Based on a true story in 1987, an outdoor film screening was
booked at Kamchanod forest reserve. The projectionist crew rolled
the film but there was no audience. But towards the end the
ghosts came. A young doctor, Yuth seeks the mystery behind the
screening. Together with his team, he tracks down the film and
arranges a screening. Soon, the group starts their encounter
with the dead...
Beginning with an interesting premise, The Screen
At Kamchanod is a terrible letdown considering the potential
that it started out with.
based on true events, the documentary-style opening narration
sets an ominous atmosphere for the movie. Indeed, there are
quite a few unexpected scares to be had as the research team
led by Dr Yuth moves from clue to clue to uncover important
details of the ill-fated screening twenty years ago.
to say however, the movie loses steam very quickly. Thai horror
movies of late have been notoriously bad at scene transitions
and this is no exception. There is little logic provided in
the story to link its scare-a-minute scenes together. What
this amounts to is various characters seeing various unexplained
ghostly apparitions with little explanation and thus little
still, the story begins to meander at the halfway mark so
the run-up to the doomed screening ends up more as a rundown.
Instead of focusing on the mystery behind the screening, director
Songsak Mongkolthong decides to highlight the traumatic experience
that each of the characters is going through.
problem with this tack is that the characters are never really
fleshed out so there is really very little to care about them.
One fatal loophole here is the motivation of each of the individual
characters. The director does nothing to let the audience
understand why they are still so determined to go through
with the screening even when all these bad events are taking
place around them.
movie is also not helped with the lackluster performances
of all five lead actors of the research team. Besides trying
to look scared, they are not competent enough to bring across
the erosion of the characters’ sanity as they are haunted
time and time again.
final nail-in the-coffin for this Thai horror flick is its
finale. As if realizing that it has already wasted enough
of its audience’s time, the movie tries to insert a
last minute twist that is quite unnecessary and ridiculous.
To be honest, this reviewer’s experience was further
marred by the terrible subtitling of the DVD by Scorpio East
which failed to translate a crucial clue of the puzzle scribbled
on a newspaper clipping.
Screen At Kamchanod is indeed a terrible letdown, for the
very nature of its premise presented so many opportunities
that it could have utilized to deliver a chilling movie. Yet
it was content to resort to cheap scare tactics to win the
audience’s vote. Ironically, had this movie been screened
at Kamchanod, it would be no surprise why there were no audience
left at the end of the movie.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Nil, unless you count Kelvin Tong's Rule #1 Trailer
which auto plays when you pop the disc into the player.
Picture quality is decent, but subtitles are burnt in, an
indication that probably the same print was used for the VCD
release. Also, only English subtitles is available. This bare
bone DVD release is even more appalling for the fact that
crucial clues required for understanding the movie, especially
at its climax, are not subtitled.
by Gabriel Chong