INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL PREMIERE
Cracked ภาพหวาด (Cracked Phaab Waad)
Thailand, 2022, 93’, Thai
Directed by: Surapong Ploensang
Screenplay: Eakasit Thairaat, Onusa Donsawai, Pun Homchuen, Surapong Ploensang
Photography (color): Natdanai Naksuwarn
Music: Sriwat Homkham, Mellow Tunes
Production Design: Toey Jaruwateekul
Producer: Yeonu Choi
Production Company: CJ Major Entertainment
Cast: Nichkhun Horvejkul (Tim), Chayanit Chansangavej (Ruja), Nutthacha Nina Jessica Padovan (Rachel), Byron Bishop (Pakorn), Passalak Supasiripaisarn (Prang), Sahajak Boonthanakit (Wichai), Kunkanit Khumkrong (Da), Nualpanod Khiampukdee (Wipa), Machida Sutthikulphanich (young Ruja)
Date of First Release in Territory: February 24th, 2022
One of the fifteen projects that was selected for the Focus Asia genre market in 2018, the horror Cracked (originally titled A Portrait of a Beauty) is finally ready to be presented to Udine. It is a Singapore-South Korea-Taiwan-Thailand co-production starring the Thai-Korean K-Pop star Nichkhun Horvejkul, transformed in the kind of role he has never taken before.
Adapted from an unproduced Korean script, Cracked was re-written by Thailand’s top scriptwriter of the genre Eakasit Thairaat (13 Beloved, 2006; Body, 2007). The tale starts with the return to Thailand of Ruja (Chayanit Chansangavej) to receive her inheritance from the death of her father, who was a famous artist. As part of the inheritance, her father has left her two portraits of a beautiful woman from his collection of paintings. Ruja wants to sell them so that she can afford the medical surgery that her daughter needs to treat a serious vision problem. But cracks have started to form in the portraits. This leads her to Tim (Nichkhun Horvejkul), an art restorer. Without knowing the true price they may end up paying for art, Tim and Ruja make further investigations into the paintings and more mystery unfolds.
Writer Thairaat’s craftmanship is the most outstanding part of the film, his complex storyline consisting of several layers of twisted secrets that are hidden in the house and the portraits. At first look, there seems to be only one painting, but as the narrative goes on, the portrait seems to be superimposed on a few others. Each painting further reveals something behind. The connections between the secrets start to become clear, before wrapping up in the tense final scenes. Director Ploensang enhances the complex storyline with excellent production design, lighting and cinematography, the film’s gloomy and dark atmosphere helping to intensify the mystery hidden in this house. Together with tight and sharp cutting, it produces a spooky film that will often find you having to close your eyes.
K-pop star Nichkhun Horvejkul’s performance in Cracked represents a big change for him. No more a cute boy adored by millions of fans around the world, here we see him with a moustache, taut emotions and a duplicitous manner – although he perhaps needs more coaching to make his performance more realistic. At least he is trying to do something different. However, his co-starring actress Chayanit Chansangavej makes a good combination as an oppressed daughter whose childhood was damaged by her own father’s exaggerated sense of artistry, and a young mother who tries every way to save her daughter.
Cracked proves that horror is an Asian form of culture that will be sustainable forever.
Surapong Ploensang graduated in filmmaking from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication. He worked in advertising before being offered the opportunity to make his feature debut with Cracked.
2022 – Cracked