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The Coffin

Thailand/Singapore/South Korea/USA 2008
produced by
Pantham Thongsand, Ying Ye (executive), Harrison Kordestani (executive), Gary Hamilton (executive) for TIFA
directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham
starring Karen Mok, Ananda Everingham, Andrew Lin, Napakpapha Nakprasitte, Aki Shibuya, Micheal Pupart, Suchao Pongwilai, Tassawan Seneewongse, Florence Faivre
written by Ekachai Uekrongtham, music by Bruno Brugnano

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

Highly recommended!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

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