Cancer and illness is a very real part of our everyday life. What is a person to do when the fears of a shortened life become too much to bear? Give yourselves a funeral of course! Based on a true Thai ritual in which people lie in a coffin for a certain number of days to ward off bad luck, karma, or illness comes The Coffin distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures on August 30th.
The Coffin is about Chris (Ananda Everingham) and Sue (the lovely Karen Mok) who do not know each other, but both end up at the burial ritual to try and change the bad luck that they have both been dealt. Chris is there on behalf of his ill girlfriend Mariko (Aki Shibuya) to try and extend her life, but to do that he will have to fight his fear of claustrophobia. Meanwhile Sue is a dietician has just recently been diagnosed with cancer. She’s afraid to tell her fiancee Jack (Andrew Lin) so she heads to Thailand to be apart of the ritual to try and help herself. As usual, things start to look up as Mariko begins feeling better and Sue’s cancer begins to regress. Shortly afterwards Sue’s boyfriend Jack dies mysteriously, then his spirit begins visiting Sue. At the same time, Chris also begins seeing ghosts of some sort. Now Chris and Sue have bigger issues to try and overcome.
There is nothing technically wrong with this movie, but I must say that I was a bit disappointed overall in The Coffin. Being the highest grossing Thai film of all time I guess I was expecting something a little more extravagant than what turned out to be a fairly typical Asian horror movie. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I was a tad underwhelmed. There are some really good quick scares spread throughout the movie, and the movie is definitely not boring as it keeps up a pretty good pace. Any fan of either Asian horror or supernatural horror will probably really enjoy The Coffin.
On a side note I read that director Ekachai Uekrongtham’s originally wanted to make The Coffin more about loss, redemption, and acceptance rather than a ghostly horror story. He even says himself that ghostly spirits have no place in Buddhism. But after having issues raising enough money to finish the film as he had originally intended, he had to settle on pursuing it more as a typical horror film like what we ended up with. It would’ve been quite interesting to see exactly what he had in mind, as what we have here is still quite good.