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  Publicity Stills of "The Screen At Kamchanod"
(Courtesy from GV)

In Thai with English subtitles
Director: Songsak Mongkolthong
Cast: Achita Pramoi Na Ayudhya, Pakkramai Potranan, Namo Tonggumnerd, Pimonwan Hoonthongkam, Ongart Cheamcharoenpornkul, Chamlong Klingpetch, Apichai Trakulpadejkrai
RunTime: 1 hr 36 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: PG (Horror)
Official Website: http://www.thescreenthemovie.com/eng/

Opening Day: 28 February 2008


Based on a true story, THE SCREEN AT KAMCHANOD is set in 2007, a modern world still haunted by past mystery. Dr. Yuth (Achita Pramoj Na Ayudhya) is obsessed with finding the truth behind the newspaper report on the incident in which film projectionists were hired to screen movies to a throng of ghosts. Dr Yuth’s girlfriend, Orn (Pakkramai Potranan), who suffers from his creepy obsession, wants to leave him but instead becomes part of his experiment. They set out to Kamchanod with two senior journalists who believe they will have a shot at journalistic fame if they uncover the whole truth. Roj (Namo Tonggumnerd), a homeless kid who has a crush on Orn, worms his way into the group and accompany the Bangkokians on their trip. They all venture into the macabre terrain of Kamchanod in the hope of finding out whether the ghosts actually hired the projectionists to screen outdoor movies for them. The supernatural will merge with the reality, and those who’re looking for explanation will only encounter more ghostly mysteries that may cost them their sanity, if not their lives.

The Point (Short Review):

Like many of it’s predecessors, this Asian horror flick utilizes common modern objects as their machinery to churn out fears. Like many of it’s predecessors, it turned out to be half baked and tried to be too smart for it’s own good. Like many of it’s predecessors, it lacks strong plotting and characterization. The only saving grace would be the scary moments that it managed to muster through fine usage of editing and sound. But that saving grace was repeated once too often and it can get tiresome.

The Rant (Long review):

Back in those days when Moviexclusive.com had a forum, there was a discussion on how desperate Asian horror filmmakers had gotten that they had resorted to pulling any devices they could find and “attempts” to build a horror story around it. This discussion was sparked by the Korean horror wannabe, The Wig and numerous references were made to the silly premises of such wannabes. Then the discussion veered to what could be next and I jokingly suggested “The Cinema” where people die after watching lousy horror flicks.

Fast forward to a few years later, the horrifying revelation came upon us that “The Cinema” concept was made into a movie called “The Screen” and like the “not so good” Thai predecessor, The House shown recently in Singapore; it is supposedly based on actual events.

Comparing both of these Thai horrors and the only advantage that The Screen had over The House was that it had better editing to generate plentiful scare-a-moment situations. Similar to The Maid, the only beneficial element of this film would be that it could be used as an educational tool to teach future horror movie wannabe filmmakers on how to correctly use the editing and sounds to create the atmospheric sense of dreadful horror. There are just too many of those who can’t even create a truly scary moment in their weak attempt to plot a ghost/horror movie.

But then again, too much of a good thing is not exactly good.

After two or three servings of such scare-a-moment situations, it was unravel a few weakness of this film. It’s either that the filmmaker(s) wasn’t able to create any truly horrific finale with the Screen as the main device or they were out of decent and contributive ideas for this story that they decided to pad this movie with as many scary moments as they possibly could. Either way, it’s an obvious indication that it was a crappy concept that was out to cash out on the general crowds that will flock to watch any horror movies available.

Lousy plot device aside, the story telling was a mess.

First of all, this horrible horror movie tired to be smarter than what it’s premise allows. That would mean adding unnecessary twist and turn to their characters and the plots which not only confuse but destroy the characterization that it had establish earlier in the movie.

Then comes the unexplained motivation of all the central characters involved in this ghastly mission. For example, It was never stated why the leader of the pack was so hell bent on recreating the ghostly outdoor cinematic event in the first place. Even when members of his cursed expedition started dropping off in front of him, nothing seems to deter him from his mission. The movie then tried to sell that his motivation was derived from his vanity which felt like a far stretch from what the character had already established.

There are more to it but as far as horror movies goes in Singapore (and many other countries), the majority of the audience need their horror fix as the zombies need to devour human flesh with no apparent valid reason. There isn’t really any reason to dissect this film anymore than it’s required. Lousy plotting and characterization but packs a few decent scary scenes that will cause the scaredy-cats jump from their chair.

Movie Rating:

(It’s almost unScreenable, except for the few truly scary moment)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. The House (2007)

. Body #19 (2007)

. Alone (2007)

. Colic (2006)

. Shutter (2004)

. The Unseeable DVD (2007)

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