Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ghost of Mae Nak

As an extreme horror buff always on the lookout for new releases, I quickly fell in love with Tartan's Asia Extreme collection. I've been systematically working my way through the horror films, and this is my latest.

Ghost of Mae Nak is a Thai film based on an old Thai ghost story about a woman named Mae Nak. They go into the legend in the film so I won't recap it here (for those of you who might watch it), but if you want to read more, here's the wikipedia link to the story.

In the film, engaged couple Mak and Nak answer an ad in the paper for a start-up house that is up for sale. They agree to buy, but unbeknownst to them, the shady real estate agent is about to pull a fast one on them. Fortunately, he dies in a train accident before he can. The couple fix up the new house, but just days after the wedding they are robbed. Mak chases the criminals who, in turn, hit him with their car leaving him in a coma. While visiting Mak in the hospital, Nak swears that her husband has woken and cryptically told her to find Mae Nak. At this point, Nak has no knowledge of Mae Nak's tale and neither does the viewer. The ghost of Mae Nak appears to Mak in his dreams and she seems to be helping the couple what with her cruel revenge against the real estate agent and later the burglars. It soon becomes apparent, however, that she may be the cause of Mak's mysterious coma. Nak must find out what the ghost wants and try to appease the spirit in order to save Mak. 

The acting is fairly good and the translated subtitles hold a coherent storyline - if you watch many foreign films, especially the Asian ones, you know that there is often more than a little bit of the plot lost in the translation, leaving you with that sense that you just didn't get it. Effects are so-so. Some scenes are great and some are mediocre. Overall it was pretty good and, no, no one crawled on the floor or up the walls. 

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