Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Chalee Trairat, Nipawan Thaveepornsawand, Jintara Sugapat, Sirachuch Chienthaworn, Suttipong Tudpitakkul
Director: Songyos Sugmakanan
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
(Asia Extreme / Horror) Twelve-year-old Chatree has been reluctantly transferred to an all boys boarding school, where life for him becomes days of misery and loneliness. He is bullied by his peers with tales of drowned bo... more »
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Decent Ghost Story: Above Average!
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 07/31/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A couple of months back, I was purchasing the latest CRITERION release of the great film "Sansho the Bailiff," by Japanese director Mizoguchi, when I stumbled across two DVDs that looked interesting. One was the Thai film DORM, and the other one was the Japanese film SILK. My VHS copy of "Sansho the Bailiff" was on its last legs, and in my excitement at purchasing this wonderful classic I decided to pick up these two horror films. I was not disappointed. Yes, there are similarities [strong ones at that] to Guillermo del Toro's great film "The Devil's Backbone" [which I own].
However, that is not to say that DORM is not a good film. Moreover, many horror flicks borrow from each other, and for me the film DORM succeeded in being a good film. However, I recommend that you rent the film first to see if this is a film you will like. I happened to like the film, as I found it highly enjoyable; however, horror is one of those genre's where some will like the film, while others will not. I am of the former group.
The film is set in Thailand, and as I do not wish to give out too many spoilers of this film, I will write that the films narrative centers around a young boy named Ton Chatree (Chalee Trairat) whose father has sent him to a boarding school. It is here that Ton finds himself in a lonely state. The films narrative moves along in a coherent manner in which Ton finds a friend. But this is not a typical friend that Ton meets, and as such the film veers into a supernatural drama where friendship is the catalyst for these two young boys.
But all is not what it seems in this film. I do not wish to spoil the film for you. However, what makes this film different from many other horror films is the way the director and screenwriters are able to employ a dramatic formula to the story that works. Is this a great film? I would not go that far. However, it is not a bad film either, and I found that as I was viewing the film, I realized that it was not so much of a horror film, but rather a sad drama. I would recommend this film to viewers. It's refreshing to see a ghost story where the ghost is not evil, and one can actually sympathize with the ghost. Rent it first. As for me, I'm glad that I purchased the film, and it is a welcome addition to my Asian film library. [Stars: 3.5]"
NO long-haired ghost on this one...Thank goodness!!
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 06/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Dorm is from the producers of the Thai Horror hit "SHUTTER". Some people say that "DORM" has a lot of similarities of Guillermo Del Toro's Spanish horror cult hit "The Devil's Backbone" which makes it a rip-off while some say this film was meant as a tribute film to the mentioned original by Del Toro, other articles say that Dorm is based on the producers' experiences as a child. Who's to say what is true and what is a publicity stunt? Whatever the motivation for all the discussions, Dorm did get people in Asia talking, so much that the film won numerous awards in Thailand. I've seen a lot of Asian horror films. One formula kind of lost its effect is the "Vengeful Longed haired ghost", I'm happy to say that Dorm doesn't have one such supernatural entity.
The movie starts when Ton Chatree gets transferred to an all boys school by his father so that Ton can concentrate more on his studies, away form watching too much TV and such. Ton believes his father has hidden motives, so he starts holding a grudge towards him. Being the new kid in school, Ton became the recipient of practical jokes and told made up ghost stories regarding the dormitory for boys. The boy becomes very unhappy until he befriends another kid, this newfound companion harbors a dark secret, one that Ton Chatree becomes determined to help his good friend.
Being asian myself, I can relate to the events in Ton's life. Even some of the urban legends involving spirits are things that I've heard about as a kid. Unlike other Asian horror flicks, there is no "vengeful spirit", no blood and gore, and in this film no one dies because of spirit's wrong doing. Dorm is more about friendship and caring about others to the point of risking oneself. Upon watching this film, instead of being scared(which is why most people watch horror films) you can't help but be a bit moved by the story.
Now, the film is not perfect, it takes the formulas of other supernatural horror hits like "The Sixth Sense", and the aforementioned "The Devil's Backbone".
PICTURE: Anamorphic WIDESCREEN 1.78. Nothing spectacular with Tartan's transfer, the image was a bit on the softer side, lacking in contrast and sharpness. The colors were dull, but the transfer was very clean.
AUDIO/Subtitles: 5.1 Dolby Digital/5.1 DTS in Thai Langauge. Subtitles are in 2 languages. The English subs were well translated and timing was good.
EXTRAS: Deleted scenes, making of featurette/commentary, Trailers, Character bios, SFX "below the pool" docos.
DORM may not be a perfect film because of its controversy with the similarities to Del Toro's horror hit, but it is indeed watchable and quite frankly, better than the other garbage out there. See it with an open mind, if it is a rip off of "the Devil's Backbone",(well, a lot out there is either a remake or a rip off)is entirely your decision, but one thing you won't be able to deny is that it is entertaining and worth a watch.
Rent it first and see what you think, asian horror fans may see that it is worth the purchase. 3 ½ stars.
LARRY | Capitol Heights, MD | 12/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Dorm is a decent suspense of a film. Dorm isn't gory scary like Hostel or Hills Have Eyes. It's more along the lines of The Sixth Sense or The Others.
Chatree has been forcedly transferred to an all-boys dormority/school program in another city. He is told that the transfer is enhance his studies without distractions like TV and the like. However, Chatree suspects that his father has a hidden agenda for the transfer.
Like any newcomer, Chatree gets picked on as he has to learn the ropes around the school. The first night, he is told horror stories that supposedly occurs on the school grounds. Of course, the stories are so good that he can't go to sleep. To make things worse, he has to pee.
When he goes to relieve himself in the bathroom, something happens. Chatree is not sure if it's the supernatural or simply the boys pulling a prank on him. However, things start to happen more frequently and Chatree believes it's the supernatural.
These odd incidences are impacting Chatree and his peers notice that and respond by taunting him. Except one. Or two. His new friend seems to be knowledgeable about ghosts. Can his friend's stories and tips save Chatree as well as eliminate tauntings from his peers?
Overall, a decent movie that's slow-paced. The story plot isn't fantastic but worthy enough of your attention."
A delicate view of friendship
Francisco P. Neto | Brazil | 07/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I admit I started to watch this movie out of sheer curiosity, but not expecting much. However, I was soon surprised by the finesse with which the director led the story.
Yes, it is a ghost story, but not at all scary. It is in fact the opposite, and you end up involving yourself with the characters. I really liked it and recommend it to people who like sensitive movies."