The Legend of Mae Nak scares its way to the top!


Remember my entry of the legend of Mae Nak Phra Khanong on this post?

Well, the iconic urban legend is evidently still so popular that despite the countless number of adaptations (film in 2D and 3D, animation… and even porn), Thailand’s film industry was willing to fund another film based on it. This time though the director has approached the legend of Mae Nak from the angle of a horror-comedy. This goes to show that no matter how many times people have watched the same plot over and over, they will always be willing to pay for something slightly different.

This phenomenon is seen towards the end of March when Banjong Pisanthanakun’s (the mastermind behind Shutter, Alone and Phobia’s In The Middle) horror-comedy adaptation earned over 300 million baht (USD 10,412,700.00) from the day of its opening. It is also closing in on the record of The Legend of Suriyothai, which earned over 500 million baht in 2001.

“The reason Pee Mak makes crazy money is because it’s loose and funny,” writes the Bangkok Post’s Kong Rithdee, “and perhaps because it triggers this cool, shallow belief in the star-crossed lovers overcoming the odds set by ideology and death.”

It’s quite impressive how Mr. Pisanthanakun beautifully fused a tragic love story with the tinge of comedy and engulfing it in the poetic license of unfettered love and loyalty. Pee Mak Phra Khanong is making its mark as a must-watch for couples and non-couples alike. What also adds to the film’s blockbuster fact is the crowds of fans who flocked to watch the second horror-comedy of lead actor, Mario Maurer (it’s not evident that I’m also a fan. Haha!)

The Guardian covered the success of Pee Mak Phra Khanong quite well and even coined the possibility that “Thailand could make horror comedy – compared to the more baleful Japanese spookers, or the bloodier Korean variants – its speciality” and “it’s a good time to export horror comedy, with a steady flow of it – especially from the zombie contingent – having carved out a significant market for it in the last decade. Pee Mak could be too geared to Thai palates to travel all the way around the globe.”

Now the question is, how much more do the film industries in the eastern hemisphere need to officially stake its mark on global soil and wave its flag of ultimate success?

In the Rattanakosin Kingdom, Mak (Mario Maurer) leaves his pregnant wife Nak (Davika Hoorne) to join the war and meets four soldiers who become his best friends. During this time, his wife Nak struggles to give birth to their baby. When the war ends, Mak invites his friends to visit Phra Khanong and meet his beautiful wife Nak. Meanwhile, rumors fly around town that Nak is a ghost. His four friends and villagers trying to tell Mak that his wife is already dead.





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