Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Ex : Haunted Lover | แฟนใหม่ [ Movie Review] ★★

The Pitch

My Ex ( แฟนเก่า Fan Kao) was one of the top ten worst movies that I have caught in 2009 and now we are getting My Ex : Haunted Lover (แฟนใหม่ Fan Mai ). But apparently the original made a lot of money in Thailand (came in top of the box office on the opening weekend) and well received enough to get this sequel greenlighted. This sequel My Ex: Haunted Lover also did very well at the Thai Box Office. The same director Piyapan Choopetch who did the original film is back to helm this BGR gone supernaturally wrong movie and I got no idea what made me want to watch this movie. Perhaps it was to see if the director could improve on what didn't go well in the first movie or I was simply possessed.

The Plot

My Ex : Haunted Lover (แฟนใหม่ Fan Mai ) starts literally at the end credits of My Ex ( แฟนเก่า Fan Kao).  Cee (Ratchawin Wongviriya) and her girl friends just finished watching the first My Ex movie and they were there to support Cee's sister Bowie (Bowie Atthama Chiwanitchaphan ) who got a small role in that show (remember that school girl who was killed by a truck while making a phone call to her ex boyfriend?). They went on bitching about how rotten the male lead character in the show was and almost immediately, they spotted Cee's boyfriend behaving intimately with another girl at the cinema.

Someone Behind Me Again ?!?!?
The couple started to quarrel at home and her boyfriend Aof (Thongpoom Siripipat) assured her that there's no love between him and that girl, Ying (Marion Affolter). He is simply broke and needed to borrow money from her. Ying overheard what Aof said and was so heartbroken that she apparently jumped from the building.

After Ying's suicide, Cee broke off with Aof and started to pursue a film career with her sister Bowie's help. During work, the sisters were introduced to Karn (Pete Thongjua), a rich resort owner who is financing their new film project and loaning his resort for the shoot. When the good looking ladies mix with a good mannered rich man like Karn, a potential love triangle is bound to happen.

However before Cee could put her mind into starting any form of relationship with Karn, she got a loser ex boyfriend who constantly bugging her with calls, seeking reconciliation. Cee is also getting harassed from the supernatural forces too (courtesy of the recently deceased Ying). It all boils down to a showdown at Karn's beautiful beach resort.

Who would you look at? Me or that Fugly Bitch behind me?
The Perspective

My Ex : Haunted Lover (แฟนใหม่ Fan Mai ) certainly wasn't an improvement over the original film. In fact the gore / scare factor was pretty much tone down and the story was just as bad as the first one. The spook factor here felt meaningless except to remind the audience that this is a horror movie. You get the usual sudden loud sound effect with the sudden visual pop out scares. Nothing as scary as compared to the first one and the first one wasn't breaking any grounds in the spook factor.

Gone were the gruesome scenes like manager's "spectacular" death scene and the schoolgirl, phone booth & truck sequences. In place of it, we get the Ying's fall from a tall building and landing head first on the concrete beside a pool. It sound more gruesome than it's actually is. In fact it's quite silly if you think about it. A fall at such height with the head landing first would have done way more damage than it was portrayal here but hey we can't do with a headless ghost in Asian horror film nowadays.

Don't think for a moment that the series is shifting it's focus to the story build up. Wrestling screen time with the obligatory scare sequences, My Ex Haunted Lover didn't have much time or effort in building up these characters and the conflicts between them. They are pretty to look at but their character felt like one dimension characters. Such as the unspoken rivalry between the sisters were missing through out the whole movie until the final twisty revelation of the movie.

I'm Bored of You
Yes twisty revelation! The norm for most supernatural horror movies these days. While there are some great ones and some average ones, there are some that literally pulls the rug off your feet in a bad way. My Ex Haunted Lover twist belongs to the latter group. The twist just came out as an U-turn to all that's been established in the show so far. While 6th Sense twist was impressive, My Ex Haunted Love felt like they are forcing the twist down the throat and expect you to go with it. The excuse that this movie might give would be that the twist is the reason why Ying is haunting Cee instead of that loser they both "loved" but it's just so hard to believe why Ying is taking so long to take exact her vengeance and why is she doing it at the beach resort.

There are also subplots such as the dead woman that drown nearby the resort and how Ying is related to the resort owner that are conveniently forgotten as the show progress. One might argue that they are red herrings but personally, they felt like unnecessary padding or the director couldn't decide how to add those subplots into the story.
Like it's predecessor, My Ex: Haunted Lover is a forerunner for my list of top ten bad movies of 2011. Let's just see if there's other ten other movies that could top it's placing. But since both two movies did so well in Thailand, there's room for the third one and the final scene in the movie might just be the link for the third one. It's a cameo scene that is akin to how Wong Kar Wai's Days of Being Wild ended but here, it's just felt like a desperate hook to drum up people interest for another sequel. Strangely I might just catch the third one if it stars that actor who did the unexpected appearance in that cameo scene.

Here the trailer if you are still interested about the movie.

My Ex Haunted Lover poster from Malaysia

Pete Thong-jeur

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