Director: Banjong PIsanthanakun
Writer: Banjong PIsanthanakun, Na Hong-jin (Screenplay) Cha-won Choi, Chantavit Dhanasevi, Siwawut Sewatanon (Story)
Starring: Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Sawanee Utoomma, Sirani Yankittikan, Yasaka Chaisorn, Boonsong Nakphoo
Plot: A horrifying story of a shaman’s inheritance in the Isan region of Thailand. What could be possessing a family member might not be the Goddess they make it out to be.
Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Medium starts as we meet Nim (Utoomma) a Medium that has been handed down the gift from generations before her, taking the role in the village, one that is believed to have been from a Goddess, gifting her powers to help people.
When Nim starts to notice and learn about the change her niece Mink (Gulmongkolpech) is going through, it brings back the connection with her sister Noi (Yankittikan) who might be able to help solve the problems she is going through or is the Goddess Ba Yan looking to change bodies.
Thoughts on The Medium
Characters & Performances – Nim is the local medium or shaman in the village, she has been gifted this by her Aunt, with generations before them, she sees is as a blessing, as it means she can help people. She doesn’t have the support of her sister who rejected the gift and now she is starting to see her niece has been selected to take over, needing to try and remain close in case she needs help with the changes she is going through. Mink is the niece of Nim, she has started to go off the rails in her late teens early twenties, showing signs that Nim believes she has been selected to become the next shaman of the village, she is put through a horrendous ordeal, as the Goddess is looking to take on the next body. Noi is the mother of Mink, she rejected the chance to become the shaman, turning to Christianity, while suffering a lot more in her life, she has tried to protect her daughter from the same thing, only to find herself helpless when it comes to dealing with the changes she is put through. This is a film that went out of its way to cast almost unknown actors, Narilya Gulmongkolpech as Mink is a star born, giving us one of the best debuting horror performances in recent years, using her body for the movement the character is forced through
Story – The story here dives into the world of legends, where a family will be given the gift of becoming a shaman for a Goddess Ba Yan, only the next person selected to reject the gift, unleashing a devastating evil upon the world, all shot in what looks like a documentary, rather than a full blown found footage film. This is a brilliant twist on diving into beliefs mixed with devil possession and how another culture will approach different to an evil coming into their village. This is a story that will start at a slow pace, when everything coming to life, we are left with a relentless second half, where you literally don’t know what will happen next. This is a film that will drag you in and never let you leave.
Themes – The Medium is a horror that will dive into the possession world, one that is tied together with beliefs, where people believe in different versions of Gods and Goddess. The horror we go through, will get more intense as the film unfolds. The locations of the small village, shows how the beliefs have created and accepted each and every religion around the village.
Final Thoughts – The Medium is a relentless horror that once unleashed never stops.