The Medium (2021) Poster

(2021)

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4/10
A slow paced and tedious affair of a movie...
paul_haakonsen13 January 2022
Right, well granted I am not well-traversed in the Thai folklore with shaman and possessions, so I was somewhat at a loss here with this movie. But it being a Thai horror movie that I hadn't already seen, then of course I jumped at the chance to sit down and watch it here in 2022.

I wasn't having any expectations at all to writers Chantavit Dhanasevi, Na Hong-jin, Banjong Pisanthanakun or Siwawut Sewatanon. So the slate was clean and they had all the opportunities to impress me with "The Medium".

First of all, I was by no means impressed by the documentary-style type of filming that they opted for in this movie. I mean, a shaky camera that is all over the place, just doesn't cut it for me. When I sit down to watch a movie, I want proper cinematography and not something I could have filmed myself with my own digital camera. And then the pacing of the storyline was just atrociously slow paced, which suffocated the fun right out of the movie.

Running at over 2 hours long, "The Medium" is a slow and monotonous affair to get through, especially since it takes director Banjong Pisanthanakun forever to set the stage and build up the atmosphere. And by the time the stage is set, then I was essentially ready to disembark the movie. You need to go well into more than half of the run time before things start to pick up, and by then it it just too little, too late. And the last 15 or 20 minutes of the movie was just utter rubbish.

It should be said that "The Medium" definitely have some good and solid acting performances by the cast ensemble, but especially Narilya Gulmongkolpech (playing Mink) and Sawanee Utoomma (playing Nim) stands out with their performances.

For a horror movie, then the movie was frightfully devoid of anything scary. Perhaps being a life-long fan of horror have hardened and seasoned me, because I didn't find anything scary about "The Medium". Well, aside from the slow pacing of the story. I suppose you need to be a Thai or have knowledge of the Thai superstitions to find anything scary here.

If you enjoy Thai horror movies, then "The Medium" is not a movie I would recommend you waste 130 minutes on watching. It just simply doesn't cut it.

My rating of "The Medium" lands on a very generous four out of ten stars.
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7/10
Stay with it
BandSAboutMovies24 October 2021
Warning: Spoilers
A Thai-South Korean horror movie? Let's do this!

This film starts with a documentary being filmed in the northeast part of Thailand to show what happens in the life of a local medium named Nim. She's possessed by the god Bayan and just the latest in a long line of women in her family who have given their existence over to this deity.

Yet as the movie continues, her daughter presents herself as perhaps the next in line, but it turns out that the spirits that want to enter her body are something...else. I mean, when you cook and eat the family dog, perhaps you aren't the shaman that will protect your village, you know?

What I really loved about this movie was that it goes from found footage - expected - to something quite unexpected, a movie that transcends where others have been before.

Banjong Pisanthanakun also made Shutter (which was remade in English in 2008 by Masayuki Ochiai, as well as in Tamil as Sivi and in Hindi as Click) and producer and writer Na Hong-Jin made the serial killer movie The Chaser. That means that this has a pedigree and why it won best feature film during the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.

You can check this out on Shudder. Its got a two hour plus run time, but it's worth the time and effort, as the found footage style allows you to see a culture that would otherwise remain alien to us.
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10/10
One of the finest films in the genre
kannibalcorpsegrinder14 November 2021
Followed by a film crew, the psychic medium of a remote section of Thailand being documented uncovers enough evidence to realize her niece is the target of a supernatural attack and tries to save her, but as it continues finds herself confronted by a darker and more malicious spirit than she anticipated.

