October 26, 2013
This version of the Thai ghost legend was released in local theaters this week. This was after the success of "Pee Mak" here earlier this year. I have also seen "The Ghost of Mae Nak" (2005). There is an even earlier film version called "Nang Nak," which was acclaimed world- wide during its release in 1999.
Mak and Nak get married. Just when Nak discovers she is pregnant, Mak gets conscripted to join the army. After the war, Mak comes home to see his wife and their infant child. However, oddly, everyone in town scared of his house and wife. He eventually realizes that the Nak he sees was just her ghost. It turns out Nak and her baby died in childbirth, and she was now trying to keep her family intact even as a spirit. When the townspeople try to exorcise her spirit away from Mak, she becomes a terrorizing, angry, vengeful ghost.
"Pee Mak" was wildly successful because of its light-hearted comedy- horror approach and its charming and delightfully comic set of actors, led by Mario Maurer. The earlier 2005 version takes the legend into the context of a modern-day romance of a young newly-married couple haunted by Mae Nak's vengeful spirit with some shockingly innovative scenes of gory deaths. The 1999 version "Nang Nak" is by far the best of them all with gorgeous cinematography, sensitive storytelling and charismatic acting by the actors who played Mak and Nak. "Pee Mak" is clearly inspired by "Nang Nak," as their overall look is the same.
This particular "Mae Nak" is only about the legend itself, stretched and bloated out for more than one and a half hours. There was nothing original nor exciting about this version at all. The lead actors playing Mak and Nak looked good, but were dull and flat in their acting. The supporting actors were not any better.
The main reason for this movie was the 3D. This was Thailand's first 3D horror film. However, since this was not shown in 3D locally, this was not a factor. Unfortunately, the ghostly visual effects (including the ones obviously meant for 3D) were trite and terribly executed. The attempts at comedy were very lame and amateurish.
There is nothing much to write about this awful film. My one-star rating says it all. 1/10.
My ratings for the other Mak-Nak films are as follows: Nang Nak (1999): 9/10. The Ghost of Mae Nak (2005): 6/10. Pee Mak (2013): 7/10.