Yah Nark
Thailand 2004
Directed by Unknown.

Another cheap, shot on video, Thai ghost film. But wait! It's in 3-D! And so, another regretful impulse buy is made, and there's nothing left to do but watch what is advertised as the first 3-D Thai movie ever.

Nat (May Patarawarin Timkul) is a first-time actress, spotted by a producer who wants to make her a star, that is, wants to sleep with her. In 3-D. Only trouble with is dastardly plan is he's picked a girl with a raft of psychological problems ready to launch at the slightest provocation.

The film she is making is sort of a take on the NANG NAK ghost story. She's been seeing the lead actor, Mak, but he loses interest because she won't put out -- a repulsion to sex brought about from being raped by her father as a child. The other actress in the movie, Lin, is not so reluctant, and pretty soon Mak and Lin are having an affair behind Nat's back. The producer invites Nat over and slips her some drugs in her wine, and she is raped again. Her mother, meanwhile, leaves threatening messages on her voicemail to send her money from her acting gig or she will tell the newspapers about what she did with her father as a child. Nat's life is basically just an utterly miserable pit of 3-D doom. But that's OK, because it isn't long before all the people troubling her end up horribly murdered. Is she still alive? Or is she a ghost? And whose baby did she miscarry after the producer's rape?

The answers to these questions are not particularly worth hanging around to find out. Really, the only redeeming facet of the film is the actress Pataravarin Timkul. She is stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately, her performance is pretty one-dimensional (i.e., miserable, vacant stares for most of the film), and the possibilities of watching her in 3D are not adequately explored.

The 3-D effects are a tremendous disappointment. A scorpion logo with the word "3-D" appears whenever it is time to put on your 3-D glasses, then fades away when it is time to take them off. Almost every time, what you watch in 3-D is the lead actress, usually seated and near motionless, while the camera steadily circles around her. Various foreground objects appear and cross in front of the lens. A tree, maybe a couple bushes, when outdoors; various tables and lamps when indoors. Nothing comes out at you, though the glasses do seem to make the foreground objects a bit more distinct. The glasses are quite headache inducing, however, so it is hardly worth putting them on. And the effect is done in such a way that the picture is clear whether you wear the glasses or not.

Disappointingly, the film doesn't even have the obligatory juggler, to toss balls toward the audience, or anything similar. I don't remember being this unimpressed watching a 3-D movie since the Chicagoland area's late night movie host SON OF SVENGOOLIE hosted a screening of REVENGE OF THE CREATURE back in 1982, and we all had to run off to the nearest 7-11 to get a pair of 3-D glasses for the event. And at least CREATURE had juggling.

[The DVD includes one pair of 3-D glasses, a behind-the-scenes special (unsubbed). The fun part is in the outtakes, some of which also appear in the end credits. There are also previews for no less than SIX more movies that use the same lousy 3-D process.]

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on February 21, 2006.

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