While there's quite a lot to like, this one does come off as slightly disappointing. Where it is best is the setup, offering the kind of real-world grounding required for a story like this one. Since the initial introduction here is on her abilities and spiritual connection to the Gods of the area and how she treats those who need it, there's a fantastic understanding of how strong her connection to that realm is. By understanding that connection this clearly, the later focus on the family members who are suddenly coming under attack by the various supernatural maladies on the daughter comes into greater focus, from the behavioral shifts ranging from sudden quietness to overtly flirtatious and outgoing, defensive attitudes about strangely impersonal objects and the discomfort felt around the family. Given that all of this is shot like a found-footage effort by the documentary crew following Nim the psychic brings a real-world approach that's not oversensationalized or grandiose which helps the film tremendously. Once the setup is in place, the film provides a lot of fun with the realization that she has to use her powers to help the possessed daughter. Having gathered a series of clues not just from those behavioral changes and outbursts but also much more in the wake of how we're told they came together leading to that conclusion, the tension and action ramp up considerably as her condition has been revealed and the outbursts turn violent including the shower attack or the beatdown with the video camera during a ritual ceremony leading to a far more intense and suspenseful second half. The attempts at using her own powers as a means of controlling and figuring out what's going on have a fine localized flair that involves several rituals and the realization that they've been deceived all along, the race to uncover the truth about what's possessing the daughter and free her from its grasp results in some fascinating ritualistic work. The final exorcism itself, a massive outpouring of dark magic rituals and ceremonial preparations that take place in several fine scenarios throughout here, are chilling and somewhat shocking to witness, making for a highly effective and enjoyable effort. While there's a lot to like, this one does fall short somewhat. Most of them come in the form of an overly complicated story that tries to do more than it should. While the early focus is on grounding the life of everyone in the area so that the terror is that much more palpable, things progress beyond an obvious point that something should be done quite early and often. Several instances with encounters at her work, numerous bizarre videos showing how she interacts with others in the community and all the socially distant behavior around the family are more than enough to suspect something has gone wrong, however, it takes until the physical attacks on the family to even confront her about something going wrong. From there, the revelation about the former boyfriend who died recently haunting her that turns into a red herring for the ancestral curse being the cause of the possession is unnecessary. This explanation comes way too late in the film to mean anything with no build-up following the evidence we've gathered so far, leading to too many plot points and storylines to keep track of than what should be the case. Likewise, there's also the minor issue of this being just a bit too long, running on about ten-to-fifteen minutes longer than necessary with cramming too much into it or running beyond its usefulness in either the drama setup or its horror setpieces. While it all adds to the terror experienced, some of it isn't necessary and could've been taken out, but beyond that, there's not much to dislike here.

Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Nudity, Language, and a sex scene.
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The Scariest Horror Film Of 2021
CinemaClown19 October 2021
The scariest film of the year so far and one of the creepiest entries in the world of horror in recent years, The Medium begins as a documentary about a shaman possessed by a local deity in North-east Thailand but soon develops into a dreadful & diabolical nightmare that you can't escape from. Powerful, petrifying & perturbing in equal measure, this Thai-South Korean supernatural horror reeks of death & devilry.

Co-written by Na Hong-jin (The Wailing) & directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun (Shutter), the film employs the faux-documentary format to narrate its tale of faith, inheritance, malaise & malison and gradually brings the viewers into its world of beliefs, curses & superstitions with its informative approach & natural acting from the cast. It takes its time, is never in a hurry & starts to ratchet things up only after the audience is fully on board.

While suffused with a feeling of something sinister & unholy brewing under the surface from the beginning, the film's horror elements lunges to the forefront only after the board is set & all the characters are properly introduced. And the execution is genuinely effective & nerve-wracking. There are scenes in here that are downright shocking & disturbing but what lends those moments their uncanny weight & power are the thoroughly convincing performances.

Overall, The Medium is one of those unnerving horror offerings that feels cursed, brims with an ill-omened quality and is smeared with a blood-curdling atmosphere that only intensifies as plot progresses. Intelligently directed, deftly scripted, finely detailed & strongly bolstered by Narilya Gulmongkolpech's bone-chilling act, the film does run longer than it needs to but the terror it invokes from its eerie setting & skin-crawling imagery is as unrelenting as it is unsettling. Don't miss it.
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5/10
Tries far too hard to scare and for that reason fails to do so
jtindahouse28 October 2021
Less is almost always more in horror. Especially in demon/possession films. When people watch 'Paranormal Activity' and say it felt like nothing happened, I tell them that's why it's so effective. It's supernatural, however it feels like it could happen for that reason. 'The Medium' goes the other way. It goes off the wall nuts, and for that reason I found it almost completely ineffective and frankly boring.

The film is long - and it feels like it. It's over two hours long and the pacing simply can't justify it. Not many horror movies can to be fair. Also the film is found footage, however it never feels like it. Found footage (or in this case Mockumentary) films usually have a very gritty and real feel to them. You should feel like you are watching something you shouldn't be from the dark depths of the internet. The only thing it really added to this one was some odd camera angles.

