Movie| Phobia 2 [Spoop Fest #11]

Movie| Phobia 2 [Spoop Fest #11]

Hello friends!~ Spoop Fest is drawing to an end soon. I originally planned to have it be done with by Halloween, buuuuuut…I still have a few Spoop Fest posts for you. So I’ll probably officially end Spoop Fest either Sunday or the middle of next week. WOO!~

 

 

 

 


Today I’ll be covering the Thai movie ห้าแพร่ง/Ha Praeng, internationally known as Phobia 2.  It’s the sequel to สี่แพร่ง/See Praeng, or 4bia/Phobia. “Why aren’t you covering the first one first??” Well…I did want to cover the original สี่แพร่ง/See Praeng, or 4bia/Phobia film. However, it was difficult for me to find a source with English subs for you guys. So I’ll be doing this backwards. I’ll be covering the sequel first.

สี่แพร่ง | 4BIA/PHOBIA (2008)

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Before we get into the sequel let’s briefly talk about the original film. สี่แพร่ง/See Praeng literally translates to “Four Intersections”, “Four Junctions”, or “Crossroads”. The 2008 Thai horror film was anthology flick. It had 4 different segments. Each story was headed by a different director and writer. However, the stories or characters had some sort of connection. In other words, there was some sort of intersection or they crossed paths somehow. So that explains the title and idea. The segment คนกลาง/Kon Glaang (Middle Man/Person in the Middle), was directed by the same director from Pee Mak and Shutter.  He also directed one of the segments for Phobia 2. It even starred the same 4 actors from the 4bia segment and Pee Mak. The CGI was funny, but I thought that overall it was a pretty good movie. It was an interesting idea. And the “Middle Man” segment will always be my favorite from it. I’ll eventually go over this movie in detail at a later time.

 


ห้าแพร่ง | PHOBIA 2 (2009)

MV5BZTRmMGJmYzEtNTNjOC00OGFmLWFlNGItZmMyMTYxZmQxOGY3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjQxMDgxMjg@._V1_ห้าแพร่ง/Ha Praeng, or Phobia 2 was released in 2009. It’s a similar idea to the original. Literally, the Thai title means “Five Junctions”, “Five Intersections”, or “Five Crossroads”. Instead of 4 segments, there are 5. Again, each segment is by a different director and writer. The segments are: หลาวชะโอน/”Nibung” or “Novice”,  ห้องเตียงรวม/”Shared (Bed) Room” or “Ward”, Backpackers, รถมือสอง/”Second Hand Car” or “Salvage”, and คนกอง/”(Camera) Crew” or “In the End”.  Phobia 2 had a pretty star studded cast of very well known Thai actors too. The directors Paween Purikitpanya, Banjong Pisanthanakun, and Parkpoom Wongpoom also directed segments in the original 4bia. I loved “In the End”. However, I also found “Novice” and “Salvage” to be quite interesting as well. “Ward” was creepy too. The segments can be hit or miss, but I still found it enjoyable. However, there are a few things that (again) may have been missed by foreign audiences. I think knowledge on those things could definitely help you enjoy the segments a bit more. So make sure to check out my cheat sheet at the bottom. You can check out the film on Netflix [HERE].

 

 

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หลาวชะโอน/”Nibung”| “Novice”
Pae/Pey is a teenage delinquent. He repeatedly committed crimes of throwing rocks at oncoming cars. Unfortunately for him, there are some serious consequences. His mother, whom he has a bad relationship with, forces him to be ordained as a novice monk in a remote temple in the middle of the jungle/forest. As a novice, he should be trying to live an example of a good life and to repent for his sins. However, he continues committing sinful deeds. Unfortunately for him, his actions may have angered the local Pret/Preta, or hungry ghosts.

