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directed by  Sopon Sukdapisit
Thailand 2008

 

The filmmakers behind "Revengeful Spirit" hold a private screening at a local multiplex and disappear, leaving the screening copy of the film in advance of its upcoming release. Based on a true story, it concerns Chaba, a woman disfigured in a fire that killed her children who now abducts other children that she believes are her own and gouges out their eyes so they won't be afraid of her. She was caught and hanged by the villagers. The presence of the print gives Yod the idea to strike a deal with some film pirates to make a video copy of the film in advance of its release date by recording it off the screen with a digital video camera. He recruits reluctant fellow projectionist Shane to help him (Yod's sister Som dumped Shane after he hit her in a scuffle over her watch which he pawned for drugs so a newly clean Shane sees the money from the pirated film as a way to get the watch and Som back). While Yod is in the theater taping the film, Shane falls asleep in the projection booth. When Shane wakes, Yod is gone but the video camera reveals him frightened and trying to get away from something offscreen. As the the police inquire after the missing Yod and the film print, Shane starts to experience strange occurrences that mirror those in the film. Under pressure to produce the illegal video copy of the film before its release date, Shane attempts to copy it himself and sees Yod's eyeless corpse among Chaba's victims in the film. Convinced that anyone who sees Chaba's death in the film will also die and that Chaba is now after him, Shane - with Som's help - attempts to do what the protagonist of the film failed to do in finding Chaba's still missing corpse and cremating it before she can claim him among her victims but the search of Chaba's abandoned house reveals a darker twist involving the cast and crew of the fictional film.

Although certainly an improvement over the director's script for the overrated SHUTTER (the Thai version, not the even worse American remake), COMING SOON is overly derivative of both the Asian horror resurgence as well as the American remakes and spin-offs. The pacing of the 83 minute film (78 if you don't count the closing credits crawl although imdb also cites a 95 minute running time in addition to the 83) is uneven. The script seems to have been constructed as a series of trailer-ready set-pieces (many of which do appear in the film's trailer) with little connecting exposition (and even less of it dramatically compelling) as if the film thinks that since we already know the formula and structure of this type of film, there is no need to drag things out. Shane doesn't take much convincing that the ghost is real and that anyone who sees the film will die (sound familiar) and Som only displays a hint of skepticism when told that a ghost from a movie has killed her missing brother. Then she researches the story behind the film on Wikipedia and is ready to believe Shane whom she had previously believed was tripping on drugs. A third act twist was unexpected but the film does not stay one step ahead for long as we once again guess what the hero is going to discover minutes before he makes the discovery himself. The ghost's look is derivative of the Japanese slit-mouthed woman whose urban legend inspired some not so inspiring films recently and her ability to scare is largely dependent on quick cuts and lunging at the camera. There is also the tired scene of a woman running down a corridor towards camera as rows of lights shut off behind her as if trying to swallow her up as well as revelatory captured video and supernatural sights only visible in reflective surfaces.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 30 October 2008 (Thailand)

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DVD Review: Sarawak Media Corporation - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Sarawak Media Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:23:51
Video

2.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.15 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.

Bitrate

Audio Thai Dolby Digital 5.1; Chinese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, Chinese, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sarawak Media Corporation

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.30:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (4:3; 2:37; in Thai with optional English subtitles)
• Interview segment 1 (4:3; 1:53; in Thai with optional English subtitles)
• Interview segment 2 (4:3; 1:52; in Thai with optional English subtitles)
• Interview segment 3 (4:3; 1:38; in Thai with optional English subtitles)
• Interview segment 4 (4:3; 4:46; in Thai with optional English subtitles)

DVD Release Date:
Thin Amaray in Slipcase

Chapters 5

 

Comments

As with the Malaysian disc of ICHI, this is a rather basic DVD with 4 chapters for the feature (there are actually 5 chapters but only 4 are displayed in the single chapter menu screen), menus with musical sound bytes from the film's audio track, and static menu screens. The trailer has Thai dialogue (optional subtitles are available) but all English text. The four interview segments seem to be parts of the same featurette rather than covering separate aspects of the production. While ICHI claimed to have DTS but only had 5.1 and 2.0 Japanese tracks, Sarawak's DVD of COMING SOON claims Thai DTS and 5.1 EX as well as Cantonese 5.1 but only has Thai 5.1 and Cantonese 5.1 but the tracks are strong and directional with the requisite horror jolts while the subtitles have their share of grammatical errors but are more than coherent. The progressive, anamorphic transfer looks fine with good black levels.

The DVD seems to have been rebuilt since the my player cites 3 streams of audio available but one of the Thai tracks is grayed out though the button in the menu remains selectable. The specs for the slightly more expensive HK disc say Thai DTS and Cantonese Dolby Digital 6.1 EX while the more expensive Singapore import has only Thai stereo. As such, the Malaysian import may disappoint in advertising higher audio specs but it is a satisfying cheaper alternative to the other imports until we hear about the as-yet-unannounced US and UK releases and/or its inevitable American remake.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Sarawak Media Corporation

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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