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“The House” is a Thai horror directed by Monthon Arayangkoon, who also helmed supernatural thriller “The Victim” and the giant bird monster kaiju “Garuda”. Apparently based on real life cases involving the murders of women, the film is a mishmash of various modern Asian and Western horror themes and motifs, combining a haunted house, vengeful ghosts and possession with murders, mad doctors and more. Originally released back in 2007, the film is now available on region 2 DVD via MVM.
The film follows actress Intira Jaroenpura (“The Legend of Naresuan”) as Shalinee, a television reporter looking from a change from the usual prostitution and child abuse stories, who decides to investigate the case of Dr. Wasson (Vorapoj Nimvijit), a man said to have murdered his missing wife. When she spots a mysterious figure during a visit to Wasson’s house, she becomes convinced that something sinister is afoot, and uncovers two other killings which took place there over the last thirty years, both of which also involved doctors. Tormented by visions of the dead women, Shalinee visits one of the two murderers in prison, the crazed Chalerm (Khomsan Nanthajit, “Bus Lane”), who hints at a dreadful secret lurking in the house. Meanwhile, her lawyer husband Nuri (Natthakan Thayutajaruwit) starts acting strangely, hearing voice and accusing her of having an affair with one of her colleagues.
“The House” really does go all-out in packing in the horror clichés, throwing together a variety of elements from the likes of “Ringu”, “Ju-on”, “The Shining”, “Amityville” and many, many others. Thankfully, Monthon Arayangkoon is a pretty decent and genre-savvy director, and he does a good enough patch job to give the film a kind of greatest hits feel and avoid most of the pitfalls of over familiarity. Though predictable and unoriginal the film is well-paced and never boring, and there’s generally enough going on to hold the interest, whether it be a grab-happy ghost popping up in an unlikely location or Khomsan Nanthajit doing an amusingly shoddy Hannibal Lecter impression. The special effects and CGI work are of an above average standard for Thai horror, with some appropriately sinister looking ghouls and a few splashes of splatter here and there, and again, though not actually frightening or gory, the film makes for reasonably atmospheric viewing.
All of this is enough to make “The House” a minor recommendation and a vaguely worthwhile time waster for undemanding fans of Asian horror. Though unambitious and without an original bone in its decaying, suspicious smelling corpse, it largely manages to get everything right, and so viewers looking for an old-fashioned slice of harmless genre fun probably won’t find too much to complain about.
Monthon Arayangkoon (director) / Sompope Vejchapipat, Monthon Arayangkoon (screenplay)
CAST: Intira Jaroenpura … Chalini
Chutcha Rujinanon … Nuanchavee
Khomsan Nanthajit … Chalerm
Kongdej Jaturanrasamee … Utis
Nuttawat Plengsiriwat … Chant
Natthakan Thayutajaruwit … Chamchuree