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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

P (2005) Horror Witch

P (2005) - "Ghost" Thia movie that mixes magic and social commentary into a satisfying film. Dau (Suangporn Jaturaphut) is a Khmer orphan growing up in rural Thailand with her Grandmother (Pisamai Pakdeevijit). We see her as a young girl in school being picked on by schoolmates because her Grandmother is the village witch.
Flash forward to her teen years and she is initiated by her grandmother into the magics but with warnings, for when doing the magic.
1. Do not cross under a clothesline.
2. Do not eat uncooked meat and
3. If you teach the magic never take payment.
Unfortunately Dau's Granny gets sick and when Dau tries to get her medicine she does not have the money necessary. The shop owner says she can get Dau work in the city, but she will have to leave that night. So to earn the money she gets on a bus to Bangkok with nothing.
Arriving in the city she is met at the bus stop by Pookie. who is going to show her the ropes at a local bar for foreigners. The night she arrives introduced to the world of prostitution and how foreigners come to Thailand for sex with too young girls. She is bought buy a man who initiates her first sexual experiences and naturally she feels dirty after with only a little comfort by her roommate Pookie. The scenes although tense and sexually charged are tame in what is shown but not what is suggested. In fact all the scenes of the prostitution industry are very tame, even cleaned up from the reality. The film does draw a bit of a spotlight on an industry that still thrives as a tourist attraction but it makes it look like it is not so bad and cruel as it really is.
Then to get noticed, with flashbacks to her Grandmother teaching her glamour spells we see Dau using magic and it works for her as she gets more deeply into the go-go bar scene. There is quite a bit of slow hip shaking dancing to show her growing sensuality. May (Narisara Sairatanee) an older dancer at the club does not like losing customers to Dau and threatens her. Dau more interested in revenge with the first customer, the one who took her virginity and then spurned her next time he was in. She does a spell that does the poor bastard in in a bloody mess. Two things happen in one storyline Pookie and Dau have a bit of a relationship. It starts as Pookie teaching her the best ways to take advantage of the business. It becomes a caring friendship with some playful foreplay where without noticing they break the first rule of magic use rolling under the clothesline in their room. When she learns her audition was sabotaged by May she goes deeper into the magic to pay her back for that. May will have a horrible accident setting off the dual storyline of the rest of the film, really the second half. The first half is Pookie and Dau working out that the magic may have been to much or gone wrong. Before long all three rules of magic have been broken without Dau realizing it. The darkness makes her crave more raw meat. It is in her and she is losing control. At night the demon spirit of Dau travels out and she sleeps with Johns and then literally eats them. The other story is the friends of May the rival dancer who was hurt by the Dau's spell seek a witchdoctor to deal with Dau. Dau gets worse and worse scaring Pookie as she feeds and feeds. She senses something is amiss with the friends of May and starts to hunt them as well. Pookie wants to help Dau beat the demon inside her. They try by binding Dau in handcuffs to a bathroom wall and trying to starve the ghost out of her. At the same time the witchdoctor is trying to work his magic to counter. Dau tricks Pookie into releasing the demon and then she is killed, Dau goes after the witchdoctor. literally diving into his stomach. She then devours May's friend only to be confronted by the injured May. May takes the demon into herself and kills herself to end the demons reign of terror.
This is not a horrible movie but I am not convinced it is more than average as a horror flick. Certainly it explores the consequences of magic. Does a nice job of putting them in a real world setting. It does lack a bit though on the execution. I wish it was a bigger budget movie because I think as a story it works.
Rating (5.2) 5.0 and up are recommended in the Zombiegrrlz system Rent IT!

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