04 June 2005

Nang Nak

Nang Nak is a real unknown gem from Thai director Nonzee Nimbutr. It’s a ghost story about a man who goes off to fight in an (unspecified, which adds to the story’s timelessness) war. Many of his friends die in the fighting. While he is away, his wife dies. He returns to his village not realising she is dead. His wife, Nak, seems fine, yet in a strange, mournful mood.

This isn’t a conventional shock-horror-bang-splat-die-with-sharp-things-in-you horror film. It’s a subtle, creepy, emotional, tear jerking, haunting film which will stay with you for weeks, even months, after watching it. It’s very rare that any film contains such striking emotional qualities (I can only think of a few), let alone a horror film.

The cinematography of the Thai village and surrounding countryside is also extremely lush, and captures the intensified, steamy atmosphere of it perfectly. Yet it isn’t a westernised, tourist take on
Thailand. Instead it reflects the love of the director for his own country and scenery. The film’s contrasts between the beautiful depictions of the scenery and the darker, more sombre tons of other parts, is striking.

If you check out one foreign film this year, make sure its Nang Nak, a film which even beat Titanic at the box office when it was released.

Reviewed by RenegadeDog


Post a Comment

<< Home