Wednesday, April 15, 2009

COMING SOON: A Movie-Within-A-Movie

COMING SOON (horror thriller)
Cast: Chantavit Dhanasevi, Vorakan Rojchanawat and Sakulrath Thomas
Director: Sophon Sakdaphisit
Time: 83 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

A scene from the movie-within-a-movie, Vengeful Spirit

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? Coming Soon is directed by Sophon Sakdaphisit, the screenwriter of previous Thai horrors like Shutter and Alone. You probably knew this already (as it has been splattered over the movie's ads and poster) but I am repeating it here because this seems to be the selling point for this movie.

Sophon was the guy who wrote the scripts for Shutter and Alone - and now he is directing his own script. Big deal!

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Coming Soon offers two movies for the price of one! The main plot concerns Shane (Chantavit Dhanasevi), a projectionist who resorts to pirating an upcoming horror movie titled 'Vengeful Spirit' in order to pay off his gambling debts. However, while video-recording the advance print off the cinema screen, his accomplice, Yod, mysteriously disappears, leaving behind the camera with some disturbing images.

To get to the bottom of the mystery, Shane teams up with his estranged girlfriend Som (played by singer Vorakan Rojchanawat), to investigate the truth behind 'Vengeful Spirit' and check out the location where it was shot.

The subplot, or the movie-within-the-movie, is about a crippled and psychotic woman who kidnaps children in her village and mutilates them. This is supposed to be based on a 'true story'.

HITS & MISSES: Five years ago, the scares in Asian movies were provided by long-haired kids with their faces painted white and wearing dark eye make-up. These days, it is long-haired women with slit-mouth or scarred faces. We get a lot of such images here, accompanied by loud, irritating music, of course. After a while, they cease to be scary and become irritating, especially the 'quick cuts' that skip parts of the action. Indeed, Sophon uses the loud creepy soundtrack so much that it seems to be the main devise in his bag of tricks. The young, inexperienced cast do not help matters.

Sophon's idea for Coming Soon is to explore a situation where the reel world merges with the real world - as in what if the scary scenes on the screen were not just in your imagination? What if you were to find yourself in the movie? These are interesting concepts but Sophon fails to capitalise on them or develop them. In the end, Coming Soon feels like an experimental theatre with half-baked ideas mixed with some borrowed from films like The Screen At Kamchanod.

The same half-baked treatment goes for the movie piracy subplot too. The cinematography looks professional enough, with most of the scenes shrouded in dark hues.

THE LOWDOWN: Sophon shows promise as writer and director. Perhaps he just needs more practice.


At 7:32 am, Anonymous OnlinePosterPrinting.Com said...

Great review! Good to be up-to-date with movies, wouldn't have known. And would want to watch this! Nice post, thanks!


Post a Comment

<< Home