Thursday, February 5, 2015

รัก ลวง หลอน (The Couple)

Young couple Karn (Golf Pichaya) and Aom (Sushar Manaying) exchange their I Do’s in a lavish wedding ceremony. Looking forward to married bliss, the newlyweds have no idea that they are about to face a lot of family drama that has been unfolding in the sidelines without their knowledge. The family business is almost bankrupt, forcing the siblings to form a deal with a dangerous politician. Did I mention that the bride finds her sister-in-law’s corpse in the bathroom during their wedding night? To further complicate matters, she starts behaving strangely after that, borrowing mannerisms from the dead in-law. The family nanny thinks she is possessed, and the spirit invading her body will not stop until it gets rid of unfinished business. Would she be strong enough to resist once her loved ones’ safety are put on the line?

The lead characters benefit from being telegenic. Manaying looks good from all angles, even with that short hair that would look ridiculous if sported by another actress. Pichaya also has the matinee idol looks that complement that of his leading lady. They have good enough chemistry to pass off as a real life couple, and perhaps some fans are wishing that they really were. In any case they are able to give what is needed of them, which mainly has something to do with looking their best as if attending a magazine centerfold shoot while being chased by ghosts.

In terms of filmmaking techniques used, the movie benefits from mixing silence and terrorizing sound effects well. You know how most horror flicks nowadays are just so tiresome to watch because your eardrums are being harassed every other minute? This movie has silent moments at least, allowing the tension to marinate deep within until it eventually culminates with a good scare. It is because of this that the movie does not feel that forced, although in terms of plot it is arguably convoluted.

Even so, Thailand scores another good thriller with this film, although it does not really compare to either Shutter or Alone when it comes to visually stimulating scenes. The Couple is more intriguing than scary, and makes you question a lot of things. The twist is not that shocking because the hints are all over the place, but at least there is a twist to look forward to. Just do not expect it to blow you away like those in the other two movies mentioned did.

The title, or at least its English translation, is rather misleading given how the focus on the couple ends when the malevolent spirit’s reign of terror begins. To some extent, watching the trailer makes you think that this is a story of infidelity with a supernatural twist, but it is nothing like that. This film is more like a family drama gone sinister, turning into some sort of slasher flick. There is no satisfaction derived from guessing whether Aom is just cuckoo or really possessed because everyone just assumes that she is. As such, the thrill comes from piecing together clues and hints as to why the spirit is out for vengeance.

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