What kind of scenes in a horror film scares you the most? When a ghost appears totally unexpectedly? When the main character does not see the ghost lurking up behind him? When at the very end you find out that the main character was actually a ghost all along? But none of this compares to the feeling of arriving home alone and suddenly being struck by a feeling of déjà vu that you are reenacting the very same scenes in the horror movie you just saw! This movie will scare you from the second you step inside the movie theatre. It will get you wondering if “something” or “someone” might be waiting for you to let your guard down. The horror movie that you just saw is about to happen to you in real life!
The “film-within-a-film” conceit takes a creepy turn in this movie written and directed by one of the writers of Shutter and Alone. The film within this film is a ghost story titled “Vengeful Spirit” and it seems that whoever watches the film will also be accursed by the evil spirit within the movie (talk about movies coming alive).
Fortunately, the film hasn’t actually opened yet; it’s a “Coming Soon” title but one which two cinema projectionists Shane and Yod cannot resist pirating to make a quick buck. They are the two that the vengeful spirit within the film comes after. Yes, piracy doesn’t pay, especially if it’s a horror movie.
For the most part, writer/director Sophon Sukdapisit makes good of his film’s sinister premise, setting most of the hauntings take place in a cinema. Using a location that most audiences will surely be familiar with, he shrewdly plays on the regular cinemagoer’s own fears of that empty cinema hall or the labyrinth of corridors most cinemas force you to walk through after a screening.
Alas after a promising start, Coming Soon doesn’t quite know where it wants to go. Why is the vengeful spirit coming after those who have seen the movie? What does it want? Who exactly is it? It is in answering those questions that the movie loses steam, descending into a average horror flick that most audiences will be able to figure out before its final supposedly shock revelation.
It doesn’t help that the actors are also amateurs- Chantavit Dhanasevi as Shane fails to portray the anguish or desperation needed for audiences to care about his character. Neither does his co-star, Vorakarn Rojjanavatchra, who plays Shane’s girlfriend, Som. The two share little chemistry as a couple as well, and are probably the movie’s weakest links.
A good premise doesn’t a movie make; and Coming Soon is an apt example. It starts off intriguingly, but what novelty its idea may have evaporates slowly as it reveals its paper-thin plot. As it is, this is no more than a standard issue Thai horror that wouldn’t be joining the ranks of Shutter anytime soon.
There are no special features on this DVD.
The film’s Dolby 2.0 audio leaves much to be desired- not only are the sound effects surprisingly flat, the audio also sounds a tad muffled most of the time. The picture is clear enough to bring out the shades of light and darkness in the movie.
Review by Gabriel Chong
on 25 May 2009