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(aka "The Possessed" )


directed by Paul Spurrier
UK/Thailand 2005


Aaw (Suangporn Jaturaphut) is an outcast in rural Thailand for being the granddaughter of a witch. When her grandmother falls ill and Aaw is unable to pay for her treatment, she goes to Bangkok to take a job as a go-go dancer. Although she strikes up a quick friendship with lesbian roommate Pookie (Opal), she is ridiculed by the other catty dancers. After being deflowered and then ignored by the club's owner (director Paul Spurrier who took the role after the original actor balked at playing a scene with a poisonous cobra), Aaw - rechristened Dau by the club's madame - uses her magic to inflict deadly revenge. When her spell to hurt a sabotage the act of a rival turns grisly, Dau realizes that her powers come at a price as she starts to undergo a monstrous transformation.

British director Spurrier succeeds with the dramatic part of the film (even if the stripper rivalry scenes seem like they came from a Joe Eszterhas script) but the horror part does not really compare. Although the horror scenes do not descend into the cultish extremes of, say, MYSTICS IN BALI, they are a nice B-movie-esque change from the post-RINGU (THE RING) Asian horror aeshetics. Suangporn Jaturaphut and Opal are good in their lead performances and their relationship is the focal point of the film. As the director admits, the film really has little to do but tie up loose ends at the 92 minute mark of this 104 minute film. Former camera operator Rich Moore does his first job as a cinematographer (though Spurrier had to take over as D.P. when Moore was obligated to another project) conveying the beautiful Thai countryside and the Bangkok slums with a warmth and saturation rarely seen in horror films nowadays thanks to digital intermediate recoloring and bleach bypass becoming the norm.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 7 October 2005

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DVD Review: Palisades Tartan - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Palisades Tartan

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:44:32 (4% PAL speedup)

2.36:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1); Thai (Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo)
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.36:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by director Paul Spurrier
• Behind the Scenes (4:3; 1:46)
• SOI COWBOY GO-GO BARS featurette (4:3; 4:57)
• Rawang Music Video (4:3; 5:03)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:45)
• Teaser (4:3; 1:06)
• Production Still Gallery

DVD Release Date: October 20th, 2009

Chapters 24



Palisades Tartan's DVD is interlaced and a tad soft on progressive monitors (since Tartan's original release was announced with a DTS track, I wonder if this is the same encode minus that track since the film alone with 5.1 and 2.0 stereo would fit on a single-layer disc and the extras don't quite fill out the dual-layer disc). The 2.35:1 aspect ratio is advertised on the trailer as being Cinemascope and it exhibits the anamorphic distortion in wide shots at the edges of the frame seen in Cinemascope productions (the film is also advertised as the first widescreen Thai film in over 20 years). British director Spurrier contributes a fine virtually comprehensive commentary in which he discusses the film's performances (including his own and his mother's reaction to the sleazy scene he plays out with the lead), the technical aspects, and the sociological aspects of the real locations. He is also forthcoming about the film's weak points as well as shots he didn't feel worked out. A short behind the scenes clips and a featurette about the go-go bars that inspired the script as well as a music video are the main extras. A TV spot, trailer, and still gallery round out the extras.

There exists an English-friendly BluRay edition (B001R7AHN0) of the film abroad with more extra features but it apparently cannot be imported into the United States due to Palisades Tartan's copyright restrictions.

 - Eric Cotenas


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Subtitle sample (director Paul Spurrier in a supporting role)




















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Palisades Tartan

Region 1 - NTSC



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