Tuesday, February 26, 2013

9-9-81 (บอก-เล่า-9-ศพ)

I Need Numbers!

Nine short films and twelve directors. This omnibus horror film project doesn't get any bigger, with each creative team providing their inputs in creating a sub-universe of their own, revolving around Wipawee (Patitta Attayatamavitaya), a woman dressed in a wedding gown, who had jumped to her death from an apartment block. Exactly why she did so, and the impact this fateful event had in the lives of those around her, whether family, friends acquaintances or in ways remotely linked, will get revealed in less than 90 minutes, where the full picture will be painted, not in chronological order, but in a fashion that will throw up some fine surprises.

If you're interested to find out the synopsis of each of the short films, you can do so at Wisekwai's definitive site on all films Thailand. Or you may prefer to keep the cards close to your chest and not sneak a peek, allowing each title card to flash up on screen with the segment's and director's name, to provide you that remote clue as to where the story might take you. Some of these segments are collaborative in nature, with light comedic touches introduced in some stories, while in others they somehow lapsed into dipping from the usual bag of visual tricks and cuts, and sound effects range that feature in just about any horror genre.

Patitta Attayatamavitaya plays the bride whom we get to know a little bit more of in various stories, and are given various perspectives just like how we play different roles in life, toward different people. Obviously her role here is central through all the stories, and Patitta gets to exercise a wide spectrum of emotions in her portrayal. Standing out in the various segments are her best friend, who's more of an obese and envious fiend at Wipawee's blessed physical outlook, and Setthasitt Limkasidej, who plays the boyfriend who had a more direct role in Wipawee's demise. These characters stretch across more than a single short film slice, and provides the anchor on which others get built upon.

The more powerful stories come from those whose characters are more directly related to Wipawee, while light comedy crept into the narrative as these relationship links become more diluted. And being Asian, you can bet (ahem) your last dollar that there will be a tale about superstitious folks being involved in rituals to ask dead spirits for lottery numbers, which in a way is asking for it, and playing with fire.

Makeup effects were basic, usually centered around the grotesque aftermath of a suicide victim from height, whose spirit appears up close to try and elicit cheap screams. They do work for a while, until you get acquainted with the makeup in which this tactic loses its effect. But that didn't stop the different filmmakers from trying. Omnibus films are usually fun to sit through, as it provides for a great cooperative platform in which to showcase different talent in cast and crew, and has that mix - some bad but mostly good - to keep things interesting and leaving audiences guessing.

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