Director: Jit Kamnoedrat
Cast: David Chatchavan Asavanond, Sonthaya Chitmanee, Phurada Kongpech Mayor, Raiwin Ratsaminiyomwut, Chinawut Indracusin, Wanpiya Oamsinnoppakul, Tana Chatborirak, Nutchaphat Wongsuwan, Auttarut Kongrasri, Nimit Lugsamepong, Kittisak Vejprasan
Runtime: 2 hrs 5 mins
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes and Horror)
Released By: mm2 Entertainment
Opening Day: 25 July 2019
Synopsis: Three terrifying stories about curses. A pastor visits a isolated village said to be under a terrible curse, but discovers a horrible truth instead. A young woman discovers a cruel curse has been tattooed onto her skin and seeks the help of a renowned tattoo artist. A cartoonist wakes up with a head injury and finds himself haunted by a mysterious woman.
Divided into three chapters, Curses is a Thai horror title that either wants to follow the footsteps of the 2008 cult-classic 4bia with its segments, or it ran out of material and tried to string the shorts together. I’m betting the latter half.
Cursesis not a bad film per se when it comes to intentions. Themed with the title in mind, a well-positioned venomous wish, especially when done in the moment of death, can make the best of us pee in our pants. And we all know what they say about Thai curses…
But director Jit Kamnoedrat is not going very far with the material. Curses is more Tales from the Crypt than The Twilight Zone, and fails to nail any sort of pay-off when the chapters finish. The morality lesson is quickly picked up within 10 minutes, and the characters are just excruciatingly moving towards a predictable ending.
With “Wicked”, we have an Anthony Wong look-alike priest, who investigates a performance troupe that has disappeared in a cursed village. Set during the reign of King Rama VI, the Thai stage play is an atmospheric set-up, but the story weaves out of control when the Father tries to save the day. Plagued with too much twists for its own good and an unnecessarily complicated plot, the story would have worked better if it dealt more with the mother-daughter relationship, or displayed more bullying from the village itself.
Then comes “Tattoo”, a story about a girl who seems to lose every guy she meets to some tragedy. Turns out, her ex-lover who also is an ink artist, has placed a curse in his work and sealed it into her body when he designed a tattoo for her. While refreshing in its angle, the love between the girl and her newest paramour is both weak and sudden, and so the emotional tug is nowhere to be found when the body count stacks up.
The last segment is “Wife’s Curse”. Our make lead wakes up to hauntings and strange happenings, and memory lapses add a further cloud on his sanity. Stricken with a deluge of incidents, he finally falls into a coma and his friends rally to save him. But from what, and whom? Turns out that the old saying about “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is demonstrated here fully, as a jealous and spiteful girlfriend places a curse in a fit of jealousy and rage. The sequence is extremely limp, and the result is an uninspiring mess.
Of the three, the last segment has to be the most tedious to watch. With repetitive but irrelevant scares thrown in and dismal acting, the characters are as unlikeable as they are unbelievable. In fact, this pretty much applies to the whole film. Curses is itself afflicted by a cast that doles out cheesy or deflate acting, and scares are more laughable than heart-stopping. I won’t be surprised if you leave the cinema cursing yourself.
(Simpering stories and weak acting make for a tedious watch. The theme may be potent but the plots don’t do justice)
Review by Morgan Awyong