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April 01, 2009

Philadelphia Film Festival 2009: Art of the Devil 3

art of the devil 3 b.jpg

Long Khong 2
Kongkiat Khomsiri - 2008
Five Star Production 35mm Film

It's some kind of devil working to confuse the audience, but the film titled Art of the Devil 3 recounts events leading up to Art of the Devil 2. That said, seeing the older film is not necessary. I wrote about the earlier films last year. As a horror film, Art of the Devil 3 achieves its scares with gruesome detail. The story is couched in very general Buddhist terms about people being trapped by their own karma, but philosophical concerns aside, the general message is that messing about with black magic, no matter what the motivation, does no one any good.

art of the devil 3 a.jpg

The best reason to see this film is for the gorgeous but scary Napakpapha Nakprasitte. She plays Panor, the victim of a family's misguided attempt to bring a beloved woman back to life with her soul in another body. Aiding in the transfer of souls is a black magic practitioner who will do anything to get a third eye. The family patriarch gets safety pins to keep keep his eyes open, forced by Panor to watch the havoc she creates, revenge for having the soul of a dead woman forced into her body. For those who can look, or take a quick peek, there are hungry ghosts, creepy ghosts, bursting stomachs, maggots, rusty surgical equipment, gallons of blood, and a guy taking a herbal bath, or at least bathing in tub full of branches. This is a horror film for people who not only can imagine the worst, but will see it realized on the screen.

It could also be possible that Art of the Devil 3 might be among the last Thai films to depict extreme violence and horror. A recent posting on the fate of a recent graphic horror film, Meat Grinder, suggests that there could be changes in the genre based on a new ratings system that has yet to officially be in effect. There is also discussion of the film, Slice challenging the ratings as well. Then again, one of the filmmakers who has had a hand in the new ratings, and has the most to gain, was the producer of Sick Nurses, suggesting that the next couple of years may be confusing for both Thai filmmakers and their potential audience. As I have said about the first two films in the series, there's more devil than art, but there are enough horrifying images to satiate the less squeamish of genre fans.

Art of the Devil 3 will screen on April 2 and 4.

Posted by peter at April 1, 2009 12:39 AM