Monday, May 31, 2010

4bia and Phobia 2

It's been a long time since I written a review but that doesn't mean I haven't been watching. I watch plenty its just I get so involved in watching I forget which one I was planning on reviewing. Today I am taking 2 movies off this list.

4bia (See Prang)

The first movie on our plate is 4bia or Phobia (the 4 is a pun and also a reference to this being an anthology). This is a thai horror film and I have to admit the Thai are starting to win me over with their contributions to the horror market. In this film we are presented with 4 different tales that at first glance appear to be unrelated but are all related by some connecting factor (for example the picture used in one part is of a dead person from another). Now since this is an anthology I suppose it would be more fitting to break down and rate each part then the movie as a whole.

Happiness (Thai title - Ngao/Lonliness)

Well other than the fact the translation of this title to "happiness", which makes no sense to me, this film had some nice tense moments. The story is about a young woman who has been stuck in her apartment with a broken leg and she has taken to trying her hand at online dating. Things appear to be going well for a while with the guy she meets but it doesn't take long before he gets weird on her. This story is light on dialog, which is fine since there are only like 3 cast members in the whole thing. The tone shifts nicely from simple loneliness to a building fear that one can't escape their fate. I found this one to be a nice opener for the film. It's the kind of story that was great for the length but because of the pacing I really couldn't see it being placed in the middle or end.
4/5 stars.

Tit for Tat (Thai title - Yan Sang Tai/Deadly Charm)

This title is a more fitting translation than the first one. Here we are presented with a group of teens who torment a outcast classmate. One day when he was walking home they drag him into a truck and beat him up in the truck bed while speeding on the highway. They accidentally drop him off the back and assume he is dead. The boy, however, is not very happy about what happened and curses them all to suffer violent deaths. Though the concept is rather standard the execution is not. The use of Thai witchcraft and the intensity of the death scenes just make for a good ride from start to end. If you can't make something new then take it over the top. This has a decent amount of gore but nothing too over the top.
4.5/5 stars.

In The Middle (Thai title - Kon Klang)

4 friends decide to take a camping trip and the night before they set out for the rapids they tell each other ghost stories and proceed to freak one of the guys out. He asks to sleep in the middle but none of the others really want to switch places because they are scared too. One of the guys make a remark that if he died he would haunt whoever slept in the middle. The next day they go rafting but there is an accident and one disappears saving the scared friend from drowning. The remaining three go back to camp not sure what to do about him only to be surprised when he shows back up. Something isn't quite right with him though.
This story is the comedy of the group but has some nice scares mixed in with a very enjoyable result. This tale ended up being my favorite of this set.
5/5 stars

The Last Flight (Thai title - Teaw Bin 244/Flight 244)

The book end of 4bia is about a flight attendant who is called in to work a flight when the attendant booked to fly has to leave after his brother goes missing on a camping trip (yes he is one of the guys from "In The Middle"). The flight is a special one for a Princess and on the flight the Princess dies from an allergic reaction to some food she talked the attendant into giving her. The attendant then has to fly back as the only person in the cabin with the body and things start getting weird as soon as they are in the air and she thinks she sees the body moving around. Now this one did creep me out a good deal but the story itself didn't really do as much for me as the others in the movie did. I suppose that was to be expected since it is an anthology and I rarely take to every story in most I have watched. It's not that weak compared to the others though just wasn't my cup of tea, and it did make a nice end to the whole thing.
3.5/5 stars.

Overall I loved 4bia and it has quickly become a favorite for me.
4.5/5 stars overall.

Phobia 5 (Ha Prang)

Now I suppose you would call only call this one a sequel since it shares the name and is an anthology but other than that its just another series of shorts and this time there isn't the nice little addition of connecting elements. This lack doesn't make it any less enjoyable, however.


This one is a tale about a juvenile delinquent that is taken to a monastery to become a buddhist by his mother after he gets himself in serious trouble after the death of a man who had car wreak after our boy and his buddy throw a rock threw his windshield so they can rob him. While at the monastery the boy is warned to respect certain rules of the region, but the boy takes it upon himself to disobey just about everything he can, however, the spirits of the area don't take very kindly to what he has done while in their land.
This time my least favorite was taken care of rather quickly with this entry. I found the tale to be a bit confusing as it kept going, with its mixture of flashbacks and cultural things. It's still creepy though and it does a nice job of opening things up.
3.5/5 stars.


A young man is put in the hospital after he broke both his legs when he crashed his bike. Though he wants a private room, he is given a room with a old man who is on life support. He is told the man is a was some sort of teacher and though he is not going to wake up they are keeping him on support until all of his students arrive so the young man has to bare it. Once things settle down the young man starts to see strange things and really begins to question just what was wrong with the old man to begin with.
This one makes up for the confusion of the first story for me. The pacing is pretty quick and the atmosphere is very foreboding. I'd love to give more about this one but that would just ruin the fun for you so instead I will just give my rating.
4.5/5 stars.


A young Japanese couple decide to backpack around Thailand and after a string of failed attempts at getting a ride the couple get a ride with a couple of shady looking truckers. One seems nice enough but the other seems to be on edge and before long it becomes clear something is wrong when he decides that he needs check his cargo.
Another great story with nice pacing. You know something is wrong almost from the first time you see the older trucker but trust me you have no idea what until you actually see whats in the trailer. Lots of nice tension, nice amount of gore, and great misdirection in the plot.
4.5/5 stars.


In this tale, we meet a used car sales woman who isn't particularly honest about where she gets her cars. She has cars salvaged and sells them to bargain hunters no matter what situation the car might have been in before. On night a distraught woman brings a car back screaming the seller lied about no one dying in the car and storms off but the seller thinks nothing more about it and rounds her young son up and goes about the business of closing up shop for the night. Shortly after this the woman notices her son disappear off the security camera after he goes back outside. Maybe there really is something wrong with the cars.
Now I didn't expect to like this one but I found I really liked it. It's fairly predictable in terms of plot but the scares are still nice.
4/5 stars.

In The End

On the set of a horror movie that's struggling to finish filming the actress playing the ghost comes in feeling a bit under the weather. While trying to be cool one of the crew members tells the woman that the show must go on so she toughs it out and tries to continue only to pass out on the set. She is set to the hospital with a crew member. Not long after the actress returns to the set on her own but doesn't appear to have gotten any better, in fact she seems to be worse an the ghost make-up isn't helping. As they begin to shoot again the director gets a call from the crew member at the hospital saying he was just told the actress has passed on. Now the remaining crew are left frantically trying to figure out what to do about their "returned" star.
This one stars the same for actors from "In the Middle" in 4bia and once again its a comedy but with scares. It was a great way to end the anthology and the twist at the end was priceless.
5/5 stars.

I loved this one but its just a little less great than 4bia. Even so it also made its way onto my favorites list and I highly recommend both it and its predecessor to those fans looking for a fun watch and don't mind subtitles.
4/5 stars.

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