This  segment was directed by Paween Purijitpanya. He also directed the segment ยันต์สั่งตาย/”Deadly Charm” in 4bia. It stars “Kao” Jirayu Laongmanee as Pey/Pae. He’s a really popular young actor and singer. He’s one of the “It Boys” of the Thai entertainment industry. Actor Ray MacDonald plays the role of the Preceptor at the Buddhist monastery. He’s a well known actor and TV host known for roles in The Eye 10, Dear Galileo, 3AM, and 3AM Part 2. I did like this segment as it focused on the Pret/Preta lore. I kind of covered this in my “Home Sweet Home” post [LINK]. As a refresher, Pret are also known as “Hungry Ghosts”. They’re ghosts who have committed the grave sin against filial piety. Thai culture, like many Asian cultures, expect that one should show great honor and respect to their elders. Especially their parents. There’s a saying that you shouldn’t say bad things to/about your parents or hit them, otherwise you’ll end up as a Pret when you die. Pret are cursed to wander the earth (or purgatory) forever hungry; Unable to quench their thirst or hunger. They’re characterized as skinny beings that are as tall as trees. They have incredibly big hands; Referencing the physical pain they’ve caused against their parents. They have incredibly small mouths that are the size of the tip of a needle. It’s punishment for the cruel things that have come out of their mouths. It’s also the curse, as they will never be able to quench their thirst or hunger. I liked this segment because it’s a good reminder to think on our sins and repent before it’s too late. It’s a good reminder to appreciate the things and people in our lives. I will say that Pey can be incredibly aggravating. Like, BOYYYYY….STAHP. Stop continuously doing bad things despite all the warnings. Despite the bad things he faced that served as obvious warnings…despite being scared multiple times…despite the bad omens, he continuously did all the bad (and stupid) things. Stay in the barrier stupid. Still, I found this to be a good segment. However, it’s sad as I find that foreign audiences may have missed out on a few things due to cultural differences. Again, I’ll be referencing that at the bottom.

phobia2_6.jpgห้องเตียงรวม/”Shared (Bed) Room”|”Ward”
A young man fractures his legs after crashing his motorcycle. He’s able to be treated, however, he has to spend the night at the hospital. He’s moved to a shared room that has an old man in it. The old man has been in a coma, and it’s been decided that he’ll be pulled off of life support in the morning. However, the stay turns into a long and terrifying one as the night progresses. 

This one is directed by Visute Poolvoralaks. It stars “Dan” Worrawech Danuwong. Dan is a well known actor and singer. He was in the boyband D2B, which was incredibly popular in the early 2000s. Again, there are some cultural references that could be missed by a foreign audience. However, I don’t think it’s something that’ll deter them. After all, creepy overnight stays in the hospital are kind of a universal idea. Still, the cultural references could help one appreciate the segment a bit more. So make sure you read my notes at the bottom.
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Backpackers

A Japanese man and woman are backpacking in Thailand. Stuck in the middle of the nowhere, they try to hitch a ride. They don’t seem to find any luck until a large truck with two men finally stop for them. The older man accepts their hitch-hiking passengers, despite the younger man being against the idea. The men seem pretty suspicious, especially when there sudden banging from the back of the truck. 

This segment is directed by Songyos Sugmankanan. It also features actor and model “Nak” Charlie Trairat, also known as Charlee. He’s well known for starting his career as a child actor. He’s most famous for his breaking role in the film แฟนฉัน/My Girl. Honestly, this was probably my least favorite segment in this film. To be honest, I just didn’t really care for it. Then again, I’ve never been a big fan of zombie movies either. Here’s the thing, I like horror films. However, I’m not a fan of zombie or gore movies. They just aren’t my style. Also, I found the acting to be pretty bad. Well, more so on the Japanese actress. The way she said her lines just seemed pretty unnatural and awkward.

phobia2_3.jpgรถมือสอง/”Second Hand Car” | “Salvage”
Nuch runs a successful used car dealership. She makes a comfortable living from her business. However, her dealership has a secret that makes it a bit different. These cars have horrific pasts. They’re cars that had been severely damaged; Many from fatal accidents. She has them fixed up looking like new, and sells them with a smile to her unsuspecting customers. Nuch will soon learn that perhaps these were not the great deals she thought they were. 

This segment is directed by Parkpoom Wongpoom. He had directed the segment เที่ยวบิน 224/”Flight 244″ in 4Bia. It stars well known singer and actress “Nikki” Nicole Angelique Theriault. The Thai-American started her career as an incredibly popular pop singer in the late 90s. When I see Nicole Theriault, I associate her with her one of her most famous songs from the 90s. So it was interesting to see her in a mature role, and in a horror film nonetheless. It’s also interesting because of superstitious beliefs. It’s said to be bad luck to take old things. So imagine the bad karma from actually selling something old with incredibly dark pasts? More detail on this idea later.

