1/8/15

ART OF THE DEVIL TRILOGY

Directed by: Tanit Jitnukul & Ronin Team
Written by: Ghost Gypsy, Kongkiat Khomsiri, Yosapong Polsap
Stars: Napakpapha Nakprasitte... read more


Year: 2004 | 2005 | 2008
Genrer: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Run time: 1h 40min | 1h 40min | 1h 20min
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
REVIEW WRITTEN BY: TIM NORDSTEDT.

Being completely fed up with bombarding Japanese ghost-trend that exploded in an over-nourished unhealthy way, Thailands Art of the Devil felt like a fresh reboot that lifted the Asian scene to it's fascinating peak again. The Art of the Devil films revolves around subjects as love, treason, adultery, revenge upon revenge with the help of black magic and the karma that comes with it.

Black magic in Thailand is a broad subject and as in the most countries they have multiple names of spirits both malignant and benign, gods and methods of containg and searching for such in personal or protective ways, here we can see a few of them being handled but with no names attached, we get to see and hear why they turned to it and the side effects of being involved in the dark forces.

The thing I like about these three is how they present the rituals, it's all done exotic, and morbidly beautiful and it's not like Charmed, The Craft or other series and movies alike where you can babble a rhyme and then all is over, Art of the Devil gives the subject a serious take and it can be really brutal in times and without robes, ouija boards, stones, wizardsticks and other western toys that pretentious people in too much makeup tends to play with, instead we get to see their national rituals and forms of magic being and personally, I have always found this way more interesting.

ART OF THE DEVIL (2004) SCREENSHOTS

The first entry to the trilogy takes it time before it pays off, I was ready to throw in the towel after a half an hour but luckily I stayed through the whole at the second attempt then I continued my way through the second and the third.

A young woman named Boom starts a fling with a rich man in a club, as it turns out the man is married and Boom found herself in a deeper problem than she thought she would ever be in, finding out that she became pregnant after the affair she turns to the man and asks for money but for the price he had to pay he thinks that some fun goes with the price, hurt and abused Boom exacts a revenge with the help from a man that practices black magic and sets a new level to the saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

When Boom thinks that everything is fine, her dead lovers common in law ex wife sets a claim on the estate and the heritage so Boom infiltrates the family with some supernatural help and sets out to kill everyone and take over everything.

The first on entry of these three can be a little sloppy, throwing in backflashes back and forth and the happenings of the current state before continuing with the story could be a little much, sometimes to the point that it drags it down and even if some important bits are added to the story it feels they cold have done a little more organized.

I didn´t go through the trilogy in chronological order, I made the mistake to see the second one first because it was the first one I could get my hands on and then this one so I was really disappointed with how the effects of the curse displayed in the victims, in the beginning they were just acting like they a had a stomachache and starts to drool fakeblood, but as things evolve it starts to get more and more enticing and in the end there are alot of complaints but It was far from bad.

And I'm not sure if the founding of the rituals are based on the Kuman Thong but in that case the completely missed the Thong and no I am not referring to the underwear.

Sadly the ending is completely predictable, thrown in so that there can be a quick finish and dumbs the whole movie down and to be honest there where plenty of those moments mostly because of the irrational actions of some of the characters, in the bigger run I´m not going to place the non-logic label on this movie, I mean it has a supernatural concept so what´s the point?

Rating: 3 out of 5



MORE DETAILS:

Produced by: Charoen Iamphungporn, John Sirabella
Cinematography by: Tanai Nimchareonpong, Thaya Nimchareonpong
Editing by: Sunij Asavinikul
Special Effects by: ?
Music by: Peter 'Duck' McDonald
Country: Thailand
Language: Thai
Color: Color

Distributor: Five Star Production Co. Ltd.




ART OF THE DEVIL 2 (2005) SCREENSHOTS

Now here is when everything is starting to set off, the sequel plays in a higher division than the first one, Art of the Devil 2 has all the things the first missed to become really good and a female villain that easilly reaches the top five in every list regarding a villain.

