There’s no denying that the vast majority of Thais love a good ghost story – and the more haunting and gruesome it is, the better. So, as an oblique nod to Halloween, here are our top 13 Thai horror flick picks, tales of supernatural terror that will have you hiding behind the sofa and jumping out of your skin.
I Miss You
Bee, a beautiful young doctor, transfers to a new hospital where she meets Thana and soon falls in love with him. However, having lost Nok, his fiancée, in a car accident, Thana can’t seem to let go of the past or let anyone else in. Is the ghostly Nok exerting a malevolent influence from beyond the grave?
Dek Hor (Dorm)
Chatree, a twelve-year-old orphan who is forced to transfer to an all-boys boarding school, finds it difficult to fit in with peers and is bullied by stories of hauntings at the school. Living a miserable, solitary life, he has no friends or family to turn to. Then one day the young social outcast is approached by another student, Wichien, who becomes his friend. But just when everything seems to be getting better in Chatree’s life, he discovers things about Wichien he’d rather not know.
Based on the allegedly true story of Mae Nak Phrakhanong, this is a classic Thai ghost story. Soldier Mak comes home from wars to his beautiful wife, Nak, and their adored newborn child. But all is not as it seems. The woman and her baby are actually spirits and she will do anything to prevent Mek from discovering the truth. This harrowing tale has been depicted on film a number of times and has even been made into an opera.
Maha’lai Sayong Kwan (Haunted Universities)
Inspired by ‘strange but true’ happenings experienced at many universities across Thailand, this movie is purportedly based on paranormal events passed down by generations of students. The ghostly tales include the stories of the red elevator; the unexplainable sounds; a haunted spirit house in a women’s bathroom; the red-gowned nurse; and the disappearing bodies.
Ahhtun Gae Bon Phee (The Commitment)
A group of university students from Bangkok visit a local spirit house in the hope the spirits dwelling within will grant their wishes. The rule is that each supplicant must repay the granting of a successful wish and with their graduation ceremony approaching, many of the students pray for good grades and happy futures. But not Moss, a skeptical girl who ends up mocking the spirit house, saying that if whatever her friends have wished for comes true, she will do anything the spirits command. The consequences of her actions are frightening in the extreme.
Pen Choo Gub Phee (The Unseeable)
Set in 1934 Siam, this is the story of a pregnant young woman, Nualjan, who travels to Bangkok in search of her missing husband. She ends up staying at a vast eerie old mansion owned by a widow, Runjuan. The property is managed by caretaker Somjit and is home to several strange characters. There is a little girl, an old lady, and Choy, who becomes Nualjan’s friend. In the end what Nualjan discovers is that everyone at the mansion has passed away, including herself.
Program Na Winyan Akat (Coming Soon)
Chen, a young projectionist, and his friend decide to make their own horror film about a female ghost with a terrified spirit that won’t rest. While screening the rushes of their movie, Chen and his collaborator fall asleep leaving the film to roll in the deserted movie theatre. Chen wakes to find that his friend has disappeared, leaving behind his precious camera. Then the horrors of the movie they have been making start to happen in real life.
Phee Chong Air (The Sisters)
Based on a true story that haunts Thailand to this day, this tale of woe is set in the confines of a cursed motel in the southern town of Hat Yai. A group of young musicians staying in room #409 experience sightings of a mysterious woman with long hair, and strange pieces of white cloth hanging from their air-conditioning vent. They consult a monk to try to uncover the truth behind what they are seeing. The monk tells them of the gruesome murder of a prostitute in room #409, explaining that the killer beheaded the unfortunate woman and hid her head in the air-conditioning unit. Can the musicians survive the vengeful spirit’s wrath as she hunts them down one by one?
Body Sob #19
Chon is suffering from nightmares. In his dreams he hears a girl scream for help before she is cruelly killed. Ae, his sister, is worried about these visions and introduces Chon to a psychiatrist. Chon tries to prove that what he sees in his dreams are no mere illusions. When clues from his nightmares lead him to morgue number 19, a terrifying reality gradually sets in.
When a family moves to Ladda Land, an upscale housing development with large, beautiful homes, they discover that life in their new neighbourhood isn’t so perfect when they experience a series of terrifying, paranormal events that slowly drives them to the edge of insanity.
4 Praang (4Bia)
4Bia is a collection of four paranormal stories in one film. The first features a girl who enjoys text messaging with a stranger, only to discover he has been dead for some time. The second tells of a bullied school boy who uses black magic to get back at the classmates who have persecuted him. The third story is about a group of friends who experienced a disastrous camping trip involving a drowning incident, and the last is a psychological horror tale about a flight attendant who unintentionally kills her royal passenger.
Pim and her boyfriend return to Thailand from Korea to take care of her ailing mother. Soon enough, the past that Pim has been trying to run away from comes back to haunt her in the form of her deceased Siamese twin (the sisters having been separated during their teens). This is a tale of jealousy, deceit, murder and revenge.
Following a tragic accident, a young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs. The couple soon learn that they cannot escape their past. If this sounds like a familiar plot-line then it should come as no surprise that the rights to is film, originally made in Thailand in 2004, where purchased by a Hollywood production company which released a similar movie of the same name in 2008.