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Given My penchant for Asian horror films, I watched this film with high expectations. I was left disappointed, perplexed and a little angry. There are many shortcomings in the quality and production of this movie that were perpetually disagreeable.
Supposedly this film was released in 3D and I can see how that would be effective in entertaining audiences given a handful of scenes that seem to jump out at you. Yet, there's no point behind it if the plot fails and the acting isn't up to par. The overall quality of the scenes, story and acting made Me think that this for a low-budget made-for-TV mini-series in Asia.
Like many Asian Show-It-To-Americans movies, it has been completely dubbed in English, and it is some of the most horrendous dubbing vocals imaginable! For an example, imagine a scene where a speeding truck is careening towards your unsuspecting friend in the street...so you belt out "QUICK! LOOK BEHIND YOU!". Later it's dubbed and then sounds like you lazily asking for a chai latte at the cafe instead. I wonder if the dubbing vocalists even looking at the movie. The voices don't even match the appearances of the actors they dub, and there's not the slightest hint of an accent for these young Chinese vacationers either...really? Yes, really. They sound like they're from L.A.
The setting is creepy enough. It's frequently mentioned that the hotel is very big yet there's no indication of such from the outside nor inside of the hotel set, in fact it seems small and uncomfortably cramped.
Pretty much every sign posted and every person speaking in Thailand (in which the movie is set and filmed) is in English. I'm no jet-setting international traveler but this seems really fictitious to Me.
The acting is largely sub-par, even if I'd seen it in it's original language it's clear that the acting isn't believable. I blame poor dubbing first of course, followed closely by inexperienced amateur actors, and inappropriate directing equally.
An initially promising storyline quickly stumbles into the type of absurdity that leaves the viewer confused and dismissive. There's no character development, nor a clear picture of who these people are and why we should be interested in them. There's an interesting plot of riots, civil unrest, and demonstrations where they are vacationing which leads them to take shelter at the hotel (and which they stupidly wander outside to witness firsthand) but that's as far as this idea plays into the film.
There's a rude yet mysterious staff at this creepy hotel, a group of strange children roaming about the hotel who are referred to as orphans, and hints that a ghost is stalking their party. All that is good and understood. Then the audience is sent for an insensible loop for the rest of the film, becoming more detached to the story as the events become more unintelligible.
I enjoy being sent for a loop in a film, but I like to come out of it feeling like I know what I just witnessed and understand it. That's not to be found here, so frustrating.
The film does manage a few successful creep-out moments, and initially a promising storyline. Yet it fails miserably a so many other points there's no point in discussing all the REST of them.
I'd suggest to skip this one (I rarely say that!). It's more bothersome than it's worth.
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