Sunday, September 16, 2012

9-9-81 (2012, A+15)

9-9-81 (2012, A+15)

Compared to other Thai horror films, I may like this film a little bit less than I MISS U (2012, Monthon Arayangkoon, A+30), but I still like it very much.

I can't remember the English titles of each episode. I apologize if I remember any titles wrongly.

1.THE WAITER (หนุ่มกลัดมัน) (Sutas Pawilairat, A)
2.THE NEW TENANT (ผู้เช่าใหม่) (Pitak Ruangrojsin, A)
3.BEST FRIEND (เพื่อนสนิท) (Adirek Potong + Siripol Prasarttong, A+15)
4.THE LOVER (คนรักเก่า) (Oliver Wolfson, A+)
5.THE MAID (แม่บ้าน) (Seri Lachonnabot, A+15)
6.THE MOTHER (แม่เจ้าสาว) (Nuttorn Kangwanklai + Thanyawan Hempanom, A+25)
7.THE GROOM (เจ้าบ่าว) (Pirun Anusuriya, A+10)
8.EX-SOLDIER (ทหารเก่า) (Rapeepimol Chaisena, A+15)
9.OLD DOG (หมาแก่) (Disspong Sampattavanich + Kiatsak Wiboolchart, A+30)

The degree of my fondness for each episode not only depend on the talent of the directors, but also on the story in each episode. I wholeheartedly love the story of OLD DOG, so I give A+30 to it, though I can't say the directors of this episode are much more talented than the directors of other episodes. Likewise, I can't say that the directors of the first two episodes of this film are less talented than the directors of other seven episodes. It's just that the stories in the first two episodes are more like a prologue, and far from being a climax of the film, so that's why I don't feel that the first two episodes are exciting.

I think a member of The Professional Dry Cleaner (ยอดเซียนซักแห้ง) noted a few years ago that one of the signatures of Seri Lachonnabot's filmic styles is that he likes to create a scene in which the character looks as if he or she is on a stage in darkness, and there is a spotlight above the character, shining a light down at the character. I totally agree with the Professional Dry Cleaner. There is a scene like this in CHILD OF SIN (เด็กบาป) (2006, Seri Lachonnabot, 28min) and KHON-NAK-LOK (คน หนัก โลก) (2008, Ponlapat Yannarat + Seri Lachonnabot, 26min). I'm glad to find that a scene like this appears again in the climactic moment in the elevator scene in THE MAID.

Spoilers alert:

I like something near the ending of this film very much. Near the end of this film, "the murderer who killed someone in a temple" says to a policeman, "Our family has suffered so much. So you shouldn't intervene."

Interpret it at your own risk. Hahaha.

Actually, there may be no hidden meanings at all in this film, but I still like it very much, anyway.


celinejulie said...

I think the OLD DOG section is great. It confirms that 9-9-81 is not just a horror film. A normal horror film is about "a ghost and how to get rid of it". But in the OLD DOG section, there are some kinds of creepiness, horror, dread, or uneasiness that I like very much. The excitement in this section is not about the ghost, but about whether the murder in the temple will be revealed or solved or not. The directors create this suspense very well. I also like the last shot very much. We don't have to see the tired face of the policeman at all. We just watch him walking away, throwing the mobile phone at the floor. And that's enough to tell all that needs to tell.

Though 9-9-81 may look like a horror film, the OLD DOG section thrills me in nearly the same way as a great dramatic film as MYSTIC RIVER (Clint Eastwood), in which we also know that there is a murder, and there is a hope that the murder would be revealed, but the hope is dashed at the end.

I always like a villain or a villainess who doesn't look like a stereotype villainess. Both the ghost in I MISS U and the mother in 9-9-81 are the kinds of villainesses that I like. The ghost in I MISS U appears virtuous, but there is a dark side to that virtuous look. The mother in 9-9-81 looks like a respectable lady, but she is certainly much more than that.

celinejulie said...

Another thing I like very much in 9-9-81 is that the ghost here may not actually be a ghost, but a representation or a manifestation of something inside each character. This also unintentionally reminds me of the trilogy of horror films of Monthon Arayangkoon, in which the ghosts also represent something else. For example, the ghost in THE VICTIM (2006) represents the desire to be someone else, the ghost in THE HOUSE (2007) represents marital problems, and the ghost in I MISS U (2012) represents different memories about the same person.

In 9-9-81, I think

1.THE WAITER (หนุ่มกลัดมัน)
The ghost here may represent the guilt associated with lust and theft.

2.THE NEW TENANT (ผู้เช่าใหม่)
The ghost here may represent the desperation of the new tenant himself, or the ghost may be his imagination for his new cartoon.

3.BEST FRIEND (เพื่อนสนิท)
The ghost here may be the representation of guilt associated with envy.

4.THE LOVER (คนรักเก่า)
The ghost here may be the representation of guilt associated with lie.

5.THE MAID (แม่บ้าน)
The ghost here may be the representation of guilt associated with greed.

7.THE GROOM (เจ้าบ่าว)
The ghost here is associated with love.

As for the episodes of THE MOTHER (แม่เจ้าสาว) , EX-SOLDIER (ทหารเก่า) and OLD DOG (หมาแก่), the horror is not about the ghost, but about the unjustified revenge, which is more important than the ghost in this film.