections since its premiere on 21 February ’19.
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