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It’s time to spot the dead people again in “The Second Sight”, a Thai horror with a not exactly original premise following a man cursed with the ability to see ghosts, in this case a lawyer who can also visualise karma. Shot in 3D, the film was directed by Pornchai Hongrattanaporn, usually known for comedies such as “Bangkok Loco” and “Princess Tukky Sells Frogs”.
The lawyer in question is Jate (Pong Nawat Kulrattanarak), an attorney who since childhood has been able to see ghosts and to foretell the ways in which people will die, a talent which helps him in his work but which he understandably hides from those around him. Things get complicated when he lands his latest case, a fatal car crash on a bridge involving a rich young spoiled brat of a girl called Kaew (Mild Wiraporn Jiravechsoontornkul) that left several dead. Though everyone else believes Kaew guilty, Jate suspects there’s something more sinister going on, and despite the wishes of his girlfriend Joom (actress and popstar Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives”) starts investigating, spending more and more time with her in the process. Soon enough, Joom is also being haunted by unquiet spirits, and Jate’s own past starts to catch up with him.
Though there’s nothing even remotely original about “The Second Sight”, pretty much every scene having been seen somewhere else before at least once or twice, the good news is that Pornchai Hongrattanaporn approaches the film with a sense of liveliness and kitchen sink style gung-ho. Thankfully, the film is much more in the “Final Destination” line rather than “The Eye” or other more slow moving and ponderous efforts, the emphasis here being very much on thrills and rollercoaster scares. Perhaps due to his background in comedy, Hongrattanaporn shows a light touch and doesn’t take things too seriously, a few wacky moments here and there helping to distract from the air of familiarity.
The film moves briskly along, and clocking in at less than an hour and a half, never outstays its welcome or gets too distracted by too many pointless subplots. Further entertainment value is added by a string of melodramatic twists towards the end, and while fairly predictable, they add a further injection of humour, which, intentional or not, helps make the film a fair amount of fun.
Though the 3D effects don’t count for much on the small screen, it’s pretty obvious that Hongrattanaporn was going all out for maximum gimmickry, throwing all manner of ridiculous things at the viewer, including a handful of rather blatant and hilariously gratuitous cleavage shots. Despite the CGI work being frequently quite ropey, there’s at least plenty going on, with some solid gore scenes sprinkled throughout and some enjoyably over the top death sequences. Even though most of these scarcely make any sense at all, the film is the better for them, and Hongrattanaporn displays a good sense of timing and of carnage choreography, going some way to make up for the general lack of creativity.
Ultimately, what you see is very much what you get with “The Second Sight”, and although it doesn’t have an original bone in its body, Pornchai Hongrattanaporn has at least done an efficient and perfectly creditable job of delivering the generic genre goods. Without wishing to damn with faint praise, as a throwaway piece of popcorn horror its lack of ambition is perhaps not that big a deal, and viewers with adjusted expectations should have a good enough time with its modest charms.
Pornchai Hongrattanaporn (director) / Sukkosin Akkarapath, Pornchai Hongrattanaporn, Kiatkamon Iamphungporn, Nattapot Potchumnean, Chanintorn Ulit (screenplay)
CAST: Nawat Kulrattanarak … Jet
Yayaying Rhatha Phongam … Joom
Virapond Jirawetsuntorakul … Kaew
Anon Saisangcharn … Inspector
Klaokaew Sinteppadon … Gift
Prakasit Bowsuwan … Niwat