|Tags: 4bia, anthology, Asian Horror, Banjong Pisanthanakun, ghosts, haunting, Parkpoom Wongpoom, Paween Purikitpanya, Phobia, thai, thailand, Yongyoot Thongkongtoon|
Director:Banjong Pisanthanakun, Paween Purikitpanya, Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, Parkpoom Wongpoom
Cast:Laila Boonyasak, Maneerat Kham-uan, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Witawat Singlampong, Pongsatorn Jongwilat, Chon Wachananon
I'm pretty behind on my Asian horror nowadays, but I've always kept Phobia AKA 4bia on my radar since I've heard nothing but positive stuff about it. I finally decided to take a look at it this past Halloween and I'm glad I did, because it's definitely one of the better horror anthologies I've seen recently.
6/10 - "Loneliness" by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon
This first entry is a simple one about a young woman confined to a cast due to a recent car accident that left her with a broken leg. She's forced to remain in her small apartment for months and eventually loneliness gets the better of her and seeks company via an online forum. She starts getting texts from an anonymous number soon after. She ignores it at first but the person's persistence pays off, as she begins responding back. It doesn't take long for them to strike up lengthy convos and a connection is formed.
However, some things start to become peculiar to her after a while, like how she only receives texts during the night, while the person's phone seems to be disconnected during the day. And she gets her own picture back when she asks the other end for a pic. Although this was predictable, the story still managed to be a little creepy, especially towards the climax.
6/10 - "Deadly Charm" by Paween Purikitpanya
This is a semi-standard revenge tale about a teen who is inadvertently killed by fellow students after they beat and bully him. Unbeknownst to them, the guy had cursed them before his death. Now his spirit is back for revenge and offs each student in quick and violent ways.
If there was a weak story in the bunch it would be this one. I didn't mind the story much, but the director/editor's choice to make all these quick MTV ADHD edits with all this rock music blasting overhead got annoying after a while. To make matters worse, the CG effects were really bad. On the plus side, I dug all the bloody and violent deaths and it kept me entertained for the most part.
7/10 - "The Man in the MIddle" by Banjong Pisanthanakun
This was an enjoyable and surprisingly funny tale about a group of male friends on a camping trip. One night the guys talk about how so many ghost films are the same and as they all lay together in a row one of'em jokes that if he dies he'll haunt the guy in the middle. The next day they go rafting and an accident leaves them swimming to land, except for one who has gone missing. Guess which one?
This tale was written/directed by half the duo behind Shutter and Alone and although the least scary of the four entries, it's definitely the most fun, especially for movie buffs. The twist is pretty ironic and amusing, despite being a little clichéd, though I'm sure that's the point. Either way, I enjoyed it.
7/10 - "The Last Flight" by Parkpoom Wongpoon
The other half of the creative talent behind Shutter and Alone ends the anthology with this final installment, and also happens to be the creepiest of the stories. We follow a spoiled princess from a fictional country, as she takes a flight back home. She requests that the staff that helped her in the last flight be present for her return. Being of royalty they must oblige, leaving only two pilots and a single stewardess to attend to the princess, while the rest of the plane is full of empty seats. The princess plays mind games with the stewardess for the majority of the flight until she eats something that causes an allergic reaction before the flight lands.
This eventually leads to her death that was unintentionally (or was it?) caused by the stewardess. The same staff are present to take the body of the princess back home, which once again leaves the one stewardess to look after the corpse. At this point you can probably guess the rest of the story.. Aside from my gripe about why they would merely strap the corpse to a seat as opposed to putting her in a coffin and into the cargo bay, I thought this was a pretty solid ghost tale. It's rare to see a haunting taken place on an airplane, so the setting alone made it worth a watch. Luckily, there were some genuinely creepy scenes in it as well, especially when it came down to hearing all the coughing and gagging sounds the ghost would make.
This turned out to be a fun and semi-creepy horror anthology that didn't necessarily take us into any new directions, but at least gave us some solid tales where even the weakest entry is still a little better than what the genre normally gets nowadays. If you dig Asian horror and anthologies then give this a look.
|Posted on November 2, 2013 - 5:18pm | FrighT MasteR|