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The first 40 minutes are typical Asian horror fare; Ting is a goofy ingenue, an actress wannabe with a bad Bai Ling haircut who's hired by the local police department to help them reenact crimes. She quickly gains a modicum of fame, and a following...including the ghosts of every dead woman she portrays. Her big chance comes when the police find evidence of the death of international beauty queen Meen. Let me reenact your death, prays Ting, and I'll help find out what happened to you. Meen hears her, and her prayers are answered as the ghost starts haunting Ting.
To this point, the movie has every Asian horror cliche known to man--unintentional levity, ridiculous plot, stringy-haired ghosts in obvious greyish makeup, and hideously bad overacting by the girl playing Ting--but about halfway through the entire premise changes and it gets a LOT better; the cliches are revealed to be a joke on the viewer and swept away, and the story shifts to streamlined horror. Lots of horror. No spoilers, but it was creepy enough that I had to summon the dog to sit with me on the couch and keep me company.
There is a lot of CGI, but I thought it was done well, and the sound effects are excellent (I don't normally comment on sound effects but the ghost is announced by a tinkling ankle bell and by the last scene you'll dread the noise). There's no existential navel-gazing or long exposition--when the ghost comes out to play, the results are extremely effective.
Another nice touch from a director who clearly enjoys inside jokes: as the closing credits run, clips from the movie where images of the ghost were hidden are shown in tandem. Most of them are subtle, almost subliminal, but it makes for interesting viewing.
Thai director Monthon Arayangkoon is probably better known on this side of the pacific as a producer (for the wonderful, underrated thriller Pizza and the biopic Indiana Joai: Elephant Cemetery), but he's directed three movies; Garuda is notable for being the first Thai film completely shot on digital, but is otherwise unremarkable, and The House is well-received, though shallow. The Victim, which came in the middle, shares a number of the weaknesses of the other two movies, but is nonetheless watchable, as long as you're willing to overlook one major problem. (Unfortunately, because of the film's structure, I can't go too far into that problem, but I'll do my best to address it without major spoilers.)
The film centers on Ting (Black Night's Pitchanart Sakakorn), who as the film opens has recently finished an acting class (with one of the most terrifying acting instructors you'll ever see on a screen). While she's demonstrating how to laugh to her father in a crowded cafe, she's approached by Lieutenant Te (Bangkok Loco's Kiradej Ketakinta), who's looking for an actress for a very specialized role: she'll be playing in crime reconstructions. We get a montage of humorous scenes as she and her usual co-star get used to the work, but then the real plot begins: the police assign her to the murder of Meen (The Bullet's Apasiri Nitibhon), whose body has never been found. When Ting goes to the murder site to get some perspective, she has a vision that's well outside the kind of stuff she's used to, and begins to feel that Meen's spirit is directing her to the real killer.
All well and good, and as a straight supernatural murder mystery, it's not bad, if minor and somewhat forgettable.Read more ›
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I saw this movie on Sundance but I didn't know what the title was. I had been searching for it online and never knew this was the title. It's a movie based on a victim reenactment. Read morePublished 13 months ago by LeCats06
It's a great movie that makes you wonder what's really out there even when actors are playing a dead role...could they really be playing or were they guided by the unknown? Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by taro buns
This movie was just the stupidest movie i've ever seen. It wasn't even scary, the plot was just stupid. But the quality is good.Published on December 17, 2012 by Trinht09
This is the first movie I think I've ever watched that decided to derail itself from the track. The only other movie I can think of that went from "great!" to "what is this? Read morePublished on February 10, 2011 by maskedgamer
I'm a fan of Asian Horror Movies (especially Thai). Prior to watching this piece of crap, I saw SILK. Read morePublished on June 4, 2008 by G. A, Palermo
This film suffers from a lack of everything: interesting characters, good-looking scenery, and most conspiciously missing is the scares. Read morePublished on November 30, 2007 by Jason A. Greeno