Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Ex: Haunted Lover (แฟนใหม่ / Fan Mai)

We Need a Holiday

If you haven't watched the first film, don't fret since everything that happened then got wiped away as being a fictional film in the opening of this one with one minor returning character, as we see how Cee (Ratchawin Wongviriya) and her friends caught her two timing boyfriend Aof (Thongpoom Siripipat) red handed in the same cinema on a date with Ying (Marion Affolter), who would go on to fall from her apartment, breaking her neck at the edge of the pool to horrific effect, and become the resident ghoul of the film. All under 10 minutes.

But it's a test of endurance over the next 70 odd minutes as what's essentially short film material got dragged out into a feature film through the use of repetitive scenes (how many times do we need to see that neck snap) and the filmmakers not knowing just when to call a scene quits, lingering on for far longer than welcomed, serving little purpose other than to pad the runtime. It's quite frustrating as well to see how scenes get created for no purpose other than to introduce the next jump scare that turns out to be no surprise given the poor buildup, show off some nifty special effects that the Thai film industry is currently capable of, or the worst of them all, the dream sequences or segment of a film within a film, where Cee's half sister Bowie (Atthama Chiwanitchaphan) the actress commented that the horror genre is riddled with scenes like these set to confuse the audience.

Quite the self fulfilling prophecy in some ways which director Piyapan Choopetch, who returns to direct this lacklustre sequel, is responsible for. The build up of the film follows Cee, Bowie and their friends who get invited by film producer Karn (Pete Thongjua) who also owns a resort in which the film within the film takes place in, offering nothing more than chances for frolicking in pools or beaches, and the romantic triangle between Cee, Bowie and Karn, which got extended of course to include that of Aof, and Ying, and frankly, any more that you probably won't care much about.

Then comes the motherload of the final act which essentially provides the requisite twist in order to justify the existence of a horror cum slasher flick that came out of the blue, and in some ways following a cheat sheet progress chart. It's one thing when the filmmakers have an end in mind, but insulting the intelligence of its audience by pulling off a fast one just reeks of desperation, plodding the pace through extending moments for double and triple takes. I for one had enjoyed the first film like a guilt trip, but this one proved to be stretching it far too much.

Primed for a third installment with an Ananda Everingham cameo at the end of this, I'm not holding my breath for that to happen unless the story got significantly ramped up, though the prospect of Ananda revisiting the genre which launched him to global recognition is highly interesting to say the least.

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