HAUNTED UNIVERSITIES 3 (เทอม 3) (2024)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Sorawit Muangkaew, Aussada Likitboonma, Nontawat Numbenchapol, Aroonakorn Pick
Cast: Chatchai Chinsri, Isaya Horsuwan, Awat Ratanapintha, Pisitphol Ekapongpisit, Jutawut ‘March’ Pattarakampol, Nichapat ‘Pearwah’ Chatchaipholrat, Siwat ‘Mark’ Jamlongkul 
Runtime: 1 hr 59 mins
Rating: NC16 (Violence and Horror)
Released By: Shaw Organisation
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 20 June 2024

Synopsis: Dive into the chilling depths of fear with ‘Haunted Universities 3’, a spine-tingling cinematic experience that draws inspiration from the untold secrets of the top three urban legends - The Procession, The Caretaker and The Invisible Shrine. Unveiling a haunting omnibus of tales, this film is meticulously crafted to send shivers down your spine, evoke tears and ignite a symphony of screams blending both terror and excitement.

Movie Review:

It’s a known fact that Thailand serves up really good horror movies. And when we say good, it does not mean that these flicks are so scary that keep you awake for countless nights. Besides the horror elements, the movies often explore emotional themes, such as loss, guilt, and revenge. Some are surprisingly funny (like Banjong Pisanthanakun’s Pee Mak), while others are extremely sweet (like “Est” Komgrit Triwimol’s My Boo). The success and positive reviews of notable titles like Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom’s Shutter and Sophon Sakdaphisit’s Laddaland have built a reputation for Thai horror cinema over the years.

The concept of the Haunted Universities franchise is simple yet spot on – the last two movies, including the one released in 2022, are horror anthology films featuring stories of students dealing with paranormal entities. In this third instalment, we get three stories of varying scare levels. The three segments also offer different viewing experiences, depending of what kind of horror movies you ‘enjoy’ most.

“The Procession” gets things going and it wastes no time by telling you a folklore where a princess who was wrongly killed. She does not rest in peace and as a result, people who are up to no good may be brutally beheaded by her (or her servants). Enter two good friends played by Chatchai Chinsri and Isaya Horsuwan, who are preparing for a religious procession as part of their school activity. There is also a scholarship that only one of them can get.

It's not hard to imagine what happens along the way as the duo incurs the wrath of the undead princess, and the tragic consequences that follow. This is a straightforward story that reminds you not to make deals with the supernatural elements, because you may not be prepared for the price you have to pay.

“The Caretaker” is the second segment and it is a memorably atmospheric piece. Awat Ratanapintha plays an art student who is starting the new school year by participating in a series of freshman orientation activities, where each new student has a dedicated ‘caregiver’. Things become unpleasant when his ‘caregiver’ (played by Pisitphol Ekapongpisit) becomes difficult because he is thinks that the activities are silly and refuses to take part. Things become creepy when mysterious art history books tied with red strings start showing up.

This is an interesting story which looks at the dynamics between a senior and junior in school, where the more experienced one is supposed to provide guidance and make the new kid on the block feel at home. It’s made even more interesting considering both the characters are guys. The scene where the ‘caregivers’ are revealed at a ceremony is particularly striking, with an almost cult like feel and a pulsating soundtrack.

The 119 minute movie saved the best for last. “The Invisible Shrine” takes place during a school’s Halloween party, and students take part in a singing contest (while dressed in their best costume) where popularity votes are cast in the form of garlands. When Nichapat ‘Pearwah’ Chatchaipholrat’s character realises she isn’t going to get any garlands, she asks her friend (Jutawut ‘March’ Pattarakampol) to go get one outside campus. Driven by circumstances, he takes one from a shrine spirits start showing up in the school compound.

There are many laugh out loud moments in this segment, as we find out that the duo will forever be haunted unless the curse is broken by someone who hasn’t heard of the shrine’s backstory. This is almost impossible because a public announcement about the shrine was made at the party. Along comes a loner student (Siwat ‘Mark’ Jamlongkul) who may be the key to saving the day. Credit goes to the writers of this segment, as it is a truly fun ride (with the occasional jump scares) through the dark corridors and dilapidated toilets while the trio try to get rid of the spirits. This is also where we are reminded why Thai horror movies are so good.

Movie Rating:

(Amidst the bittersweet, forboding and funny moments, we're oreminded why we love Thai horror movies)

Review by John Li

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