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Decent attempt at mystery-infused music biz horror
This movie follows the trend of long-haired Asian ghost in a quest for revenge, but manages to spice things up by coming up with a story that is both refreshing and fun to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed this at first peculiar blend of music and horror.
Having an idol group as target for the spooky surroundings makes for an interesting insight into the conflicts and problems that arise between members. We get to see the characters cracking up under pressure and fighting with each other, giving the movie a realistic feel. The horror element is present throughout the movie, going from mild to full-on ghostly tension as the story progresses. The movie does a good job at developing the characters and building up the menacing atmosphere.
The actors all did a fine job, especially the lead actress, with some over-the-top acting from the other members of the group, albeit not very distracting. Although it was marketed as a horror, the movie takes a turn towards the mystery genre towards the end and tends to drag a bit in the unveiling of the final twist. The truly scary scenes are quite rare, but pretty effective and well-made, albeit not very original if you've seen your fair share of Asian horror. The cinematography is beautiful to look at and it even dabbles a bit into experimental territory towards the end.
While this isn't anything groundbreaking or original in terms of horror, the music aspect and the commentary directed at the life of idols gives an interesting spin. Overall, the movie does a good job at entertaining you, being a nice addition to the genre.
Ghost of Mae Nak (2005)
So bad, I couldn't even laugh
There are so many things that went wrong in this movie that it's hard to find any redeeming factors. This is complete garbage and a massive waste of time.
The ghost was one of the most pathetic attempts at horror I've ever seen. The special effects were cringe-worthy and the acting was over the top in a laughable attempt to make us empathize with the characters. The actors simply recited their lines, which often consisted of redundant information we heard ten times before in the movie. We hear the same lines over and over again. Apparently the scriptwriter thought we need to have the most obvious information spelled out for us, and then repeated some 100 times in case we forgot.
The story, while not horrible, was uninspired, paper-thin and full of plot holes you could see from a mile, while the plot progression and pace were mostly non-existent. Nothing ever happens in this movie except for some Final Destination inspired deaths. Characters appear and then disappear without ever knowing what happened to them or why they were in the movie at all, in an effort to increase the body count. It's nothing you've never seen before, but this takes the cake for bad execution of an average story.
The only thing that might incite some interest might be the good insight into the traditions and legends of Thai culture. The movie sure takes its time to illustrate some rituals and ceremonies, but by then you'll surely be too bored to even care.
It baffles me that people have found this movie to be more than average. I decided to watch it based on the relatively good reviews on this site, but now I must say it's among the worst movies I've seen in the Asian horror genre or Asian cinema for that matter. Avoid like the plague!