Directed by Pawan Purijitpanya, who co-wrote the script with Vasudhorn Piyaromna and Tossaphon Riantong, Ghost Lab begins as a horror-comedy. The plot of the story revolves around two doctors, who become obsessed with collecting scientific evidence to prove the existence of supernatural entities after murders in hospitals. The movie will delve deeper into the 'afterlife' theme with unexpected plot twists. GDH 559 Co’s Director for New Business told Thai PBS World called the story 'quite unconventional' and an attempt at exploring beliefs in supernatural entities. Young doctors Wee (Thanapob Leeratanakachorn) and Gla (Paris Intarakomalyasut) work together at a hospital, but their friendship goes back much further than their working relationship. They’re an unlikely pair.
Wee practically lives at the hospital to care for his long comatose mother. Gla is the extrovert in a happily committed relationship with Mai (Nuttanicha Dungwattanawanich). When the friends encounter a terrifying ghost during a late shift, it sparks the pursuit of proof in the name of science. Experimentation leads to reckless obsession, and the quest becomes dangerous. Gla and Wee trade light-hearted pranks, which establishes their bond. Wee’s emotional stakes come in the form of his devotion to an unresponsive, sickly mother. One creepy encounter with the ghost of a horrifically burned patient later, and the pair begin their series of experimentations. This first act follows an established mold; the friends use cameras, temperature, and various ghost hunting tools to document their finds. Complete with spooky scenes, all set within the atmospheric hospital. Once through all those familiar beats, though, the narrative shifts with a shocking event.
Ghost Lab throws light on the lengths that humans go to fulfill their ambitions, through a consistently engaging narrative that’s pulsating and strikes an emotional chord. The filmmaker Paween Purijitpanya smartly utilizes the familiar tropes of the genre that serve as the cherries on top of a promising story and drives an important point about impulsive decision-making amid the desperation to succeed.
Ghost Lab is a good example to suggest how clichés aren’t always bad news to genre-specific films. It proves that a new world is waiting to be discovered if you subvert them smartly enough. The film tries to categorize ghosts based on familiarity, motive, and the many conductive factors that contribute to their ‘existence’. The film is easily more interesting when it captures the child-like zeal of its’s characters than the intense second hour that explores the dark corners of human ambition. Despite the many absurd twists and turns leading to a dramatic finale, the film is worth a watch for its timely relook at the horror genre.
While Ghost Lab doesn’t offer anything path-breaking or new in terms of its background score, it nevertheless anchors the plot and gives it the necessary emotional depth in the need of the hour. The visual tone of a supernatural film can get extremely stereotypical tough the cinematographer Pithai Sithmuth offers a realistic touch to the frames within the limitations of his setting. The writing is a fine mix of novelty and tropes that come with the genre. The screenplay is consistently engaging though the film could have done with a crisper second hour.
Final Score – [7/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
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