Banjong Pisanthanakun (segment “In the Middle”)
Paween Purikitpanya (segment “Tit for Tat”)
Yongyoot Thongkongtoon (segment “Happiness”)
Parkpoom Wongpoom (segment “Last Fright”)
Synopsis: An anthology with 4 stories. “Happiness” is about a lonely girl exchanging text message with what seems to be a ghost. “Tit for Tat” is about a death curse following a group of high school students. “In the Middle” is about 4 friends going camping and the death of one of them will lead into a funny ghost story. “Last fright” is a classic revenge ghost story inside a plane.
My Short Review:4bia is an anthology movie with 4 segments. The stories are different as is the visual style of each 30mn shorts. There are some tiny connections between all of them (will you find them? ;-))
We start with “Happiness” a simple, yet effective, romantic story between a lonely girl and a lonely guy texting each other. As soon as she realises that it is a ghost at the other end, it’s already too late…Yongyoot Thongkongtoon is not an horror director but he did a good job creating a scary atmosphere around his main character. It was, IMO the strongest (yet the most simple) story and put the movie on the right track. Rating: 6/10
The second short is “Tit for Tat” and immediately I was put off by the visual style and the camera work. I haven’t seen “Body” the feature debut of director Paween Purikitpanya but if it is shot the same way I probably won’t be enjoying it either. On top of that, the story (a bullied student put a curse on the group of kids who beat him up) and the poor special effects make this segment the weakest in my book. Rating: 4/10
The third story, “In the Middle” is directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun who made (together withParkpoom Wongpoom) two of the best Thai Horror Movies of the 2000’s Shutter and Alone. Needless to say I had great expectations. I was actually surprised at the general tone, much less serious than the other 2 segments and very self referential (the characters directly quote/spoil the ending of Shutter). I quite enjoyed the story, it was a fun entry but definitively was lacking in scares from a director specialised in typical scary ghost stories. Rating: 6/10
The last story, “Last Fright” tried to bring the scare/creepy factor up a notch but was almost a total miss for me. The direction made it look like a TV movie, and would have been more suited for an episode of The Twilight Zone (the 80s version). This was another Revenge Ghost Story and brought nothing new to the table. Big disappointment from the writer/co-director of Shutter and Alone. Rating: 4/10
So as usual with this type of movies there were hit and miss but I was definitively expecting a better effort from those directors.
My Rating overall: 5/10