Review: Made by one of Thailand’s horror powerhouses, Sophon Sakdaphisit, The Promise tells a fictional ghost story about the country’s famous Ghost Tower —an abandoned 47-floor skyscraper, a reminder to the country’s downfall during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Similarly to Sophon’s other films, The Promise builds the horror on dramatic foundation. Sophon has experimented on family tropes in Ladda Land and friendship tropes inThe Swimmer; in his latest work, he combines them both along with some urban legend and national history. Continue reading The Promise / เพื่อน..ที่ระลึก (2017) – Review
Review: It’s difficult to grasp what Daniel Peddle’s Southern coming-of-age drama, Moss, tries to emanate. Shot in the midst of lush Pleasure Island, North Carolina with casts of local people (who mostly have no acting resume), this film remains quiet, restraint, compelling but unfocused in narrating a fateful day for the titular protagonist.
The story only revolves on a single day, which happens to be Moss’ (Mitchell Slaggert) 18th birthday. Moss’ mother died giving birth to him, triggering a rift between the young guy and his father (Billy Ray Suggs). Moss’ birthday only reminds his father to the grief he’s been denying all the time. Moss deals with the boy’s newly responsibility as a young adult to deliver meds to his grandmother; but, he’s drifted between the temptation of immaturity, the search for maternal figure and his responsibility. Continue reading Moss (2017) – BALINALE Review
Review: So, why bother remaking a story that feels Japan through and through in a same old brand new American setting? Or, why bother retelling a story that might venture well in nowadays internet-advanced world in a world which feels no different to early internet day? Why bother remaking Death Note in an all-American high school drama?
Those questions keep linger in my head while I watched Adam Wingard’s Death Note, an Americanized version of Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Oba and Takeshi Obata. In presenting this story, Wingard (The Guest, You’re Next) keeps trying to impress audiences with his eye for stylish visual violence. Without ever losing his touch, there’s practically nothing wrong with the directorial effort; but, judging from the director’s adamant persistence in making the film and the end-results, there lies a much bigger question: is this all Adam Wingard’s vision to Death Note?
Continue reading the review in English!
Review: Stephen King’s famously ‘unadaptable’ genre-mixing novel series get adapted by A Royal Affair’s director, Nikolaj Arcel, into a series of non-understandable events. Missing out the horror elements, missing out the Western elements, and opting for PG-friendly action, The Dark Tower might as well be titled ‘How to Adapt The Dark Tower and Miss Everything.’
There’s nothing special with the story. It apparently borrows elements from King’s novels, starting from the titular tower, the characters, and the conflicts. There’s the Dark Tower, which is said to be center of a multiverse; it is also said that only the mind of a child can destroy it. A dark sorcerer called Man In Black (Matthew McConaughey) seeks to destroy the tower to bring reign of terror. In doing so, he’s abducting children from all universes and exploiting their mind to blast the tower down. On the path of light, there’s a Gunslinger, Roland of Gilead (Idris Elba), a loner from a devastated world, who seeks for revenge. Standing between them is a child from Earth, Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), who is haunted by nightmare of the tower.
Continue reading The Dark Tower (2017) – Review
Review: Michael Bay’s criticproof franchise returns with another Bayhem galore—a non-stop clink-clicketty-clank-bang-boom juggernaut slugfest—in what’s dubbed as Bay’s final Transformers film, The Last Knight. The final result though—after decade with five installments so far—offers no new insight to the storyline but bunch of same day, different spectacles.
Starting off as an expanded myth of Camelot, where ancient transformers assisted King Arthur and his knights of round fighting Saxons, The Last Knight immediately leaps sixteen centuries ahead. While Optimus Prime has left the earth in search of his home-planet, Cybertron, other transformers keep coming to earth and are declared as threat; therefore, a counter-transformer task force called T.R.F is deployed to exterminate them. That’s when Cade Yeager from Age of Extinction encounters a versatile kid, Izabella (Isabella Moner) and ‘get chosen’ to partake in an ancient myth. Continue reading Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) – Review
Review: Danur, a book by singer, Risa Sarasvati (former Homogenic), about her psychic experience, is actually a sympathetic friendship tale about a girl and her ghost friends. I’ve listened to her album since 2010 and watched Sarasvati’s live performance where she told ghost stories about her songs; therefore, I knew how sympathetic the story is, despite being cliché-laden and light. It is never a horror story, yet, a story about companionship through and through, with some ghosts inside.
However, Awi Suryadi’s Danur, despite adapting Sarasvati’s book, takes a completely different route in presenting the story. Under Awi’s direction, Danur becomes a straight Insidious-esque horror story with major elements from the book stay intact. In fact, it’s a PG-friendly horror, which estranges it from the essence of Risa’s story. Continue reading Danur (2017): Different route from Sarasvati’s Danur