Ha phraeng (2009)

Plot Overview

The sequel to See prang (2008), this a 5 segment anthology film directed by 5 of the best Thai horror directors.

Review

Novice – a teenager is hiding out a sacred place in the jungle for meditation, but his guilt from his crime haunts him. This was beautifully shot and had some creepy moments. It was a fairly sad story as well and though it was partly effective, it also relied quite a bit on jump scares.

Ward – a teenager crashes his bike and has to stay overnight in hospital. There’s an old man in a coma in the bed next to him, but isn’t all he seems. This was a dull segment and the weakest one. It relied heavily on jump scares and didn’t seem to have any point.

Backpackers – a Japanese couple hitch a ride with some men who are harbouring something in the back of their truck. This has a bit of a slow build-up, but works for the reveal. Some of it is nicely done (in particular keeping the camera in the back of the truck when it rolls), but it seems to try too hard with the gore, making the end seem too Hollywood.

Salvage – a second-hand car saleswoman’s young son goes missing in the car compound. This had some decent tension in the build-up and the lead actress’ distress was quite believable. But it did, once again, go for some jump scares and the story didn’t seem to make much sense.

In the End – a film crew get a surprise when one of their actresses returns to set after being declared dead at the hospital. This was quite a funny meta-segment. It also had some creepy moments, but didn’t have the same tone as the rest of them. This was my favourite segment though as the characters were likable and fun, and the twists and turns were dealt with nicely.

Summary

The most off-putting aspect of this film for me was the strong element of revenge. I usually don’t like revenge stories as I find revenge petty and childish and struggle to get any enjoyment out of people enacting revenge. In this case it was especially difficult because no-one had done anything bad enough to deserve the treatment they got. The jump scares were also a bit annoying. Aside from that, all segments were well-made and interesting (even Ward was ok to some extent). The film was very American/Hollywood in its sensibilities, so it’s surprising this isn’t more well-known.

Rating: 7/10

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusmailby feather