February 2, 2009

Review: 4bia (See Prang) (2008)

Cast Members of Note- Laila Boonyasak, Maneerat Kham-uan, and Apinya Sakuljaroensuk. I have no idea who they are either.

4bia (pronounced phobia) is a messed up and creepy little flick. It's basically 4 loosely connected stories, told Anthology style.

Story1 (Happiness)- For the record, I think I just shit my pants. Also, I'll never text again. "I'm somewhere cramped." "I'm in the picture right beside you." "I'm outside of your building. I'm coming right up." Never. Texting. Again!

Who is make mystery call on her?
Story 2 (Tit For Tat)- I totally thought this story was going to be about boobs, and boy was I wrong. Instead we get story about a geek who uses black magic to kill his tormentors, with the help of some CGI creatures that look like the mutards from I Am Legend. The ending was cool though.

"You want Shamwow?"
Story3 (In the Middle)- Four gay Thai guys go camping and fight over who gets to sleep in "The Middle." Mmm Hmm. A tickle fight breaks out, killing one of them, and then things start to get really creepy... Titanic references, a gay rafting trip, creepy ghosts with dead eyes... this wacky story has it all. Faboulous!

Holy shit, they have two Lucky Pierre's!
Story 4 (Last Fright)- You have to love that the producers of this movie named the final segment "Last Fright," because that's how Asians would pronounce "flight" in english. They should have really gone for it though and just called it "Rast Fright." Still, we admire their cheek, and it made us LOL.

Anywho... A hot Thai stewardess has to fly alone with the corpse of a bitchy princess... and all hell breaks loose! Really it's just a chick trapped in a plane with a pissed off corpse. No hell.

Worst job ever.
Minimalism. Mood. Atmosphere. Those are the qualities that work best in Horror films, and the Asians seem to understand that better than most. 4bia delivers on all of those aspects and more, and though some of it falls a bit flat at times, it's still a solid effort that should please most Horror fans, especially those that love the nuance of Asian Horror

The 1st story here is downright creepy; barely any dialogue helps set the mood and makes things rather claustrophobic. The 2nd is a bit odd and kinetic, with some good gore, but not many frights. The 3rd story is more funny than anything, although the ghost FX were fairly creepy. The 4th story was interesting, but kinda lame like a cheesy old episode of The Twilight Zone or something.

On a fun trivia note, the third story is directed by the guy that did Shutter; the original, not the suck-job American remake that starred Pacey from Dawnson's Butthole.

Kiss her, and maybe she'll let you live.
CGI is seldom a good thing in Horror movies, especially when you're trying to establish a quiet and creepy atmosphere. Bad CGI is even worse; just ask Will Smith how bad I Am Legend sucked once the cartoon monsters showed up.

My thoughts exactly.
Couldn't you just tape your eyes shut rather than pull them out of your own head? And seriously, what kind of determination does it take to be able to do that to yourself? Good God.

Must be a Thai thing.
Lots of people fall to their deaths, a girl rips her own eyes out, people drown, get set on fire and hit by cars... not much gore, but some of it is cool when we do get to see it.

There's also this corpse.
No hot Thai nakedness, not even so much a naked Thai Girly-Boy (thankfully), and that's what they're famous for.

"I'm inside your apartment now" or "We're still friends, right?"

Text messaging is creepy. Also, don't bully the odd kids in school. Also, gay camping trips always end in drama. Finally, never work for royalty.

He'll never gay camp again.
4bia is an above average flick with some nice elements going for it, you might be pleased if you give it a chance. The one thing you can be sure of, being that it's Asian Horror, is that you will at least get atmosphere and story over cheap scares and twist endings. 


4bia is available now on DVD.


We love Asian women, and in this case, we really love Laila Boonyasak. She special.

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