The Victim (Phii khon pen) (2006)

Intense Thai horror from Monthon Arayangkoon.
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The Victim - Intense Thai Horror from Monthon Arayangkoon

The Victim (Phii khon pen) is an incredibly well crafted (and also incredibly confusing) Asian horror movie from Thai director Monthon Arayangkoon. The confusion element is a major part of the brilliance of the movie, if you are a big fan of Asian horror movies I would recommend that you watch the movie before reading this review... and then probably watch the movie again!

A young and talented actress named Ting (Pitchanart Sakakorn) is noticed by a police officer, Lieutenant Te (Kiradej Ketakinta), as she shows off her acting skills in her uncle's coffee shop. Te asks Ting if she would like a job helping the police force re-enact murders to aid solving the crimes, Ting accepts and soon her acting ability is noticed by police forces throughout Thailand. As Ting reconstructs more and more murders she begins to get haunted by the ghosts of the murder victims, the Lieutenant explains to her that she is helping the dead victims rather than a mocking them and their spirits.

As Tings fame grows she is hired to help in the investigation of a high profile murder of the Miss Universe number 2 named Meen, who's blood was discovered splattered all over a bath surrounded by the bloody fingerprints of her lover Dr. Jarun (Chokchai Charoensuk). As Ting immerses herself more and more in the character of Meen, the hauntings become more intense as the dead try to warn Ting that Jarun is not the murderer. Determined to find the true killer, Ting eventually encounters Meen best friend Fai (Penpak Sirikul) who happened to be madly besotted with Meen. Fai murdered Meen when her advances were rejected and now she plans to kill Ting. Just as Ting is about to meet her doom the door bursts open and Fai is shot.

At this point the confusion begins, someone shouts "cut" and we realise that everything that we have seen up until now is the filming of a movie about the murder of Meen. Ting is in fact an actress called May and all other characters we have seen up until this point are actors!!!

But this movie film set has also had its share of strangeness and people start to die for real. At this point we start the real life part of the movie and real life can be a whole lot scarier. I won't describe the rest of the story but it definitely kicks up a notch and the confusion continues with dream sections mixed in with all that's going on.

A huge amount of effort has gone into the detail of this movie, I even thought I noticed that the quality of the acting increasing for the second part of the story as if the actors had been told to act like they were acting in the first part! A lot of the horror of this movie is the fact that you are never quite sure what is going on once the true storyline is revealed and you realise that you didn't really know what was going on at the beginning and what seemed like a typical, straightforward "J-Horror style" Asian horror movie is a lot more complicated.

The Victim has definitely set a high standard for Thai horror movies and I expect I will be watching this one again.
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Categories: Asian Horror Movies

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