Sunday, July 10, 2011
Four | หลุดสี่หลุด [ Movie Review ] ★★★★
In recent years, my personal favorite Thai horror movies have been the Phobia series (4bia and Phobia 2). It shows that good Thai horror might be in form of short stories and a collection of them brings in diversity and horror in the right dosage. When the trailer for Four appeared on my radar, it felt like a weak copycat aping the success of the previous two omnibus of Thai horror. But surprisingly, the only thing that was bad about this movie would be the trailer and Four was equally good as the Phobia series.
Think of it as a Thai Twilight Zone movie and you get the right level of scariness. It offers some intriguing concepts that probably would lose it's appeal if the each individual idea was to be expanded into a feature length movie.
Here's the lowdown on the plots of the four short stories and my thoughts on them.
The Noob's Human Holocaust | เกรียนหลุดโลก
As their conversation gets weirder, one of the group member started to ask the most important question. Who organized this gathering?
On first impression, The Noob's Human Holocaust looked like a film school project with cinematography that felt amateurish. But for folks who are into films and film making, it won't be hard to spot that the entire segment was done in one take. That means one continuous shot of this segment with no NGs and no cuts. There was a moment whereby the camera floated away from the conversation and pans to the second level of the mall before making it's way back to the boys' table. The unsteady camerawork gave the used of handheld Steadicam away but extra points should be given to the filmmakers and cast for their various background works and coordination to make it possible to capture the whole story in one shot.
Last but not least, I personally digs how they used the virus as a form of subtle PSA (Public Service Announcement) to turn their handphones off during movies. Pretty niffy way to start a movie. this review belongs to filmsblitz at blogspot. please do not shamelessly copy it and use it as your own
The Gift Shop for the People You Hate | ร้านของขวัญเพื่อคนที่คุณเกลียด
Thada dismissed the salesperson's pitch and wanted to leave. The salesperson then mention that someone already bought six gifts for him and warned him to watch out for products with their company logo. Thada naturally didn't believe that and went on to enjoy his promotion. The fun starts when he starts to unwrap and uses his promotion gifts.
The Night to Lose Your Mind | คืนจิตหลุด
After their robbery, they encountered a police roadblock and decided to hide in a old abandon hospital. They were about to split their booty when they encountered someone or something that lurking around. Neung in his maniac mood swing felt that his authority had been challenged and decided to chased after the shadowy individual. Resulting in a night that ripe to lose one's mind.
Who R Kong? | ฮูอากง
They hired a fortune teller / exorcist to solve the problem and the family was told that the grandpa wanted to pass a message to his favorite grandchild. The message was said to contain hidden treasures in the ancestral home. The head of the household then decided that all the grandchildren would stay over to look after the grandfather's body.
The grandchildren were made up of an effeminate guy who refuse to admit that he is a homosexual, a brainy doctor who is quite an asshole, a internet porn addict teenager and a little girl who is constantly texting with her blackberry. Lastly, there's Song (Alice Tsoi), the granddaughter who seemed to be the most decent and sensible among the bunch.
This "homedy" segment is wonderfully directed by Chukiat Sakveeraku (who also directed Love of Siam, one of my fave movies of 2009). It's impressive that he was able to deliver a well blend of scary horror and riotous comedy. In an unexpected way, he was able to close this whole segment with a sweet ending. Personally it was a terrific way of ending a fun rollar coaster ride.
Beyond the Movie
I came across a set of four individual Thai posters for the respective segments here.