This Hungry Ghost horror film was made by Malaysian students… and it’s going viral

Alright, we’re gonna try something a lil different today. There’ll be no introduction, no explanations (for now)– just watch this animated short film titled DeadDa and let us know what you think.

So how was it? Spooky? Cinematic? Did you feel goosebumps up your arms?

Personally, we were hooked. The film was eerie from the get-go, and despite being an animation, the details were so life-like. Even the main character’s grating cough had this writer’s throat feeling scratchy for a moment. And let’s not forget the horror. Between the unsettling music and the disfigured zombie chasing down the main character, that’s some Anabelle levels of anxiety🫣

Well, if it isn’t obvious enough, we loved the film, and if you felt the same, this teeny tiny fact is gonna to blow your mind– it was made by a group of students.


This student project took a whole year and a half to complete

Released to celebrate the Hungry Ghost month, which is a specific period in Chinese culture where the deceased roam the world of the living, DeadDa basically tells the story of a ‘dit da sifu’ (chiropractor) being haunted by a ‘jiāngshī’  (ancient Chinese zombie). And yes, DeadDa is totally a pun on ‘dit da’ and yes x2, it did tickle our funny bone when we heard it.


Image screenshot from DeadDa on Youtube

While the whole thing made for a thrilling 5-minute-watch, it actually took the whole team– consisting of 22 students from The One Academy’s Digital Animation and Illustration department– an entire year and a half to complete!

animated short film student

Poses and expressions of sifu. Image provided by The One Academy

And that’s because these students poured over every single detail. From crafting a culturally accurate zombie, to researching the historical background of the Chinese words you see in the film, the team double and triple checked their work to make sure there were no errors.

“Creating a semi-realistic film was quite a challenge for us. I hope that those who watched our short film will find it enjoyable and inspiring,” — Woon Zi Qi, line producer and concept artist

And they surely succeeded, since at the time of this writing the film has garnered over 84,000 views on Youtube! For more films made by the students feel free to check out The One Academy’s Youtube page.

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