[Updated with English subtitled trailer.]
It wasn't that long ago that an apparent golden era of classy horror films was sweeping throughout Asia. Emboldened by the Japanese horror movement that had become a global phenomenon with movies like The Ring and Dark Water, the major Thai companies were all very much in on the act with their particular contributions being an impressive run of films that combined the atmospheric ghost stories of Japan with a more youthful outlook with some impressive twists along the way.
For the Thai contributions to the genre it was the now defunt GMM Tai Hub who led the way with titles like Shutter, Alone, Dorm and 4bia but other companies like Five Star Entertainment were in the mix with their own horror titles from edgy auteurs like Kongkiat Komsiri and Wisit Sasanatieng and, yes, Ong Bak production house Sahamongkol were in the game as well, serving up pulpier and more extreme fare for the most part but also delivering what is arguably the strongest Thai horror film of all time with 13 Beloved. And while it's been a while since a Thai production returned to these sorts of serious minded, character driven scares it's Sahamongkol who appear to be very much back in that game with the upcoming Siam Square.
Already very well regarded as the cinematographer of critically acclaimed indie hit Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy, Phairat Khumwan makes his feature directorial debut here with a teen oriented ghost story revolving around a youthful cast and the titular square. While there are no subtitles included in the just released trailer the visuals and tone of the thing are immediately impressive as his ability to quickly establish a broad range of distinctive characters. It's early days yet to know how this will ultimately deliver, obviously, but on first impressions Khumwan looks as though he could be the sort of emerging talent we haven't had in Thailand for a good decade now. Take a look below!