Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dek Hor (Dorm)

Not very often I decide to watch a movie with the horror label but I felt that today was a good –as any other- day to try a Thai horror movie. I think I understand why the movie is described as a horror film and find totally related to marketing purposes as horror is in high demand in Asia; see, the story has some scary moments mainly due to the music and not what you see in the screen but that was all. This is no horror movie.

This Songyos Sugmakanan film is a fantasy/drama about a father that makes his kid go to a boarding school where like in many schools kids welcome him with ghost stories. The fantasy is that he can see the ghost of another student that died at the school. But everything is just a metaphor to growing-up, learning about friendship and learning to forgive your parents.

What makes this movie very interesting is the lead character Ton (Chalee Trairat) that not only is a very cute kid but delivers a great performance as a shy kid, but all the children performances are very credible, including the one that is a ghost.

The movie is quite unusual as has very high production values and an extraordinary cinematography that is clearly seen with the few daytime scenes and with the indoor and night scenes where you can see that the director totally plays with light and music to create very nice takes and the movie mood. There is one outstanding scene that is quite beautiful to watch even when it tells about the ghost student dying everyday at the same time, but you have to see it to understand how magnificent something like that could be.

The movie won the Crystal Bear at the 2007 Berlinale and the Junior Prize at the 2007 Cannes; has other awards and nominations allover the world. I could say that this movie is suited for all audiences, but I believe that those that really like horror movies will be disappointed with it. Then the movie could be a must be seen for those interested in getting to know good arty Thai Cinema.


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