Tiger Stripes review – entertaining Malaysian horror shows its claws

<span>‘Feral energy’: Zafreen Zairizal as Zaffan in Tiger Stripes.</span><span>Photograph: Akanga Film Productions</span>
‘Feral energy’: Zafreen Zairizal as Zaffan in Tiger Stripes.Photograph: Akanga Film Productions

Amanda Nell Eu’s snarling debut is not the first film to harness body horror tropes as an allegory for the adolescent angst and the shame of female puberty. But this Malaysian production, which shares central ideas with Pixar’s Turning Red, as well as genre films such as Carrie and Ginger Snaps, folds in a distinctive element of south-east Asian folklore and superstition, in addition to universal themes of preteen girl bullying.

Bursting on to the screen with an energetic dance routine – Tiger Stripes is as TikTok literate as it is fluent in the language of horror. Twelve-year-old Zaffan (Zafreen Zairizal) is the wildest of her circle of friends, but when she gets her period that feral energy takes on a disconcerting new dimension. The message is not always clear, but it’s an entertaining ride.

  • In UK and Irish cinemas now