FAN KAO [MY EX]

Thailand 2009  Directed by: Piyapan Choopetch  Production: Adirek “Uncle” Wattaleela  Cast: Shahkrit Yamnarm, Wanida Termthanaporn, Navadee Mokkhavesa, Attama Chiwanitchapan

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In Thailand Horror season is far from over, and one of the more popular films of the late summer/autumn 2009 was FAN KAO: actor Ken is changing his girlfriends as often as other guys change their underwear, and so it’s not surprising that at some point he loses track and then on top it his credibility. Girlfriend Bow is replaced with Meen, and everything works well until Meen gets pregnant and tells Ken about it, who in return terminates their relationship – he already had started seeing his colleague Ploy anyway. But shit happens: Bow suddenly dies in a terrible accident, some stranger appears to be present in all of Ken’s and Ploy’s photographs, and finally one day Meen shows up in Ken’s weekend house, briefly before also Ploy loses her life in an accident. No doubt about it: someone out there is about to settle a score.

FAN KAO is pretty much conventional horror, manages however to give us enough goose bumps being worth the admission fee. The film features some nice psychological and physical shocks: in its best moments FAN KAO is quite effective. As far as the story goes there’s nothing new to tell: the storyline itself is very simple, but for whatever reason the script manages nevertheless to lose the red thread. How could that happen? Well, Choopetch possibly focuses too much on the shock ratio instead of linear logic. And despite all effectiveness does FAN KAO show all signs of a fairly cheap production: it features about two locations, a handful of actors and is blessed with the video aesthetics of the notorious Thai Lakorns, a fact they tried to make us forget by applying some Telecine magic.

Another significant flaw is the substandard soundtrack, which is orchestrated in a way that it always makes sure we don’t miss whatever’s about to happen. The biggest issue however are probably the characters: they are all jerks, and in addition as one-dimensional as a sheet of paper. Who sheds a tear seeing them die one by one? We might actually be glad when it’s over.

Last but not least is FAN KAO plain sexist: all the women are outright hysterical, and no matter how badly they are being treated they stand by their man. The worse you treat them, the more they run after you – this kind of attitude is still very much alive in FAN KAO.

To be fair: at the end the main character gets what he deserves. We can interpret FAN KAO this way or another, but maybe we don’t have to interpret too much after all: FAN KAO is a simple horror flick trying to fill the cinemas with shock and awe right after the summer break. Whereas it kind of succeeds in selling the tickets, it doesn’t succeed artistically. FAN KAO is like a horror movie B-side: playing it once is more than enough.

J.




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One Response to “FAN KAO [MY EX]”

  1. FilmPuff Says:

    Didn’t like the movie at all. It was like for brainless people. The main character was a huge jerk and the women seem too desperate, and let him walk all over them :/ Terrible

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