5Bia_poster2.jpgคนกอง/”(Camera) Crew” | “In the End”
A group of 4 friends are part of a movie crew. They’re working on an upcoming sequel to the horror movie แฝด/”Twin” or Alone. Unfortunately, the actress playing the ghost seems pretty ill. What happens when their ghost actress becomes an actual ghost?

This segment was directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun. He worked on คนกลาง/Kon Glaang (Middle Man/Person in the Middle), in 4bia. He’s well known for several movies. This is my favorite out of the segments since it’s a horror-comedy. I really enjoy his work. I always love the plot twists in his work. Also, I just really like the 4 actors as well. They also starred in his 4bia segment, and in Pee Mak. There are some things thought would help foreign audiences enjoy this better. The reason why I liked this segment is also because it seems like the director is poking some fun at himself and his work. You see แฝด/”Twin” , internationally known as Alone, is actually a 2007 horror movie by Banjong Pisanthanakun [Trailer]. The film had starred Thai pop singer/model/actress “Cha” Marsha Wattanapanich, also known as Marion Ursula Marsha Vadhanapanich.  The Thai-German actress is incredibly famous in Thailand and stars in this segment as the actress reprising her role. She’s basically parodying herself.

[Warning: Some Spoilers Ahead]

BONUS: MINTY’S CHEAT SHEET

หลาวชะโอน/”Nibung”| “Novice”

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Being ordained as a novice monk and monkhood

Like I said, Thailand is predominantly Buddhist. Theravada Buddhist to be exact. Typically young men will go through ordination into monkhood. It’s temporary though. It’s like a rite of passage, and also a way to build merit for your parents. Many men will also through this during a relative’s passing, to build merit for those who’ve passed. Typically men do this when they’re young. However, men will sometimes also go through ordination as a way to reflect on their life and to repent for any wrongdoings they’ve done. Either way, they live the ascetic life that monks live. Monks must live a life that uphold the Buddhist precepts. That is they must refrain from: harming living things, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, lying/gossip, and taking intoxicating substances (drugs/drinks). Monks are supposed to live very simple lives with just the basic necessities. They eat only one meal during the daytime, which is of food that is given to them. They are not to eat at night. So I hope this sheds more light on Pey’s choices/actions, and the consequences that followed.

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The tokay gecko

There’s a scene where Pey sees a snake attacking a tokay gecko. This is a very ominous sign. Tokay geckos are large geckos that are known for their vicious bite. They bite and don’t let go. They’re also most known and characterized by their distinct cries. It’s said that having one on you or hearing their cries at night are bad luck and an ominous sign.

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Sai Sin/Sacred Thread

Sai Sin, or Sacred Thread, are strings of cotton thread that’s been blessed by monks. They’re used in various ceremonies, during Buddhist holidays, and to create barriers. They’re believed to offer fortune and protection. They’re also used to make bracelets. You get them from temples. They’re usually given out during special occasions. They offer blessings, good fortune, good health, and protection. I should also note that you’re not supposed to cut it off. You should let it come off on it’s own. At least that’s what the elders in my family have told me. I have one as well, although I have the variety where the threads are put together to make a thicker bracelet. So I’ve had this thing on since the summer of 2011. So over 7 years now. Parts of it have loosened and become a bit worn out, but it’s still pretty intact. Anyway, yeah. Pey screwed himself over. He honestly should’ve stayed in the barrier until sunrise. Instead, he ran out and destroyed the barrier by tearing the sai sin; Dooming himself. You also see the monks chanting while holding the sai sin. I believe it was to connect them to that barrier, enforce it, and keep Pey safe, but…again…boy screwed himself over.

ห้องเตียงรวม/”Shared (Bed) Room”|”Ward”

