THE COFFIN (2008)
Directed and written by Ekachai Uekrongtham
Starring Karen Mok, Ananda Everingham, Florence Faivre and Andrew Lin
This film, inspired by a true Thai ritual of meditating in a coffin in order to rid oneself of bad things, plays like an amalgamation of many films you’ve probably seen. The elevator pitch of this film would be THE GRUDGE meets FINAL DESTINATION as a man and a woman, both taking part in this ritual for different reasons, experience strange paranormal phenomena afterwards. THE COFFIN may not be entirely original, but it does have quite a few effectively frightening scenes.
After completing the ritual, the pair, Karen Mok and Ananda Everingham, start having horrible nightmares of being buried alive and other surreal sequences involving blood and a creepy GRUDGE-like girl. Turns out they have tempted fate, and even though Tony Todd isn’t around to explain it, you know that fate cannot be avoided.
THE COFFIN has fun with what it has to work with. The scares are pretty cool and director Ekachai Uekrongtham knows how to make things atmospheric. Occasionally, I was holding back a yawn as some of the sequences went on a bit long, and given the premise you kind of know where this one is all going. But I liked the ending. It’s definitely better acted than the FINAL DESTINATION films and filmed with a much more talented eye for creepiness, mood, and setting. THE COFFIN borrows bits and pieces from other films, but does so in a very skillful manner by incorporating Thai culture and folklore to familiar territory.