Far East Film Festival 20

Udine Italy April 20th/ April 28th 2018
The Film Festival For Popular Asian Cinema
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
Thursday, April 27, time 3.25 PM


By date


By title


Siam Square

The recent cinema of Thailand has been dominated by dialogues of youngness, small scales and segmentation (see the main essay). The latest sensational horror Siam Square is a good example that features all of these characteristics of the present situation of Thai cinema. The performers, the producers and the crew might all be familiar, but from other roles like television series, film reviewing, or cinematography. Siam Square is their first, fresh cinematic and generic experiment, like old rum in a new bottle.

Bangkok’s Siam Square has been known as a legendary hangout for teenagers for as long as anyone can remember. Aside from its entertainment focus, the area is also surrounded by tuition schools where students come to prepare for university entrance examinations. Now this new filmmaking team casts it in a new, unique way – as a place of horror. A group of students try to investigate their own school after hearing a horrific rumour of a young girl ghost who has wandered the place for a decade. But when they meet her, they forget to look around themselves – at their own roots and their current friends. Had they done so, they would have found an important connection between teenagers in the old days and themselves in the present.

Director Pairach Khumwan masterfully crafts this modern horror film with a complex storyline, tight editing and a creepy atmosphere. At the beginning, the film seems to be overburdened with characters: to a member of yesterday’s generation, the kids all look the same! But soon the story and the fear overpower such concerns. We grasp, and are grasped by, all of the cinematic elements under Khumwan’s control. The cinematography combines both nostalgia and modernity – the camera movement and atmosphere place us on the frontline of fear. All characters are portrayed with freshness and honesty: these young actors and actresses will surely grow up to be the next generation of stars.

What I like in this movie is the idea of friendship that travels between the past and the present – from the maternal generation to present-day teen lives. In fact, ghosts and friendship are the connections of both generations.

Anchalee Chaiworaporn
Film director: 
Pairach Khumwan




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