Have you heard about people being hidden by spirits? They will hide people they want to take. You will never find someone they hide until that person dies.
I got to see The Blue Hour (Onthakan) (2015), a Thai horror film directed by Anucha Boonyawatana, as part of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 2015. Teenage Tam is bullied at home and at school for being gay. He meets Phum on (basically) Tindr, and the boys meet for a tryst at an abandoned swimming pool. After Phum tells him the pool is haunted by spirits, Tam’s life and sense of reality begin to unravel.
The cinematography and sets create the terrifying stage for the story. The range of muted and garish colors and a sense of unease ranging from something being slightly “off” to something being horribly, horribly wrong reminded me of Gemini (Soseiji, 双生児). There’s an amazing scene in which Tam and Phum return to the locker room at the pool and the camera creeps right up to their shoulders as they slowly open a door to reveal–
It was refreshing to see a queer teen protagonist of a horror film–I’m a big fan of queer protagonists of all genre fiction, instead of just coming-out stories. (Which are important, too, but we do things other than come out in our lives.) The film is a eerie slow burn.
If you like suspense with a heavy dosage of dread, looming, and a feeling you just can’t shake, see if you can get this film at your local international film festival.
Contains ghosts(?), a sense of unreality, garbage piles, awkward teens, gore, an extreme sense of foreboding, dead bodies, homophobia, creepy swimming pools, the most awkward Tindr date. Also, the locker room at Seward Park in Seattle looks like the one at the pool in the film, in case you’re fond of giving yourself the willies when swimming in the summer.