The Thai title is See Prang, but in English, this four-segment horror film is being promoted as 4bia, or Phobia. Get it?
Once you get past the goofy name, the reason to be excited by this film from GMM Tai Hub is its four directors: Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom, makers of the original Shutter as well as Alone, Paween Purijitpanya, who did the slick and bloody Body #19, and, for the first time tackling horror, veteran director (and a mentor to the three young filmmakers), Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, director of the international smash hit gay volleyball comedy, Iron Ladies, as well as Metrosexual and M.A.I.D.
The cast includes the award-winning actress Chermarn "Ploy" Boonyasak (The Love of Siam, Buppha Rahtree) and Maneerat Kham-uan from Dear Dakanda, as well as Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, who played the Afro-haired title character in last year's Ploy.
Phobia opens in Thailand cinemas on April 24.
Here's a look at each segment, each dealing with a different kind of fear.
Happiness (Fear of Being Alone)
Directed by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, it's the story of an unemployed, broken-hearted, desperate young woman (Maneerat) who receives an anonymous SMS. She figures "life can’t get any worse", but life can get much worse when she encounters something she will regret.
Tit for Tat (Fear of Reprisal)
Directed by Paween Purijitpanya, this looks at the terrible things that happen when a group of bullying youths stumble across a cursed manuscript -- a diploma of death handed to them by someone who wants to take revenge.
In the Middle (Fear of What Goes Bump in the Night)
Banjong Pisanthanakun directs this tale of four best friends going camping in the remote jungle, sharing ghost stories along the way. At night they argue over who gets to sleep in the middle of the tent. They have scared one another into believing that a ghost will haunt whoever sleeps on the end. One of the boys foolishly swears, “If I die, I’ll come back and haunt who ever sleeps in the middle first”. He drowns 20 hours later while water rafting.
Last Fright (Fear of the Dead)
Parkpoom Wongpoom goes aboard an airliner on a charter flight for the Princess of Khurkistan. What was supposed to be an ordinary flight turns into something tragically more turbulent when the princess dies due to an allergic reaction to something she ate. The royal house of Khurkistan requests that her body be sent back immediately for royal cremation. The airline schedules flight attendant Pim (Chermarn Boonyasak) for the flight, on which the only other passenger will the be corpse of the princess.
(Thanks, Ning!; posters via 24Frames per Second)