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The broken needle and Sak Yant (Magic Tattoos)
I feel like this is one of the things that played some important things in the story. It’s an interesting thing that many foreign viewers may have missed completely. There’s a scene where the nurse tries to put the needle in the old man’s vein. However, it ends up breaking. This could be attributed to his special tattoos. These kinds of tattoos are called  สักยันต์/Sak Yant or Yantra Tattoos. They’re also known as magic tattoos. These are incredibly special tattoos that are believed to hold magic and grant protection, luck, and special abilities. It’s believed that they can grant strength, or even protect you from bullets or stabbings. They’re very intricate and painful tattoos. Angelina Jolie is a famous celebrity who has this kind of tattoo. A legit Sak Yang can only be received from certain monks or an ajarn (It means “teacher”, but it’s not like your high school teacher or anything like that). Ajarns who give these tattoos are more considered like special masters. They’re given the old fashioned way. It’s a long and painful process. It’s very difficult to get these kinds of tattoos as well. First off, there are few masters and monks who can make the Sak Yant tattoos. Often times, you have to go out of your way to get to these masters. Then you have to wait in a crowd and hope that the master will choose you. That’s right, you might not even be guaranteed a chance at the Sak Yant tattoos. If you’re lucky enough, the master will then choose the tattoo that they believe suits you. So begins the long and painful process as they also say incantations to imbue magic into the tattoos. However, there is a price. Sak Yant tattoos come with rules of conduct that you must follow for the rest of your life. There are different tattoos and rules. Typically it can be something like not tainting your body with substances (no alcohol and no drinking). However, there are also things like not eating specific foods, and even restrictions on sexual positions. Believers say that it’s dangerous to break the rules. They say that breaking these rules of conduct can cause the magic to backfire on you. It would nullify the magic, backfire, and it can cause you to go insane…or so they say. I should also note that these tattoos are only found on the upper half of the body. Southeast Asian cultures like Thailand view the head as sacred. The lower the body part, the less sacred. Also, it’s getting religious or sacred images as tattoos on the lower half of the body is seen as a big no-no. Apparently my great-grandfather had Sak Yant tattoos.. He was a police officer and credited the tattoos to allowing him to defeat and capture a gang of criminals; Completely unscathed. I should also note that people try to get these kinds of tattoos at your typical tattoo parlour. It’s not considered a legit Sak Yant unless you get it from a master specializing in Sak Yant. Also…yes, people will find it offensive if you don’t try to get a Sak Yant tattoo properly.  The superstitious will believe that trying to get a Sak Yant tattoo incorrectly can lead to harm. These tattoos were wildly popular way, way back when. However, I should note that not everyone believes in the abilities of Sak Yant tattoos. Major spoiler in case you need it spelled out for you: The old man was incredibly powerful and physically invincible due to his Sak Yant tattoos. However, that can’t help his natural ailments (aging and illness).

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Old man seems to be a master of some sort

The old man seemed to be a master of some sort. It’s clear he had quite the following. So you can kind of equate this to like being a leader of a cult. Anyway, these things do happen. There are sometimes when you claim to have powerful influence and magical abilities. Many Thai people are superstitious and so these men get followers like this. Of course, there have been many times where these men turn out to be scam artists. In the case of this story, the old man was legit.

รถมือสอง/”Second Hand Car” | “Salvage”

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Garland guy
In Thailand, it’s typical to see someone on the streets trying to sell garlands. They’ll go up to cars, hoping someone will buy them. Thai people will typically hang them around the rear-view mirror too. Typically, you don’t see them in the middle of the night in a used car dealership though…

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Old things can bring misfortune

There’s a superstitious belief that you should not get second hand things or bring old things home. The reason is that they may bring misfortune. You shouldn’t pick up and bring home random things. People believe that there may reasons as why they were abandoned. Kids are often told not to bring home random toys or dolls they may find. Some people believe there may be bad spirits attached that can bring you harm and misfortune. My mom once told me that as a child she picked up a random abandoned doll she found. That night she had a nightmare about the doll chasing her and demanding that she return it. It freaked her out and so she took it back the next day. A more logical explanation is that people find it to be unsafe. If it has a record, who’s to say it won’t happen again? For this story, it was a double whammy for Nuch. She brought many old things, and she knowingly sold them off to unsuspecting customers. She sold them without any guilt or concern, despite the fact that it could put people in harm’s way.

คนกอง/”(Camera) Crew” | “In the End”

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The director pokes fun at himself and his film แฝด/”Twin”, also known as Alone

Again, he’s poking fun at himself. Not just for the movie though. The director is well known for the plot twists in his works. He definitely poked fun at that aspect. There’s even a reference to his film Shutter. Like I said, there’s a big reference to his film แฝด/”Twin”. That film is about conjoined twins. They were able to have a surgery to be separated. However, one of the girls dies from complications. The living one grows up living a pretty happy life, but is then haunted by her dead twin. You can appreciate the supposed “plot twist” for the sequel they’re filming if you know a bit about the original. Marsha’s final lines in the production was that she’s a ghost too. She also talked about how stupid it was to be doing a sequel for the movie in the first place. The reason? The original film ended with her character dying.

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