Horror, Innocence, Puppy Love, the Southeast Asian Vibes of Thai Cinema
Thai films have a special place in the Asian film industry. FIRST LOVE led the trend of puppy love movies. Last year, heist thriller film BAD GENIUS made record box office earnings in China. Thai action movies are also uniquely positioned, and of course, there are Thai horror films that “haunt” many of their viewers.
As in previous years, this year's Shanghai International Film Festival will also feature several new Thai films. Their genres vary, with E-SAN LOVE STORIES about a bittersweet love story, SAD BEAUTY that explores friendship between women and their social status and two thrilling horror films, 3 3AM PART 3 and THE PROMISE. Whether you are familiar with the Thai cinema or not, you are likely to have an extraordinary experience watching these new films. In addition, as the opening film of Thai Film Week at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival, DIE TOMORROW consisting of six stories that show the transient nature of life is also a must-see.
E-San Love Story
Director: Bussarakam Wongkamlao
Writer: Pipat Jomkoh
Stars: Busarakam Wongkamlao/Rungrat Mengpanit/Phakhin Khamwilaisak
E-San Love Story is a heartwarming romantic comedy. Sian lives in the small town E-San in the northeast of Thailand. He loves his hometown and his girlfriend Som. He looks forward to Som returning from Bangkok to live with him. After his father's death, Sian and his mother make a living by selling spider flowers. Pak is Sian's junior in college who has a crush on him and helps him a lot. One day, Som returns with her new boyfriend only to announce that they will soon get married. Sian's dream of love is shattered, but the new journey of life has just started.
3AM Part 3
Directors: Phawat Panangkasiri/Thammanoon Sukulboontanom/Nitiwat holwanichsiri
Stars: Worakarn Rojanawat/Sheranut Yusananda
With its predecessors released in 2012 and 2013 respectively to win critical acclaim with their Thai-style horror and nonsensical elements, the new horror ensemble continues the journey into the darkest and scariest hour of the night: 3AM. When man and spirit, the living and the dead, find each other again, and makes its way to Shanghai International Film Festival.
The film consists of three different stories. The protagonist of the first story is called Pim. She is a night shift at a highway toll station and is a heavy social media user. In a shift at three in the morning, she runs into a demon spirit; the second story has the male lead Tan meet Napas, a mysterious woman, when he is in a bar with friends. He is immediately attracted to Napas, unaware that he has been cast a spell on; the third story is very irrelevant, in which the protagonist Sam is the director of a TV shopping program. Arrogant and bossy, he does not get along with the crew members, and finally at one night, weird things happen to him...
Director: Bonkod Bencharongkul
Stars: Florence Faivre／Pakkawadee Pengsuwan
Sad Beauty is a real feminine work. Formerly a famous actress in Thailand, the director Bonkod Bencharongkul is now a film director. Sad Beauty tells a story about friendship. Yo is a well-known model. Although her career is successful, she has lost her way in life. She has earned a lot of money, but has no friends to confide in except Pim, whom she grew up with as a dear friend. Pim is suffering from eye cancer and has been mistreated by her stepfather. One day Pim sees her mother beaten unconscious by him and accidentally kills him in the chaos. Yo comes to Pim upon hearing the news and accompanies her to seek help from her mother's ex-boyfriend.
Director: Sophon Sakdaphisit
Stars: Namthip Jongrachatawiboon/Apichaya Thongkham
The Promise is a traditional Thai horror film, directed by Sophon Sakdaphisit, director of Ladda Land. The story begins during the 1997 Asian financial crisis when many millionaires go bankrupt overnight. Two friends from wealthy families, Ib and Boum, unable to cope with the changes, decide to commit suicide together in the unfinished Sathorn Unique Tower. IB shoots herself, but Boum reneges on the promise.
20 years later, Boum becomes a successful real estate businesswoman. By chance, she and her daughter Bell come to the long derelict Sathorn Unique Tower. From then on, Bell sleepwalks abnormally every night, and all of her weird behavior reminds Boum of Ib…