After a powerful beginning of the sixth day of FEFF 2010 with productions from Hong Kong and China, the afternoon of April 28th presented three Italian premieres of two Thai and one Korean films, all in the style of horror/mystery/thriller.
From Korean director Lee Yong-Ju came “Possessed” (2009) – a ghost horror touching upon delicate issues from contemporary Korean society. Hee-jin (Nam Sang-mi) is a student, studying in Seoul, who comes home to look for her lost younger sister. While the detective investigating the disappearance of the girl seems to believe it is a simple case of a child running away, and the deeply religious Christian mother is convinced only prayers will bring the young So-jin back, things start to unravel and mysterious events preceding the disappearance of the girl are revealed. Intriguing debut from first-time director Lee Yong-Ju, the film slowly builds the suspense, while at the same time talks about delicate issues such as the contradiction of religions and the consequences of blind faith.
Very different in style and construction is the Thai horror “Phobia 2″ (2009), sequel to the very successful 4bia from 2008. The film consists of five different film sequences – Novice by Paween Purijitpanya, Salvage by Parkpoom Wongpoom, Visute Poolvoralak’s Ward, Backpackers by Songyos Sugmakanan and Banjong Pisanthanakun’s In The End. In Novice, a young boy is sent to a Buddhist temple, where mysterious supernatural events occur; Salvage brings retribution to a car dealer, selling ‘bewitched’ cars to unsuspecting customers; Backpackers is a zombie-genre story about two hitch-hikers, taking a ride on the wrong truck; in Ward, a hospitalised boy notices strange things around the dying man next to him; and finally, Banjong Pisanthanakun’s In The End, parody of his previous Alone, offers an entertaining outlook on horror film codes and conventions. Whilst delivering a spine-chilling experience to the audience, “Phobia 2“ entertains with the different stories and styles within and delivers a perfect ending, which breaks the stereotype and allows the viewers to relax in their chairs.
Also from Thailand arrives the mystery thriller “Slice” (2009) by director Kongkiat Khomsiri. Prisoner Tai has vivid dreams about a red suitcase, full of body parts; a serial killer chops up their victims and puts them in a red suitcase. As detective Papa Chin is nowhere near to bringing the investigation to a close, he relies on the connection between Tai’s dreams and reality and gives him 15 days to find the killer. As Tai remembers his childhood relations with the tortured boy Nut, he finds clues in his memories that lead him to discovering a disturbing truth. Although sometimes categorised as a slasher/horror, the film delivers a very different vibe and leaves audiences uncomfortable after the gory scenes and violent images, as well as the portrayal of deeply disturbed mind of a young boy and the consequences of his painful childhood.
Still no disappointments from the selection of films, as audiences keep their eyes on their watches for every next screening and the theatre hall gathers both critics and film lovers and promises them the experience of a lifetime.