THAI ONE ON
The Coffin (2008) Thailand
I can't believe I'm starting to miss a good ole' fashioned get a bunch of kids together with no cell phones, have them be rude to the inbred locals and be chased around and killed one by one by some deformed giant wearing overalls. Well, try a couple of the movies I've been watching and you'll be crying out 'Jason, Freddy, Michael come back!' in your sleep too.
With no disrespect intended to any readers who may be of Thai origin, you see I'm just a simple small town girl. I've been to, uh, five states, tops. Well, maybe six. Can't remember. Point being I'm totally ignorant about geography and most people's ways of life. So if this seems bizarre to me, please take that into account.
The coffin ceremony for the living: The basic idea is you get into a cramped little box (their coffins are much smaller and simpler than those you find here) with a bouquet of something tied to your hands and a note, usually a prayer or wish. The point? To throw off any bad karma you may have. The problem? Everybody knows this: What goes around comes around. And it goes...
A huge living coffin ceremony is taking place in Thailand. Not the first, just one of the largest. For a fee of around 200 Baht (a merit-making donation to the temple) participants lay in the coffin holding flowers. The lid is then shut as the monks chant death rites.
Just over a minute later as the monks chant about new life, the coffin is opened and the participants are ‘reborn’ leaving behind their bad karma. If, in future years, the participant endures a spell of bad luck or misfortune, they may again opt for the coffin ceremony to bring about a reversal in their luck.
If all goes as the ceremony intends, whatever your problems were, will be no more. That's the goes around part. I guess they all forget about the 'comes around'... we see two people, separate situations. Because of one man wishing in the coffin for his girlfriend to come out of her coma, his ex-girlfriend (I guess) and her son die in a fire. She then haunts both him and his current girlfriend. A girl has cancer and so wishes for it to be gone - she's cured but her fiance' is killed in a car crash. Aaah, you say - eye for an eye kind of stuff wink wink nudge nudge say no more? And where is the monkey's paw? Isn't that basically what this is?
Yup, but we get to suffer through this Thai soap opera (I wouldn't call this horror) for 81 minutes. These people aren't too swift as to why they're having these problems so it drudges on and on. In perfect English too, huh. But they figure it out, redo the ceremony and hey, great ending: The guy's girlfriend goes back into a coma and dies, and the girl with cancer gets it again and dies too! What an inspiring message!
I stole the following from a travelogue: It should be pointed out that not all Thai people believe in the power of the coffin ceremony. There are plenty of Thai Buddhists who view it as a bad omen for a living person to lie down in a coffin.
The ceremony was the inspiration behind the 2008 Thai horror movie, The Coffin which brought the unusual ritual to a wider Asian and international audience. In a much less scary scenario, monks pull a white cloth over the coffins. The ceremony is very quick and as soon as one batch of believers have been ‘reborn’, the next participants are in place. There are nine coffins used with nine being an auspicious number in Thailand.
Whoops, guess filmmakers can insult their own countries all over the world.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.