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Su (Karen Mok) is about to be married to Jack (Andrew Lin) - but she's
suffering from cancer, unbeknowest to anyone else, so she travels to
Thailand to take part in a (real life) ritual where she's locked inside a
coffin for 24 hours to cheat death, a ritual that's said to be responsible
for quite a few miracles. Only hours after the ritual she is involved in a
car accident, which she survives almost unscathed, and her cancer's gone,
too. Unfortunately though, she soon learns her fiancé has died in a car
accident. And as if that wasn't bad enough, his spirit time and again
appears to her, threatening her.
Chris (Ananda Everingham) has taken
part in the same coffin ritual to try and get his girlfriend Mariko (Aki
Shibuya) out of a coma. He almost dies in the coffin from a heart attack,
but the ritual brings his girlfriend back. But it also invites the spirits
of a mother and her child into Crhis and Mariko's life, spirits that start
to threaten them. Somehow, Chris manages to trace the spirits back to a
graveyard, and learns they are spirits of a mother nad their daughter who
just couldn't be cremated for some weird reason. But while he's still
investigating, Mariko is somehow pulled into the cremator and almost
burned alive. The graveyard keeper (Suchao Pongwilai) tells Chris the only
way to set things right again would be to repeat the coffin ritual, which
Chris agrees to even if it almost cost his life the first time. A vision
during the ritual tells Chris that the mother and her daughter had to die
because when Chris performed the ritual the first time to revive his
comatose girlfriend, he cheated death, so death came for the mother and
his daughter instead, who now want their revenge ...
While Chris has
taken the spiritual road to find out what's happening, Su has taken the
scientific road - to bump into Chris. Actually, the events concerning
Chris and Su were five years apart, which we learn only now. Chris's
girlfriend has fallen back into a coma soon after the second coffin ritual
and has since died. However, the spirits of mother and daughter have never
again mateerialized. The only advice Chris can give Su is to perform the
ritual once more herself, because when she cheated death death instead
took Jack. The second ritual will return her cancer, but finally elt Jack
rest in peace ...
Simply put, The Coffin is an extremely
haunting film. It's not a spectacular film, is intentionally slow-paced,
features hardly any special effects, only a few shocks and next to no gore
- but director Ekachai
Uekrongtham more than makes up for this by creating an extremely
creepy atmosphere throughout, supported by his own very well-written
script that basically tells two stories as if they were one, by subtle yet
elegant cinematography, and by a great ensemble cast.