What is the Cult in Home for Rent? Is Ms. Ratree Based on a Real Cult Leader?

In Sophon Sakdaphisit’s horror film ‘Home for Rent,’ Ms. Ratree is the leader of an unnamed cult. She offers to help Kwin retrieve his dead daughter Jaa by transferring the little girl’s spirit to Ing, his second child. To regain his daughter, Kwin then becomes a member of the cult and starts to worship “His Mightiness,” seemingly the founder of the group. As the current leader of the cult, Ratree is known as the “mother.” After promising Kwin his first daughter, she eventually attempts to take away his second child for her personal gain in the movie, which is inspired by several true stories!

The Terrifying Unnamed Cult

Ratree’s cult originated in the Himalayas, a mountain range in Asia that has some of the planet’s highest peaks, including Mount Everest. Ratree’s great-grandfather was the descendent of His Mightiness, the possible founder of the cult. One of the prominent characteristics of the cult is their devotion to His Mightiness. The members of the group evoke this supreme power by chanting, “Wo-Ye Wo-You Pu-Na Cha-Ra.” They pray with a little red book in their hands, which is completely blank. Whenever the spirits communicate with them, inscriptions appear on the pages as a scene depicts.

The cult is heavily involved in the affairs of spirits. The cult members can protect the spirit of a dead person in a doll as Ratree did in the case of her youngest daughter. They also can transfer the spirit from a doll to another human body, only for it to replace the original spirit. Although the highly intricate details associated with the cult make it appear real, it is fictional. Having said that, several real-life cults in India originated in the Himalayan regions. Ritualistic and occult practices are still prevalent in Asian countries, most prominently in India.

Last year, a man, who is believed to be a Tantrik, allegedly tried to kill a woman to acquire wealth through black magic in Assam, a state in India that’s situated by the Himalayas. In 2015, eleven people were arrested for allegedly killing a ten-year-old boy after one of them fell ill in Nepal. The boy was reportedly murdered believing that a human sacrifice was necessary for the ill boy to get rid of evil spirits.

Ms. Ratree is a Fictional Cult Leader

Like the unnamed cult, Ratree also doesn’t have a direct real-life counterpart. However, she isn’t drastically different from several cult leaders and occult practitioners from across the world, whose actions have resulted in numerous deaths. In the movie, Ratree sets out to kill Ing for her dead daughter Prae’s spirit to inhabit the little girl’s body. Similarly, several occult practitioners have committed murders for the sake of their personal ambitions. In Thailand in 2004, Kanchana Jiamcharoen and her relatives allegedly killed her daughter Prapasorn Jiamcharoen to please the Hindu lord Indra, the king of devas as per the religion, for the prosperity of her family’s coconut farm and pomelo orchard.

Like Ratree, Kanchana reportedly claimed that she has supernatural powers to summon Indra. Ratree does the ritual with candles and lights and the scene of the ceremony is similar to what the police discovered in Kanchana’s house. Niwat Siwantawong, one of the investigators, saw a Buddhist altar in the house but he noticed a difference. “But something was different. Then I realized it was this ugly green god – some kind of Hindu thing. And there were huge pools of candle wax everywhere, and some big candles still burning,” Niwat said about the crime scene, as per South China Morning Post.

Read More: Home for Rent Ending, Explained: Does Ing Die?