In every city, in every home, theres a real ghost story ready to be told.
Oxide Pang Chun & Pisut Praesangeam
Running Time: 130 minutes
UK Certificate: 18
When most people think of Bangkok, they instantly think of one thing: chickboys. But its also the home of Oxide Pang Chun and Pisut Praesangeam (thats easy for you to say!), two of the Thailands most highly-regarded up-and-coming film directors. Joint project Bangkok Haunted is their attempt to follow in the footsteps of Japanese movies like Ringu and Oodishon with a modern, hyper-stylish horror flick. Unfortunately, unlike those other two films, Bangkok Haunted is cack.
Its divided into three separate stories, each of them brought together by a trio of twenty-something girlies sitting in a sickeningly fashionable Thai bar.
The first yarn, Legend of the Drum, is easily one of the most mind-numbingly dull so-called horror shorts Ive ever had the complete indifference to clap eyes on. As the title suggests, its about a haunted drum, but dont worry its not haunted by the ghost of Phil Collins. Oh no, its something far less frightening. You see, the drum in question is linked back to a 1917-set sub-plot, where Gnod, a slightly unhinged teen, is causing all sorts of problems for a girl called Paga. He fancies the pants off her, but two main problems count against his romantic advances: 1. Hes her brother, and; 2. Hes extremely ugly (to the point that his family keep him in a hut next to the river so that they dont have to look at him). So, to cut an unnecessarily long story short, he kills her, and she pops up in the future haunting pieces of musical percussion.
Had enough of this nonsense yet? No? Alright then, on we go to story two. Pan is a nightclub-frequenting yo-yo-drawers, but shes got a bit of a problem: only fat blokes with moustaches will have anything to do with her. So she gets herself some love potion, spikes the drinks of unsuspecting fancy-boys, and has herself a whale of a time. That is, predictably, until the side-effects kick in.
Finally, at long last, story three. This one, to be fair, is a considerable cut above the dross thats gone before it, and its interesting to note that this is the only segment helmed by Oxide alone. Its an X-Filesey type of tale about a police detective who finds himself in over his head when he starts investigating the supposed suicide of an abused wife. Its easily the best of a bad bunch, but nonetheless suffers from an over-obsession with needless stylistics and hazy story-telling.
Each of the tales only last for around 40 minutes each, but feel like much, MUCH longer. The acting is of a decent standard, but to say the direction is largely disappointing would be putting it mildly. In fact, by the time Id finished with it, a grisly death of the ilk shown on-screen was starting to feel like a preferable alternative to having to watch it ever again.
It's Got: A woman whos armless, green vomit (so at least we know now who ate all the asparagus), and pavements pancakes.
It Needs: Not to be bothered with. Seriously, its a total waste of two hours youll never get back.
DVD Extras A making of featurette, an art gallery, a couple of filmographies, some notes written by film critic Justin Bowyer, and a bunch of like-minded trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10
Three tales of tepid terror. About as scary as stroking a hamster, but much less exciting.