Writer: James Cullen Bressack, Taryn Hillin (Screenplay) James Cullen Bressack (Story)
Starring: Ciara Hanna, Emily O’Brien, Jackie Moore, Russell Geoffrey, Byron Gibson, Jack Prinya, Sohanne Bengana, Jared Cohn, Sara Malakul Lana
Plot: It was supposed to be an adventure of a lifetime as three young girls spend the summer in Thailand. But their adventure quickly becomes a nightmare when the trio unleashes the spirit of a murdered child with only one thing on her mind – revenge.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Ritually Scary
Story: Pernicious starts with a blood ritual being performed on a terrified family, but not giving us the whole ritual. We meet our three heroines Alex (Hanna), Julia (O’Brien) and Rachel (Moore) as they arrive in Thailand where they are taken to their beautiful picturesque property where they will be staying while they teach the local children English. The whole house looks great but one creepy gold like statue hidden away in the top floor of the house.
The girls have one week before their work starts meaning they can go out, have fun and make bad decisions as the girls say. When the party starts to get out of control the girls bring three British guys back to the home, where the three girls all have a very disturbing nightmare. What follows is the girls learning of an ancient ritual that was performed to create the golden statue, which they have unleashed where the golden girl starts haunting them and she is angry about how she died leaving girls having to find a way to stop her before it is too late.
Pernicious takes the horror genre into the honour another countries beliefs territory, we usually see how films from the countries that have beliefs we don’t educate ourselves about handle them but with this one we get to see how the naïve visitor fails to follow them. I will have to say the certain scares all feel very much like the Japanese horror ‘The Grudge’ but most importantly we get a few moments you really don’t see coming. It wouldn’t be fair to only sit here and praise this film because I do find it questionable how these three girls got an educational job when they talk down to the locals in English and I didn’t get the feeling these girls were really that close. Overall the story goes into a world that I haven’t seen tackled before where the results of a ritual lead to what happens, everything about the horror side of this story I did enjoy. (7/10)
Ciara Hanna: Alex is the one member of the group of friends who likes to push all the problems aside until they have done the simple things like eating. She comes off as the slacker of the group but goes along with any journey. Ciara dos a solid job but it might have been part character or part her but sometimes it felt like she wasn’t too involved in the scenes and reacting later than her character needed to. (5/10)
Emily O’Brien: Julia comes off as the responsible member of the group who is resistant to getting drunk with her boyfriend back home in America. She does have one very condescending moment when trying to buy a handbag but otherwise is meant to be the good member of the group. Emily does a solid job in the role playing the role of the one who is thinking the right ideas but never following through. (6/10)
Jackie Moore: Rachel is the flirt of the group who thinks she knows it all but it definitely the one who gets the girls into the predicaments they find themselves on their trips. Jackie does a solid job but I did find her character hard to work out. (6/10)
Support Cast: Pernicious has a supporting cast that all try to help by filling in little blanks about what the statue is about but they all just become information filled characters.
Director Review: James Cullen Bressack – James does a good job directing making the overall feel of this film feel like an Asian horror but keeping the sprinkling of naïve American attitude towards their beliefs with the girls. (8/10)
Horror: Pernicious has well created scares and most importantly doesn’t do the false jump scares. (8/10)
Thriller: Pernicious does keep you guessing as to what will happen next to the girls without making any of them lead characters where each one is an individual making working out which might go first difficult. (8/10)
Settings: Pernicious takes the action to a small Thai village with very little landmarks with most of the action taking place in a isolated house. (8/10)
Special Effects: Pernicious has good practical effects for the dream sequences and most of the death scenes. (9/10)
Suggestion: Pernicious is one for the horror fans to try, I can’t see any non-horror fans enjoying but this will go down as one to give a good go to. (Horror Fans Try)
Best Part: Gold girl scare scenes.
Worst Part: The girls going to teach really?
Oh My God Moment: Dream sequence.
Scariest Scene: Gold girl haunting.
Favourite Quote: Rachel ‘They’re not creepy, they’re British’.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: Could have one.
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: The Grudge
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Tagline: Evil Never Dies, It Waits
Overall: This is a horror that will surprise but not shock.