Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Film Review: Bangkok Haunted (2001)

Bangkok Haunted (Review)
Thailand/2001
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...has a great story, a good story, and a mediocre story."

Bangkok Haunted is a horror anthology with three stories of love, sex, and mystery told by three young women at a bar.

Bangkok Haunted's first story follows a young woman who finds an antique drum possessed by a dancer's spirit. This story jumps from past to presence and has a strong romance presence. In fact, it works much more as a romance story than it does horror, despite a handful of skin-crawling moments. The second story follows a lonely young woman as she uses an aphrodisiac spray to get the men she wants... with some deadly consequences. Again, it's not very scary and relies mostly on sex. The final story follows a young detective as he investigates a suicide he believes is actually murder. This story blends mystery, horror, and some disturbing visuals to be the most well-rounded. The ending of the film is interesting, but confusing as the frame story doesn't have much story.

The biggest problem for Bangkok Haunted is its often confusing storytelling. The first story works well most of the time, but the jumps from past to presence can be poorly translated. The second story features some elements and characters that aren't explained properly, so it leaves many questionable scenes. Surprisingly, the final story -- the story with the deepest and most blatant mystery elements -- has the smoothest storytelling and the best balance of elements. The first story has a handful of spooky moments as well as some creepy visuals, and the final story has some devastatingly disturbing scenes and an engaging mystery. The second story was a drag and lacked impact.

The acting was great from most of the cast, everyone delivers a more than competent performance. The cinematography is great during the first story, really capturing the beautiful scenery. The music is also good, it can be creepy one moment and electric during another. The direction from Oxide Pang, from the Pang Brothers, and Pisut Praesangeam is solid -- a few tweaks could've made it an easier ride, but it's solid, regardless.

Overall, Bangkok Haunted has a great story, a good story, and a mediocre story. They all share a supernatural theme, but this anthology isn't very scary. If you can stream it, buy or rent it for cheap, you should do that cause it's mostly enjoyable -- much better than the last film from the Pang Brothers I watched, The Child's Eye.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore, sex and nudity.

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