The biggest problem with this one though is that it is simply not scary. The main possessed girl had no menace and no aesthetically scary aspects about her. Also all the violence felt forced and overdone. I wanted to like this one, but it was a miss for me sadly. 5/10.
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8/10
SCARIEST HORROR OF 2021.
andrewchristianjr4 November 2021
It's a terrifying movie that doesn't rely much on jump scares. An incredibly insane film but it doesn't stress you out as much as others might say. There are a lot of questions this movie creates that was never explicitly answered and you would probably watch an ending explained video to find other people theorizing and maybe remind you of something you might've missed. My other problem with this movie is that some of the characters are so goddamn foolish.
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5/10
The movie that got just Dark
Neptune16512 January 2022
Warning: Spoilers
Interesting start , learned something new about Thai culture and Shamanism from a charming character. Move along an hour and 10 minutes then we are thrown into an hour long Blumhouse style generic possession movie . Forgettable movie . I just thought the camera crew were a bit shady because she was rejecting the lifestyle and still had another job, so I thought it was strange they were allowed to follow her. Towards the ending i felt a bit disappointed too, i wish Nim can participating more and we can see some battle agaist demon and shaman rather just ends up like what the movie presented. It took the worse turn for me in the end though. The woman being tricked with the baby cries . Certain people dying that shouldn't have and the cameramen just being plain stupid. Although I would have loved to see more about the two sisters and the bayan and the lengths Noi would go to in order to save her daughter. I was so confused by the ended. The mum got possessed but then wasn't possessed anymore and why did she kill the uncle and other guys? Why that uncle look at camara and jump off?!! Why white guys become a dog?!! Everyone died is the end? What about the ghost the dog gang what happend to them after this? Go to the fire and burn themself?? I was disappointed because I was a fan of The Wailing and thought this was going to be as good. I think they were going to realism since it was a documentary but that backfired so hard because they can't show something unexplainable which killed the whole film for me. If well I didn't mind the Mink argument cause it makes sense to me, I have to agree that it was too long and the tension was lost on some parts due to the slow pacing. It was quite an interesting film but it feels like in the second half starts to lose punch.
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7/10
felt too long/slow at times to this reviewer. good film.
surfisfun19 November 2021
Decent film.

Running time needed to be shorter, good cinematography.

Recommended.

Watch with subs in original.

Nice to see other cultures believes in supernatural world.

=========================================
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7/10
Burns slowly but intensely throughout
Sir_AmirSyarif28 October 2021
Thai-Korean supernatural horror, Banjong Pisanthanakun's 'The Medium,' burns slowly but intensely throughout. It has all the elements of Asian horror unique to the Korean and Thai genres, such as creepy music and a darkly saturated filter. The film loses steam at times owing to flaws in its mockumentary style, but Pisanthanakun succeeds far more when he concentrates on the complexities of the familial links and what some of the key reveals imply for each character.
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9/10
One if the most realistic ever
PedroPires9029 October 2021
An almost perfect horror film.

Loved every minute of it. Strongly atmospheric since minute 1, creepy, full of traditions, cultural and religious folklore, some really suspenseful and horror moments and fantastic acting from all the cast, making this one of the most realistic horror films I've ever seen. Probably the best found footage ever and one of the best possession films in history.

Sad that this short attention span world (affecting already order generations, of course, due to the usage of the same tools the young use) will never recognise this as the classic it should be.
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9/10
Scary, twisted and brutal Thai horror
lareval25 September 2021
The Thai horror has just achieved a new step up into the genre with this bone-chilling, nerve-wracking movie. Its more than two hours fly through a complex and engaging story revolving about family, legacy, curses and devilish fates. It's more fast paced and much more entertaining than many movies under 90 minutes. The performances are top notch and the filmmaking style a la found footage is very effective. The POV helps to introduce the audience into the reality of the story, so when the scares starts, it's a total knock-out. Until a more conventional third act (in a good way, though), the two thirds of the movie manages to scare the living daylights of you without cheap jump-scares, which is pure gold nowadays. The ending is much more filled with them, but that's not a downer for me at all. It's a twisted, ballsy ending that works wonderfully with how the story was building up until that moment. While I could watch it with lights out (unlike the Thai cinemas whose audience demanded to watch it with lights on - if it is not a marketing sting), I recognize its hipnotic power upon me from start to finish, its ability to scare properly and the fact that I keep thinking about the movie after watching it. A terrific horror movie, a must see if you are a fan of the genre.
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5/10
Profound idiocy ruins what should have been a great horror movie.
frankblack-799616 October 2021
This was suprisingly good until the characters got completely stupid. There was some great creativity in the plot, but like so many movies, the writers relied on utter stupidity from the characters to drive the plot and situations forward. Some great scenes in this film though. Very hardcore in some aspects.
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6/10
Selected as the Thai entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.
ashfordofficial9 December 2021
An uncomfortable, shocking and scary possession of a teenage girl. Narilya Gulmongkolpech was outstanding, her dedication and the transformation was breathtaking.

