Friday, 18 January 2013

Heaven And Hell (2012) @ วงจรปิด

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"Damn. I forgot the safe word."

At a glance:
If it ain't found footage or mobile phone recordings, it's CCTV. In the hands of the Thai, they'll make it an omnibus horror, as usual. Yuthlert Sippapak's Heaven And Hell (2012) a.k.a. วงจรปิด is a disjointed effort of three vignettes, the last two sittin better together than with the first (directed by his longtime cinematographer Tiwa Moeithaisong). It opens with Tiwa's black-and-white story - Ghost Legacy, about a pair of twins who inherit a haunted mansion from their dead grandfather. Next, we have Heaven 11, a slightly confusin episode about creepy teen love that culminates in a 24-hour convenience store, at the expense of two frightened CCTV technicians. The last, Hell No. 8, brings back this duo and puts them in a haunted apartment's lift where they try to fix the CCTV while chattin up two chicks.
Bad news on the doorstep:
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These are the requisite tattoos to become a CCTV technician.
The middle bit, easily the strongest, could've been expanded to make an entire movie, instead of this dissonant mess. The decision to open with the weakest bit must be criticised, as I suspect many won't last the humourless silent movie treatment, with title cards to boot. It's also unfortunate that the last third descends into a full-on horror-comedy without much tension. Cheap-lookin ghosts are part and parcel of Thai movies within this range but it could really have done so much better with just a little structural tweak.
"Please. I need this stool to hang myself."
Perenial wonderment:
Does anyone know where I can get Thai box office results in English? Do drop me a line.  Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Prolific Thai movie critic Wise Kwai sees positives: "As scattershot Heaven and Hell is in terms of style and genre, there's an overarching theme of feminism, with strong female roles in Yuthlert's segments – the girl ghosts get their revenge." I'm less enthusiastic. This ain't 4bia (2008) or Phobia 2 (2009). Jog on.★★
Bonus material:

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