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DVD Review

Ghost Game (aka Laa Thaa Phii)


Starring: Pachornpol Jantieng, Kittilak Chulakrian, Wacharin Jinamulee and Chanetphaka Korsuwan
Showbox Home Entertainment / Cine-Asia
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 25 February 2008

The location of a military and civilian atrocity from years before, when many innocent people were killed in and around a prison camp, is the subject of a modern day reality show for the TV masses. Contestants are set tasks in an environment where ghosts are said to be rife, and the last one to remain at the site takes the prize money. However, when they play the Ghost Game the past begins to stamp its authority on the present in a terrifying manner...

As you might expect, Ghost Game owes much to the East Asian horror classics The Ring, The Grudge, Pulse and The Eye. The dangerous reality format has been explored before with films such as Halloween Resurrection and in particular My Little Eye. Despite certain reworking this film does succeed well, even with very little being known about the characters. The appearances of isolated spirits are punctuated by sudden jerky movements which prove quite frightening (in the same way that a spider can be frightening simply by moving so quickly).

Through necessity I was obliged to view this film in four sittings, and that told me that Ghost Game would perhaps have worked better in episodic form, because the pacing is slightly lethargic and made up of set-pieces. The revelation of an insider comes as no real surprise, and the script only remembers as an afterthought halfway through the proceedings that this is supposed to be a reality contest for public consumption. Therefore, we get a brief shot of a handful of people watching TV screens through a shop window.

So, Yes, a few aspects could have been tweaked to make the finished product a leaner machine, but on the whole it does create an atmosphere and is far from being a poor representation of a generally high standard genre from this part of the world. I've been waiting for more East Asian supernatural horror films and Ghost Game doesn't disappoint.


Ty Power

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