A very much realistic brooding found-footage mockumentary horror film with vibrant visuals and an eerie atmospheric experience. The film's pretty scary and they made some unique and original scares that should be considered an exceptional feat in horror genre.
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1/10
Comedy
svader8 November 2021
Is this a comedy?

I have no clue what the high rated reviewers watched.

Maybe I just couldn't get away from that awful whining. That and the fact that zero happens.

First sign that something is about to happen is the old woman in white but guess what it fades to nothing and the chucky like character disappears.

Waste of time movie.
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6/10
I didn't want to use this pun, but The Medium is, well, medium
youngcollind19 November 2021
In the first leg it has a lot going for it. The cinematography is great, and as much as they attempt to make things dreary, this thing could really function as travel vlog for Thailand. The faux doc style brings a realism to the mystic elements and it feels like a unique backdrop for a horror flick. The setup is slow but enjoyable and you begin to wonder if it's ever going to erupt into full blown horror. Rest assured, it does. However, with the quality of the preamble, you grow to believe the film had something more clever up it's sleeve. What you eventually get is a rather run of the mill possession tale, and things sort of fall apart from there.

Where the mocumentary initially lent credibility, it eventually devolves into the common found footage problem of "why would a real cameraman actually be filming this?" At one point reaching the height of ridiculousness where a girl has a mishap with her period and the camera follows her to the bathroom, like a psychopath. The possession element does little to set itself apart from it's many contemporaries, aside from forgoing the regular Christian/Satan angle. Narilya Gulmongkolpech's performance is enthusiastic but is often reminiscent of haunted house staff doing the crazy/scary routine. The whole thing seems to overstay it's welcome a bit, which is strange because the slow build seems to breeze by and it's only when things heat up that they start to feel redundant.

I don't want to be too hard on it, because it's in many ways a well made picture, it just doesn't live up to it's own potential.
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8/10
Creepy
atractiveeyes10 November 2021
Thailand's official submission to 2022's Oscars is the creepiest exorcism movie I have ever seen. It's so scary, brutal, captivating and provocative. It grabs your attention and keeps you on the edge of your seats from the very beginning until the credits start rolling. It's the year's best horror film so far.
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8/10
I'm absolutely terrified
MovieQween-3362216 October 2021
Spoiler Free: This movie has been on my watchlist and I was so happy when it finally came out! I saw some mixed reviews and while I can understand, I sit here purely and utterly terrified. I just finished the movie 15 min ago and I'm laying here awake, checking all of my doors and windows... Why, you may ask? Because I got spooked! The Wailing was a movie made by the same creators or directors and that is one of the scariest movies I have ever seen to date. This movie is definitely in the same vein of horror and similar vibes. The last third just goes completely bonkers!! But does not have quite the same punch in the ending as the Waling. I'd recommend this movie if you love the synopsis and or trailer so far. Get ready for a wild ride!!

Trigger warnings: Some scenes did go a little too far, in my opinion. Please be warned and read up on content listed before viewing if this may affect you.
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1/10
Shaky camera
Bento_de_Espinosa23 September 2021
The horror part takes forever to start, but then it is ruined by the extremely shaky camera and over the top acting.
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8/10
Religious elements and local shamanism made great horror
witra_as20 October 2021
Slow-burn Thai horror which blended religious elements from local shamanism. It might be too raw at times with conceivably real-life characters. Banjong guided us through some intriguing footage of unexpected turns. Your guts will be challenged during its final act.
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8/10
One of the best Horror films of the year. And the best found-footage style one in recent times.
Spartan_1_1_75 November 2021
The Medium is a Thailand Horror movie taking place in the Isan region of the country and is centred around Shamanism and a family who is going through a possession ordeal. Didn't know anything other than that it is produced and co-written by Na Hong-Jin, a South Korean creative who wrote and directed two great films i.e The Chaser, and The Wailing, the latter of which if you've seen would give you an instant hype boost if one is looking for Horror as it's one of the best Horror films I've seen in recent memory. And thankfully, this movie turned out to be a great fear-inducing creepfest watch.

Shot in a found-footage documentary style, the director Banjong Pisanthanakun used that style to its full effect, for the most part, drenching you in the locale and the mythology of shamans, which in it itself was engrossing and kept me hooked from the start and was also necessary since it is a slow burn horror. That style, though, did act as a double-edged sword sometimes as you did have to suspend your disbelief a bit more than usual and also the fact that sometimes the characters would just make questionable or stupid decisions while the filming crew is there with them, but nothing too damning or ruinous.

