Movie Review: Pee Mak

Pee Mak (2013)

Language: Thai

Genre: A mix of romance, horror and comedy

Rating: PG13

Length: 1 hour 52 minutes

Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun

Cast: Mario Maurer, Davika Hoorne, Nattapong Chadpong, Wiwat Kongrasri, Kantapat Seeda, Pongsatorn Jongwilak

Movie Poster

Short description of the plot

The movie is an adaption of a Thai folklore: Mae Nak Phra Khanong.

The story takes place during the ruling of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, where Mak (Mario Maurer) becomes a soldier and has to leave his pregnant wife Nak (Davika Hoorne) at home in Phra Khanong. During the war, he meets four soldiers who became his best friends. Meanwhile, his wife, Nak, was undergoing childbirth and struggles to give birth to their baby alone.

When the war is over, Mak invites his friends to go to his home and meet his beautiful wife. But in Phra Khanong, the rumor goes around town that Nak is a ghost. After a series of uncanny events, his four friends and some villagers tried to tell Mak that his wife is already dead. [Source]

My review

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10 – Must watch!)

I didn’t know about this Thai movie until I noticed it showing on the movie timings and was told that it was a horror movie – and that’s all I expected. Comedy and horror is both of my favorite movie genres, just that comedy gains the upper hand for sure. As much as one can hate horror movies, you can’t deny that it doesn’t give you the thrill of shrieking and freaking out during the essential parts of the movie. I didn’t take note of the movie poster as well and my very first exposure to that movie is during the actual screening itself. And because I was told it was a horror movie, I’ve had expect myself to feel shock and in a state of dismay when I walk out of the theater after watching this movie

But it turns out otherwise! Although the movie started out quite devastating – with Nak’s childbirth, afterwards, there was plenty of humor injected during the part where they show Mak with his four friends during war and battle. They over-exaggerated some things and that probably got the audience laughing really heartily. I absolutely love the twist to the movie! – how the folklore was being modernized in the movie instead of what really happened in history (according to Wikipedia) and the dramatic and comedic reactions of the cast. For sure there were the scary parts of the movie – but all that laugh and cackling really covered up the heart sink feeling you get when you watch a horror movie.

I would give it a miss on 2 ☆s based on my lack of exposure to the beliefs and the culture of Thailand  – that the death of Nak was quite misleading at the beginning – whether she died of a struggling childbirth or not, because the following scene after the childbirth, it showed her walking to the end of the dork and waiting for the return of her husband, Mak. However, if I had known of the folklore behind the movie when I watched it, there will probably be less doubts about that.

Also, there was another misconception to the ‘black teeth’ the cast had in the movie. My sister and I were discussing about it earlier on. I’ve had told her it could be braces, but after the movie, we were quite certain those aren’t braces. It’s sorta distracting to see all the characters in the movie with black teeth or seemingly appear to be toothless. Come to think about it now after research, do braces even exist in that generation? Then I realized it’s a lost tradition; called the “tooth blackening. The tradition follows in Asian countries like Vietnam, Japan and Thailand. 

Overall, it’s a great movie anyone should go and watch! – whether you’re a fan of horror movies or even if you dislike horror movies, bet you’ll love this! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Pee Mak

  1. It is interesting to see that some of the themes we have in the United States are also used in other countries. Or maybe it is the other way around. In the United States we had a block buster called the Sixth Sense. Hopefully you have seen it. It started Bruce Willis. It also had the theme of the dead, finally figuring out they were dead and their interactions with the living.

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