In Thai with English Subtitles
Genre: Horror/Thriller Director: Paween Purijitpanya, Songyos Sugmakanan,
Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom, Visute Poolvoralaks
Cast: Jirayu La-ongmanee, Koichi Sato, Yuki
Amami, Charlie Trairuth, Erika Toda RunTime: 2 hrs 5 mins Released By: GV Rating: NC-16 (Horror Scenes) Official Website: www.phobia2.com
Opening Day: 24 September 2009
collection of five horror stories, from the studio that made
SHUTTER, DORM, BODY #19, ALONE, COMING SOON, 4BIA. By Thailand’s
most talented horror film directors- Banjong Pisanthanakun
(Shutter, Alone, 4BIA – In the Middle), Paween Purijitpanya
(Body, 4BIA- Tit for Tat), Songyos Sugmakanan (Dorm, Hormones),
Parkpoom Wongpoom (Shutter, Alone, 4BIA – Last Fright),
and a new director Visute Poolvoralaks the man behind the
success of Shutter, Alone, 4BIA, and Coming Soon.
- Fourteen year-old Pey committed a crime, so his mom decides
to hide him in a Buddhist monastery to escape punishment.
However, something deep down inside is bothering him. Will
Pey's Karma catch up with him?
- Upon graduation, a young Japanese couple decides to hitchhike
around Thailand. They manage to get a ride on a truck, but
suspect something strange in the truck's trailer. What exactly
is in the back of the truck?
the End – Four boys are filming an upcoming horror movie.
As they are shooting their last scene, one of the actresses
dies mysteriously. To finish the film, they have to have her
complete her scene, DEAD or NOT.
– A car dealer makes her living by refurbishing used
cars, sometimes with horrific pasts. One night after closing,
she discovers her son is missing. Could these cars have memories
of their tragic histories?
– A young man is in hospital for a motorcycle accident.
He is moved into a room with an old man on life support. When
strange things start happening in the middle of the night,
he starts to wonder. Is he really alone?
Sometimes good things come in small packages and 4bia (Phobia
1) was a testament to that. The anthology of various short
horror stories worked well as it removes the unnecessary padding
out of a good horror idea. It allows the storyteller to focus
on the crux of the horror that he is delivering and makes
a good splash out of it. The four directors of 4bia brought
a distinctive flavor of horror to the plate and it was fun
to sit through the four mini horror movies for the price of
one. Needless to say, at the end of 4bia, the sequel (if any
at that point of time) was highly anticipated.
And Phobia 2 didn’t disappoint. In fact, the production
value seems to have gone up a notch and sharper story telling.
Even though each segment contains a whole new story, if you
look closer, there are some sorts of links to the first anthology.
Without further delays, let’s review each of the segments.
It was a strong start for this anthology of horror stories.
Novice blends traditional folklores, Buddhist teachings and
good old scariness to preach a lesson on redemption and regrets.
In it’s short time frame, it deftly touches on kinship,
karma and facing one’s personal demons that left a memorable
mark. It raises the question of how one would face it’s
mistakes and fears. Would they run or would they stand their
ground to receive their punishment.
One of the notable aspects of this segment would be the usage
of special effects. Instead of overdosing it, the special
effects were used quite sparingly and subtlety to aid this
tale of 'you reaps what you sow'. The end result of that choice
was that it created a surprisingly effective sense of eeriness
This segment invoked memory of 4bia’s Alone. Both settings
are confined to one area and both segments had their respective
protagonist encountering terrors from a ghostly visitation.
Both were cost effective to make and yet successful in creating
the terrifying tension with only two cast members.
What made Ward a notch better than Alone was the revelation
at the end. It gave a better explanation to the unreasonable
haunting to the poor chap who got warded. 4bia’s Alone’s
rational for the haunting felt rather twisted for it’s
own good and was a bit of hard sell while Ward’s rational
had that fierce angle that it made sense for the ghostly disturbance.
What made it even scarier would be that in a country that’s
famous for the usage of black magic, this story might be plausible
While the previous two segments uses the unseen spirits to
create the disturbing atmosphere, Backpackers was a fun homage
to the zombie genre. In a way, it’s similar to 4bia’s
"Tit For Tat" (which is basically a black magic
tale told in Final Destination style) where the fun is in
attempting to survive the mess.
Like any good zombie movies out there, Backpackers wisely
do without too much explanation of how the zombies were created.
It basically focuses on two Japanese backpacker travelers
and two dodgy truck drivers’ attempt in surviving the
massacre. The fun lies in the battle for their morality, the
unexpected zombies attack and a very bleak ending that screams
for a sequel.
Similar to The Last Fright in 4bia, the concept for salvage
came from a far-fetched ideology that’s not without
it’s merits. Previously, it was a case of what if a
stewardess was stuck in a flight with a corpse and the director
chose to explore the fear factors by adding vengeance and
solitary in that premise.
This time round, the director chose an unscrupulous 2nd hand
car dealer that deals with cars that had been involved in
accidents. He pushed the horror elements in by imagining what
if remnants of those tragedies are still trapped in those
metals that had been remodel into sellable 2nd hand cars.
In the ghost genre, it’s plausible that those who had
suffered within the confine of the metallic box could somehow
find their suffering trapped or transmitted in those metal
objects. Personally it was an innovative idea blend such 'bottled
up emotions' with the acts of a dishonest 2nd hand car dealer.
However the segment was somehow letdown by it’s execution
aspect and moments that felt scary in the trailer didn’t
managed to excel so much while played out in full. It doesn’t
help that the segment reminded of moments from The Orphanage
and Drag me to hell. In a way, it’s flawed but still
In the End
After getting spooked for 4 segments, "In the End"
was a comedic effort that made us laugh as hard as it was
"In the End" bears the hallmarks of Banjong Pisanthanakun’s
"In The Middle" as it poke fun of the horror genre
like never before. It was a comedy riot when this segment
self-depreciates the director’s movies such as Shutter
and Alone. It even went on to poke fun of overacting in horror
films and how bad decisions were made on set while filming.
Who’s dead and who’s not? It all ended in a big
barrel of laughs and unexpected twist that’s worth re-watching.
Without a doubt, "In the End" sets a precedence
and standard for good 'homedy' (horror comedy). Needles to
say, this segment is my personal favorite and in my opinion,
it’s well worth the cost of admission to Phobia 2.