Of course, this movie wouldn't have nearly as much draw and effectiveness if it weren't for its wonderful Thai cast where pretty much everyone gave a good-great performance. Legitimately felt like you're just diving in to their lives and watching them go through this nightmare. Special nod to Narilya Gulmongkolpech who plays Mink, one of the leads who they suspect is possessed. It's her first feature-length film role (from what I can tell) and she was absolutely fantastic and is going places.

Now, the movie isn't wholly original when it comes to presenting you the Horror aspects as you'll definitely find cliches and tropes associated with this style of filmmaking but it didn't need to be either as the execution alongside a complete change of the area from usual horror films was enough for full immersion. It also hardly relies on jump scares but instead uses its slow-burn horror and local culture/mythology to slowly sear the experience into your skull. I can think of only one cheap jump scare which I knew was coming and it still got me.

Easily one of the best Horror movies of the year and the best found-footage style ones I've seen in recent times. The final 30-minutes or so were just... DAMN! Highly recommended. Just know that, as mentioned above, it is a slow burn, so the pacing isn't fast for a good chunk of the movie but it is of the good kind, the type where tension and intrigue are slowly wound up to a high degree and then is given a proper release in the climax. And if I were to rate it, I'd give it a solid 8/10.
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7/10
a GOOD movie that should have been GREAT! Would totally recommend anyway!
TreeFiddy5318 October 2021
I haven't watched anything so EERIE/Unsettling is a long time. Something I dislike about horror movies is that they take the easy way out and heavily on jump scares and I am not a fan of that. If you can make a horror movie that's creepy, you have my money. The Medium was just that. I counted, and there ONE jump-scare in this one.

The movie talks about Shamanism in Thailand, so there's a little bit you'll learn about the culture. The movie was very well shot too! PHENOMENAL acting by everyone involved, especially the lead. The film did NOT hold back and went all out. Two particular 'shocking/horrific' scenes in the movie make it not for the squeamish. Nobody/nothing is off limits. But if you're the "I like me some Horror" types, you HAVE to watch this.

The storytelling is...not straightforward. Is that a flaw? Maybe/maybe not. It's also a slow-burn, you'll have to be a little patient. I had VARIOUS questions after the movie, which I had to look up and read to find answers for. But questions kept aside, you should watch it just for the creeps. If you then want to chat about the movie, this is for you!
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5/10
Meh
ansirahka5 December 2021
The story, cinematography, and plot were good, the movie just felt unpolished overall. The biggest turn-off for me is how underwhelming and overly awkward "mink" character was, i don't know if it was lack of direction or a miscast but homegirl gave elizabeth berkley-showgirls vibe instead of emily rose. And the third act of the movie is just nonsensical with no payoffs.
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7/10
A much better version of paranormal activity.
HotDoggyBoomBooM18 November 2021
Movie is around 2hrs but it wont let you down dot expect top notch horror but it's slow felt like a letdown at last since it ended up like how footage horror movie's do.

Worth a watch so yes it's good.
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8/10
The Medium
jackson_ro14 October 2021
Genuinely horrifying film that has both depth and scares, something that is not often seen in Hollywood horror flicks. The early portion of the film is excruciatingly slow, but does well to set the mood for what is to come in the second half. Would have liked to understand the final exorcism a little better, as it feels like a random amalgamation of monsters towards the end.
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8/10
Another Southeast Horror Gem!
ryan_sy2 November 2021
I don't know what it is about horror from southeast Asian directors/productions, but they pump out some creepy movies. Another solid entry to add to the already impressive list including "May the Devil Take You 1 and 2", "Satans Slaves", and "Impetigore".

About this movie- it is a possession movie that is effectively unnerving. The believable acting (the transformation of the main character is cringe), the clever plot including the dynamics of the family, and well-placed gore and shock, make it uncomfortable to watch some of the scenes. When you feel like looking away, you know the movie is doing it's job!

While the possession and action scenes weren't anything new, they were well executed and more meaningful because of the clever plot and overall setting of the movie.

The exterior shots of the landscape, towns, and other set locations were perfect for the tone of the movie and a foreboding score helps round out the mood.

Highly recommend this one, especially if you like the other movies mentioned above. This is definitely one of the better horror movies i've seen in 2021. Don't miss it!

~a solid [8/10]~
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