Director – Tanit Jitnukul
Cast – Arisa Wills, Supakson Chaimongkol, Krongthong Rachatawan, Tin Settachoke, Somchai Satuthum, Isara Ochakul, Nirut Sutchart, Krittayod Thimnate
Release Year – 2004
Reviewed by John of the Dead
It took me a while to get to this well-known Thai horror film, and I am somewhat glad I did not rush to viewing this one. Why? Well, despite the attention this film has received over the years…it really isn’t that good. It has potential, MUCH potential, but in the end poor execution and an under-appreciative story make this film nothing special to watch.
Art of the Devil follows Boom, a mistress who was once seduced by a married man, and now pregnant with his child…he wants nothing to do with her. He pays her to leave him and his family alone, but that is not enough. Boom goes to a witch doctor/shaman and casts a horrible spell on her former lover and his family, resulting in their brutal deaths. Unfortunately for Boom, her war is just beginning as her former lover’s former wife has inherited her lover’s estate, and she now has another family to get rid of.
I really wanted to like this film, and I EXPECTED to like it due to its witchcraft element, which I always find creepy in films. Also, this plot doesn’t only give me the witchcraft element, but a vengeance element as well, and you know I LOVE vengeance oriented films. So how does this flick give me two things I love yet still fail overall, well…it’s all in the execution.
The directing effort from director Tanit Jitnukul was not a favorable one in my opinion, and is the biggest reason behind why I could never get into this film. I did not like his use of editing and cinematography, and frankly, the execution of even the kill scenes was pretty weak and unconvincing. Aside from the “eel death” in the hospital, I was never enamored by anything that went down on screen. Story-wise this film was a bit hard to follow at times, and never engaged me with any of the characters in the film. I found myself not giving a damn about most of the characters that I was supposed to give a damn about, and that is not a testament of good writing. I will say this though, this film’s writer is credited as Ghost Gypsy(I am not joking), which I think is cool as hell.
Overall, this was an under satisfying watch that managed to maybe be a mediocre watch at best. We get a cool storyline, but poor execution leads this film to not excel in nearly every level.