This is not a continuation of the prior one and I don´t think that it was suppose to be one either, in Thailand the first one is named Khon Len Khong and the second and third one is a different set of movies named Long khong and Long Khong 2, so that is one reason why Art of the Devil 2 sets up a whole new story with other characters but ofcourse the black magic is present and have a big part to play.

The beginning sets up for a big surprise, it´s  messy and in a creative way so now we know that that special effects are there and utilized in the best way possible, after that things are settling and we met up with a group of high school kids that mets up two years after and follow the events that came to this point, before it and thereon.

The group decides to reunite after the unfortunate suicide of their friend Tas father and meet up in the house of his ex wife Panor who also worked as their english teacher before the friends uncovered her affair with their gymteacher. They quickly starts to bond over memories and teacher Panor being a heartwarming host everyone has a great time but when the darkness sets in, everyone slowly notices that they are  in danger and people are disappearing one by one in bizarre ways.

Everything I wanted in a horrormovie that lacked in the first one is present, the suspense, thrills, chills, mystery, some gruesome gore and torture finds it way in here and a big part of psychological horror seeing as how everyone get´s manipulated to the point of insanity. In the beginning it seems like it´s going to run around with a meatgrinder of memories and events taking place in different timelines back and forth but it settles, you did used to the method but it would just mess up the second one.

Napakpapha Nakprasitte does a fantastic job as the teacher Panor, going from being a sweet teacher with deceiving undertones to completely insane and even tops it up as an inhuman homicidal sadist. And in the end, when you think that you have everything figured out, it just turns everything upside down and gives you a big surprise.

Rating: 5 out of 5



MORE DETAILS:

Produced by: Charoen Iamphungporn
Cinematography by: ?
Editing by: Sunij Asavinikul
Special Effects by: ?
Music by: Wutichai Praiwan
Country: Thailand
Language: Thai
Color: Color

Distributor: Five Star Production Co. Ltd.




ART OF THE DEVIL 3 (2008) SCREENSHOTS

In the third and last installation we get to see some meanspirited bloodshed in the opening again, this time by the hands of the black magic obssessed Dit that seeks out to conquer the third eye god so that he can contain all the knowledge of the spirits residing in his body.

Art of the Devil 3 is an interesting attribute to the series, it's a prequel to the second one and lets us see the beginning of Tas family before everything went wrong but then we also get to see a new side of things that shows us the early the familys early involvement in black magic and the reason for Teacher Panors actions.

Ta returns to his family after ten years and we get to see his memory when his father poisons his mother and when they attempted to revive her through black magic where Ta has to read a spell out loudly but becomes afraid and leaves. The family have preserved the body in salt and wishes to raise her soul again but they will need a new body and Panor still have the perfect one, with the help of Dit they manage to remove Panors soul and replace it with his mothers. But after a while the soul starts to reject the body and Dit founds out that Panor embodies the three eye god, and when Panors soul is restored to it's rightful owner, it's time for revenge.

The third one follows up in the same track as it's predecessor and does it very well, but this one changes the story completely and once more things will be put upside down. It doesn't have the same suspense as the second now when you more or less know what the future holds but you don't have every single thing on paper so those parts are the ones that the last one holds in store for the viewer.

My personal opionion about the Art of the Devil trilogy is that they are great, sure flawed byut great nontheless, I have returned to them more than once and still enjoy watching them, but mostly the second and the third one, if you want to see a supernatural movie that doesn´t involve a handcam in a badly haunted house then I would recommend these, and if you have a taste for Asia, Buddhism and their form of black magic then it will suit you perfectly as it did in my case.

Rating: 4 out of 5



MORE DETAILS:

Produced by: Charoen Iamphungporn
Cinematography by: ?
Editing by: Sunij Asavinikul
Special Effects by: ?
Music by: Wutichai Praiwan
Country: Thailand
Language: Thai
Color: Color

Distributor: Five Star Production Co. Ltd.




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