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P
United Kingdom/Thailand 2005
Directed by Paul Spurrier
Running time 105 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
David Michael Brown
3 stars


With Japanese horror joining the mainstream and Korean cinema having made its mark, the latest nation to hit the horror festival circuit is Thailand. P (literally translated as ghost in Thai) paved the way with appearances at numerous horror film festivals including London’s Frightfest. Interestingly so, as the film, despite being set in Bangkok, was written, directed and edited by British filmmaker, Paul Spurrier.

The story is about a young girl forced to earn money in the go-go bars of Bangkok to pay for medicine for her grandmother who has taught her witchcraft. As she descends further into the dark and sinister world of the Bangkok sex industry the dark powers of witchcraft begin to take over her body and turn her into a flesh-eating beast.

The director, who also plays Dau’s first trick, sets up a frighteningly real ambience. Shooting the film in the Thai capital certainly helps and the film really sets out to dig down into the dark underbelly of the sex industry. He is helped by a wonderful performance by Suangporn Jaturaphut as the teenage Dau. She exudes a nervous, innocent sexuality and her scenes with Spurrier are genuinely creepy as he tries to seduce the virgin witch.

The moment the film turns into a full on horror film the mood is lost to a certain extent but the scenes of cannibalistic terror bring on a different sense of unease. I was not totally convinced with the glow-in-the-dark demon make-up but Jatraphut’s performance gave me enough reason to stay with the film.

 

 

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