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THE COFFIN (long tor tai) (Thailand)

  Publicity Stills of
"The Coffin"
(Courtesy of Cathay-Keris Films)

In English and Thai with Chinese and English subtitles
Director: Ekachai Uekrongtham
Cast: Karen Mok, Ananda Everingham, Napakpapha Nakpasitte, Andrew Lin, Suchao Pongwilai, Tassawan Seneewongse, Aki Shibuya
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Scorpio East Pictures, MediaCorp Raintree Pictures & Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.thecoffin-movie.com/en/

Opening Day: 30 October 2008


Inspired by a true Thai ritual of lying in coffins to get rid of bad luck and prolong life, THE COFFIN is a supernatural thriller about a young man and a young woman who decide to go through the ritual in Thailand.

Chris, a claustrophobic architect does it in the hope of saving his fiance who is dying of terminal cancer. Sue, a nutritionist visiting Thailand from Hong Kong does it to save her own life after being diagnosed with a lethal brain tumor - one week before her wedding.

After the ritual, Chris and Sue experience what appear to be miracles in their respective lives. But soon, they find themselves confronted by a series of bizarre and terrifying incidents.

Movie Review:

Lying in a coffin in hopes of ridding bad luck is a bizarre but real Thai ritual that is commonly performed. Though it has been around years, it was only recently that someone came up with the bright idea of putting something that is different and scary at the same time and come up with a horror flick. That said, the movie offers nothing much than the standard horror fare that has plagued our cinemas.

The Coffin is made up of two stories. In the first, Chris (Ananda Everingham) is a young man who participates in the ritual in hopes of curing his girlfriend. In other, Sue (Karen Mok) decides to lie in a coffin, having isolated herself in Thailand for a week, after learning she has a brain tumor. Their supernatural experiences occur after the ritual. They soon discover that they may have committed a major mistake they would both live to regret.

On a disappointing note, if you have already seen the trailers, the scary bits have pretty much been revealed. Having seen these bits, I saw the supposed scary parts coming from miles away. And, just as the lazy horror flicks that have been constantly churned out, the scares are tiny and mild.

There were genuine moments when you will feel claustrophobic with the cameras being up close to the actors and the things that happen to them in the coffins. This should have been further explored where the audience could constantly be kept in fear with little room to breathe, which should be the case for a horror movie.

In crafting the story around the characters and their respective loved ones, the movie attempts to make this horror flick a tearjerker at the end. This further confuses the direction the movie is going and the end result is a generally bland effort.

While Ananda Everingham performs decently, Karen Mok gives her best in what is another run-of-the-mill production. Ananda was far better in Shutter, here; his performance was more pedestrian than anything else. With Karen, you feel the pain and guilt her character is going through and this is what makes the movie watchable enough. The highlight of the supporting cast is another resident Thai horror actress, Napakpapha Nakprasitte of Art of the Devil fame, who surprisingly does not really encounter anything scary herself, resigned to playing Karen’s best friend. The writer/director of this movie is Ekachai Uekrongtham of Beautiful Boxer and Pleasure Factory fame. It was quite a surprise for him to come up with a horror movie but I guess it shows that he should just stick to dramas.

Following the fates of the characters in the movie, the end result is one that is more disappointing than a miracle. I can only wish that wannabe horror film-makers learn from the best before making yet another ho-hum movie.

Movie Rating:

(Do not expect to be buried with terror and gore, this was dead upon arrival)

Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri


. 4BIA (2008)

. Art of the Devil 3 (2008)

. The Spiritual World DVD (2008)

. The House (2007)

. Body #19 (2007)

. The Screen At Kamchanod (2007)

. Alone (2007)

. The Unseeable DVD (2007)

. Colic (2006)

. Art of the Devil 2 (2006)

. Art of the Devil (2004)

. Shutter (2004)



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