Many filmmakers believe that the ending is the most important part of a film, because it’s the part that leaves the viewer with an impression more than any other aspect of the movie. Where this is certainly true, as a critic my job is to assess the film as a whole and judge all of the aspects equally, as I tried to explain in the recent article about the grading system used on this website.
As a result, very few horror movies got a bad grade due to their perhaps disappointing or subpar ending: this generally happens when there’s a twist that is there to shock the audience but, in retrospect, said reveal only makes the story full of plot holes and nonsensical.
In this sense, Krasue: Inhuman Kiss (a Thai horror-romance available on Netflix in selected countries) represents a rather unique instance. This movie, while for the most part well-made and interesting from many viewpoints, features a jarring, poorly executed ending (i.e. the last 20 minutes) that really ruins the film. Allow me to explain, starting at beginning.
Continue reading and check my final grade below…
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The story: during the two-hour-long runtime, a lot happens. In a remote Thai village, Sai (a teenage girl) inherits the curse of Krasue which, according to Thai folklore, “makes the victim ever hungry and always active in the night when it goes out hunting to satisfy its gluttony, seeking blood to drink or raw flesh to devour. The cursed person may attack cattle or chicken in the darkness, drinking their blood and eating their internal organs” (for more information, check the book Spirits, from 2008). The villagers are terrified by the deaths of their livestock, so they gladly accept when they’re offered help from nearby villagers for the Krasue hunt. As a horror-romance, though, a second plotline follows Jerd and Noi (two teenage boys) who’re both in love with Sai: will jealousy make one of them eager to reveal Sai’s secret?
Set in 1941 Thailand, a time where the Japanese army was invading the rival country and bombing Bangkok day and night, Krasue: Inhuman Kiss draws some very interesting parallels between that war and the conflict among villagers. This is one of the most intriguing aspects of the movie, as it combines Thai folklore with much more grounded historical events that effected Thailand at the time. To my understanding, part of the film can be seen as a social commentary, although large part of it might be lost on most Western audiences (including me).
As one might expect from Asian horror, Krasue: Inhuman Kiss doesn’t shy away from gore and blood, which are very well-executed when it comes to practical effects: they’re seamless, off-putting and rather effective for the most part. Although not traditionally scary, everything that revolves around this odd combination of body-horror and supernatural in the movie is what makes it rather horrifying. The colour palette and the blend of unnatural and natural lighting definitely help to establish a feeling of constant threat.
Yet, the acting is solid for the most part: the villainous characters are very cartoonish, but everyone else in Krasue does a convincing job that’s backed up by a solid script with strong characters for them to play.
However, this is also a rather flawed movie: the biggest problem, in my opinion, is the pacing. Some scenes are intended as very tense but, since they’re drawn out and presented as sort of standoff-ish, they lose all the impact they could’ve had. Also, the first hour of the movie makes it look like a slow-burner, but then the other hour is extremely fast-paced, giving the whole picture an aura of messiness.
The music is, also, quite terrible for large chunks of the movie. During the romantic scenes, the score is very fitting and memorable, but whenever something horrific happens it switches to stock action music that’s horribly misplaced.
Up until the last 20 minutes, Krasue: Inhuman Kiss is a solid and interesting horror flick which, despite its shortcomings, would’ve definitely been worth of a positive grade. However, without spoiling anything in detail, the ending turns into a Justice League-type mess consisting off poorly rendered CGI, laughable action, hilariously bad wire-work and painfully obvious greenscreen. Although I would usually take off only one point for stuff like that, the ending of this movie is also a betrayal of everything else from a pacing standpoint to the themes and tones of the story. In other words, the ending isn’t just an eyesore, it’s also completely out-of-place and ridiculously pointless.
Krasue: Inhuman Kiss 4.5/10
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