Thursday, October 30, 2008

THE COFFIN: Mostly Claustrobic

THE COFFIN (Horror thriller in Thai)
Karen Mok, Ananda Everingham, Napakapapa Nakaprasitte, Andrew Lim and Florence Vanida

Director: Ekachai Uekrongtham
95 mins

Rating: * * 1/2
(out of 4)

With Hong Kong star Karen Mok headlining this Thai venture, 'The Coffin' looks like it is the most
promising for this Halloween weekend. Okay, I have not seen the others but the line-up of cheap horrors does not look so good to me.

THE PLOT: Mok plays Sue, a Hong Kong dietitian who is obsessed about her health. When she discovers that she has cancer, she goes to Thailand to avoid getting married and telling her fiance (Andrew Lim) about her illness. There, she learns about the local ritual of lying in a coffin for a whole night, in the hope that their bad luck would be reversed (and ailments disappear).
In a subplot, a Thai architect named Chris (Ananda Everingham) tries the treatment to make her Japanese girlfriend (Aki Shibuya) regain her health. After the ritual, both Zoe and Chris start experiencing strange things...

HITS & MISSES: 'The Coffin' is directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham who gave us the story of a transsvestite pugilist in 'Beautiful Boxer'. Indeed, he has learned from his experiences and the photography and sets have improved a great deal. So is the movie's travelogue sequences. However, Ekachai relies too much on horror movie cliches - sudden loud noises, ridiculous nightmare sequences and cheap jolts - to take this movie a notch above the slew of Asian horror.

Karen Mok helps to give the movie its international lure and provide some credibility to her role but even her talents are not enough to make the movie compelling. Also, watch out for Beautiful Boxer star Asanee Suwan who has a cameo here.

THE LOWDOWN: Mostly claustrophobic thrills.


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