Directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun
Comedy / Horror, 115′
Based on the ancient Thai tale “Mae Nak”, ‘Pee Mak’ is a comedic retelling of a soldier returning home to his wife and newborn son only to learn that the love of his life died during childbirth and is now a ghost.
Banjong Pisanthanakun is a classic example of someone who understands both horror (expected due to his filmography portfolio, which is predominantly horror flicks) and comedy. However, the film is not necessarily a horror. It is more of a goofball comedy wrapped around a spooky story.
The four stooges are the chorus of this slapstick humour, and each character is cast perfectly and overact the perfect amount to make this a wonderfully wacky film. Despite this, the film is full of heart, as the romance played between Mario Maurer and Davika Hoorne as Mak and Nak is full of charm and aptly balances out the moments of silliness.
‘Pee Mak’ is also chockfull of culture. Aside from the fact that it is based on regional folklore, it features the traditional teeth blackening that was practiced during the Rattanakosin Dynasty. It is also set in a murky, picturesque village that is not only appropriate of the time, but also symbolic of the film and story itself; the ability to find beauty in grim times.
The writing and pacing of the film is simply fantastic. It never seems to drag and keeps giving more, whether that is comedy, scares or romance. The only field ‘Pee Mak’ falls short in is the horror, as scares are, well, scarce, but this is completely forgivable.
Though it may not be the film you would pick for Halloween or Friday 13th, ‘Pee Mak’ is at its centre a heartwarming rom-com tied snugly around a ghost story that has become a classic for one simple reason: it is strong and moving enough to relate to and inspire generations of people. Both hilarious and charming, it is understandable that ‘Pee Mak’ is the highest grossing film in Thailand. A must watch film.