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  Publicity Stills of "Art of the Devil 3"
(Courtesy from GV)

In Thai with English subtitles
Director: Ronin Team
Cast: Napakpapah Nakprasit, Suppakorn Kitsuwan
RunTime: 1 hr 25 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: R21
Official Website: http://www.longkhong2.com/eng/main.html

Opening Day: 24 July 2008


Witness the origin of black magic, and get ready for a feast of non-stop scare.

The hair-raising supernatural thriller that dares you to open your eyes throughout its carnival of shock and fear, Art of the Devil 3 is the sequel of the global hit from the original directors and cast. The film blends the mysticism of local dark magic with inventive scare tactics that made Art of the Devil 1 and 2 such an unforgettable experience among viewers around the world.

Art of the Devil 3 will bring back Panor, a seductive schoolteacher pursued by a horde of young men. When an ex-soldier tries to steal her darkly powerful Three-Eyed Devil, Panor has to fight back, and their encounter leads to a spine-chilling supernatural duel.

Movie Review:

Asian horror films are often known for their atmospheric way to frighten the audience by relying more on sound and less on visuals. By visuals, I am specifically referring to blood and gore effects commonly seen in Western horror films. The “Art of the Devil” series from Thailand happens to combine the strength of both Asian and Western horror films with more emphasis given to the latter.

Although it is officially the third entry to the series, “Art of the Devil 3” is actually a prequel to “Art of the Devil 2” while having no relation whatsoever to the first “Art of the Devil” film. If you have seen the trailer for “Art of the Devil 3”, you may have noticed that it has the Thai title “Long Khong 2”, meaning it is a follow-up to “Long Khong” which is also known as “Art of the Devil 2”, but in terms of storyline, it occurs before the events of “Long Khong”. Confused? Me too, but just leave the mind-boggling puzzle behind and let the film do its work.

The film basically gives an in-depth look into the past incidents involving Panor and Ta (the school teacher and one of the high school students from “Art of the Devil 2” respectively). Panor, who has the powerful three-eyed devil merged within her, has an affair with Ta’s father, Prawase. In order to marry Panor, Prawase poisons Ta’s mother, Duen to keep her away for good. Ta’s grandfather and great-grandmother then enlist the help of a black magic practitioner and former soldier named Dit to summon and transfer Duen’s soul into Panor’s body. With the ritual seemingly a success, it is just a matter of time before things start to go awfully wrong. Ta and his family have to contend with Panor once again while Dit is bent on possessing Panor’s three-eyed devil for his own gain.

Having not seen any of the previous “Art of the Devil” films, I can only view this film on its own merits. Still, I feel that it would be a more enriching experience to watch “Art of the Devil 2” first, as there are numerous flashbacks that reference scenes from the second film. If you do not demand much in terms of plot, you won’t feel left out viewing this film right from the get-go. This third installment still delivers what is expected from it – plain disgusting torture and gory sequences with some maggots thrown in for good measure.

While the film succeeds in creating some horrifying moments (a few of which are achieved without the use of blood, namely the black magic chanting scenes with the cinema’s surround sound system put to good use), the same level of attention from the filmmakers is not evident when it comes to character identification. With so many characters in this film, not a single one of them is worth the audience’s sympathy and support. At first, Ta seems to be the one. As the film progresses further, even Panor starts to show some potential. However, by the time the film ends, I can’t bring myself to care for any one of them. Why? Because all the characters have so much vengeance in their hearts with little or no conscience that it seems like they are totally devoid of morals. Without a main hero/heroine, it is difficult to appreciate this film like other horror films in which there is a protagonist for us to connect with.

At the end of the day, “Art of the Devil 3” is more about cashing in on the success of the previous films in the series by giving moviegoers more gut-wrenching and hair-raising moments associated with Thai black magic. It all depends on how many more ‘ka-chings’ can be heard from Five Star Production’s cash register before we can be sure of an “Art of the Devil 4”.

Movie Rating:

(Torture-porn enthusiasts will get their money’s worth here, but the same can’t be said for those who expect minimal character identification in a horror film)

Review by Tan Heng Hau


. The House (2007)

. Body #19 (2007)

. The Screen At Kamchanod (2007)

. Alone (2007)

. The Unseeable DVD (2007)

. Colic (2006)

. Ghost Game (2006)

. Art of the Devil 2 (2006)

. Art of the Devil (2004)

. Shutter (2004)


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