It’s time for another of those creepy Thai horror films that your Favorite Catgirl Princess loves to watch. This time it’s “Coming Soon”, from the big stack of unsubtitled Thai DVD’s that found it’s way to me last month. Luckily for me, some nice Fansubs fixed me up quite nicely, and a good evening’s movie watchin’ later means I’m ready to tell you all about this one.
Our synopsis reads: “What kind of scenes in a horror film scares you the most? When a ghost appears totally unexpectedly? When the main character does not see the ghost sneaking up behind him? When at the very end you find out that the main character was actually a ghost all along? But none of this compares to the feeling of arriving home alone and suddenly being stuck by a feeling of déjà vu that you are reenacting the very same scenes in the horror movie you just saw! This movie will scare you from the second you step inside the movie theater. It will get you thinking if Something or Someone might be waiting for you to let your guard down. The horror movie that you just saw is about to happen to you in real life!”
Hmmmmm? Not much on details, but then maybe that’s a good thing. Let’s all “Read On” and find out what “Coming Soon” is really all about, shall we?
So OK… we start this one in a Bangkok movie theater, with projectionist Shane (played by Chantavit Dhanasevi), who thanks to serious money problems, has agreed help the brother of his ex-girlfriend pirate the movie “Evil Spirit” from his theater’s advanced film reels for some seedy gangsters. But things don’t all go as expected. For starters, his friend mysteriously disappears while he falls asleep at the projector, as his friend camcorders it off the cinema screen during a late night illegal showing.
Together with his estranged ex-girlfriend and cinema usher Som (played by Vorakam Rojjanavatchra), Shane becomes enmeshed in an eerie investigation into the film and a search for Som’s brother. Here’s where the film is at it’s most interesting. I really liked the whole “movie within a movie” subplot, it’s a clever twist that helped conceal the true nature of the haunting until much later in the film. A definite plus… and the relationship between Shane and Som comes across as very real as too…. it’s obvious they care for each other, but demons from Shane’s past, in the form of a drug problem that drove him to abuse Som, stand between them like a wall. Their friends and families know they should be together… but the scar on Som’s forehead just wont let her forget what happened between them.
Anyway…. once our heroes get involved it isn’t long before they attract the attentions of the ghost. A really nasty ghost…. who takes the form of the crazed child torturer, Chaba from the movie. Have the filmakers angered her spirit? Hmmmm? That could be it… after all “The Evil Spirit”, it turns out, was “based on true events”…. For you see, it seems there really was an old crazy hermit named Chaba who did abduct the children of a small rural village as replacements for her own dead child. Insane, crippled, and uglier than the Wicked Witch of the West, she dragged those poor children into her macabre lair where she systematically blinded them to keep them from escaping her clutches. Naturally the villagers all band together to rescue their kids, and they go a little crazy themselves when they find out what she has done to them. In a frenzy, they beat and nearly decapitate her, finally hanging Chaba from the ceiling of her hut to slowly strangle to death.
Yep…. sounds like Chaba has all the necessary perquisites to count as a “begrudged spirit”… and it doesn’t take our hero Shane long to figure out that all it takes to draw her deadly ire is to watch the final scene of the film, where she slowly chokes to death. Do that, and it wont be long before she shows up to take her revenge on you, dragging you into the film itself and killing you…. and Shane has seen that ending!! Can he convince Som he’s not hallucinating or still on drugs and keep from meeting the same fate?
It’s “Spoiler Alert!!” time now…. (and don’t say your Favorite Catgirl Princess didn’t warn ya…) cause I can’t get to the meat and potatoes of this one without giving away the clever twist that finishes out this one. As our body count rises… and our two plucky heroes do the investigation, they discover that isn’t what’s happening….. You see, Chaba isn’t even dead. In reality, she’s confined to a mental institution, nearly catatonic and no threat to anyone. They just assumed it was her…. but the real ghost is that of an actress, a poor woman verbally abused by a demanding director and then killed accidentally during the death scene by rigging gone terribly terribly wrong. He said she couldn’t act like she was convincingly dying…. now she’ll show them how to die for real!!
Slowly but surely she’s killed the director, most of the crew, and now she’s working on those who would try to find cheap entertainment in the images of her final suffering. Will she get her revenge? Will Shane and Som survive and repair their relationship? Well, to answer those questions, you’ll just have to watch this one, and Neko-chan thinks you’ll enjoy finding out immensely.
This one is very nicely done, if a bit simplistic at times. The multiple layers of the plot work and work well, even if I did figure them out slightly early. I’m thinking it’ll do well when it finds it’s way to an eventual release in Region 1. The Thai release is presented in wide screen format with both Dolby 5 ch. audio as well as a simple 2 ch. stereo. Unfortunately there are no subtitles on the Thai disc. However since I picked mine up, (and Fansubbed it for myself), we have the option of the Singapore release which lists them as available. Yay!!
Neko gives “Coming Soon” a firm 4 “Meows” out of 5 for doing exactly what this lil’ Catgirl likes in a Ghost story. While not groundbreaking or otherwise noteworthy, it is extremely well made and certainly fits the bill nicely for a good evenings creepy scares and often that’s exactly what you are looking for. You know me…. Neko just loves her ghosts!!
There’s a Trailer for this one… and we’ll end our review with a quick look at it!