Tuesday, January 21, 2014

9-9-81 Review

Disclaimer: Contains spoilers!

Plot Summary: An unstable woman commits suicide after believing her fiance died, but her ghost becomes restless when realizing he faked the incident.

Review: Uh oh, it's another one of those movies. You know what I'm going to say here--say it with me--wasted potential! And this one sort of takes the cake for the most wasted potential I've seen in a long ass time. After "Sukob" set up the amazing idea of a ghostly flower-girl, I kept wondering when would we see a ghostly bride. Well, here it is and it totally blows. Okay, the look of the ghost is acceptable, not bad but definitely not what I had hoped, but her presentation is too inconsistent and heavily copies better ghosts. I would say my best way to interpret this ghost is 50% Kayako, 25% Natre, 24% every other Asian girl ghost ever, and 1% originality. Basically, some dude who could easily have any chick randomly bangs this girl, named Wi, who he knows is outright crazy. I guess sometimes you really have to do it all for the nookie! Although it was a bit extreme, the guy and Wi's monstrous friend concoct some plan to convince Wi the guy is dead so she will leave him alone as she has become quickly obsessed with him after one night of awkward banging. Since she had already become convinced they were getting married, she loses her mind, puts on her wedding gown and takes a swan dive off her apartment building's roof. The end. Just kidding...of course Wi comes back as a vengeful-ish ghost as the film plays out like "The Grudge" franchise with different individuals, out of chronological order, interacting with her. Too bad things only go down after this set up, but, hey, at least this ghost is more attractive than the likes of Natre and Kayako so there's that. Actually, come to think of it, this chick has a ton of admirers that want her yet she of course wants some rich playboy. This doesn't even fit the personality they establish for her, but I'll get into that.

Now if you think I'm being a whiny bitch simply because the look and approach of the ghost was not my desired choice, well there is another avenue of disappointment that should have been a slam dunk. Different directors, writers, etc. all worked on portions of the film in a makeshift pass-around story to tell one big story collectively. Sounds cool, right? This is the kind of thing you wish would happen more often, right? Instead we get a total mess of a plot, which contributes to these inconsistencies I mentioned, but, more so, the entire tone and direction of the film goes all over the place and completely loses its way by the end. On top of that, you truly feel the hands of multiple people trying to sway the story to their vision, and, as a result, you have attempted scares at first, somewhat amusing and overly comical moments, and then trying to win best drama out of the blue two minutes later. You can't have a ghost that wants revenge, goes all Kayako, spares a dude who had a crush on her, chills out with her parents, toys with a cop, and can also possess! For the love of fuck, pick something and stick with it! I guess the real question is who designed the overall concept about a ghostly bride, and in what order were the segments written?

I just can't wrap my mind around how this went so wrong. Did nobody discuss anything with each other? I mean, you have Wi starting off as almost a tease, this prized hot chick with random dudes jacking off to her, then make her this unhinged nutcase. Plus, Wi deserved what she got! Yeah, I'm going there. She's so dumb she talks to someone who's like, "Hi I'm your lover-boy's mom...yeah, he's dead" and you believe it without question?! Yeah, get on that fucking roof and jump and spare the world your idiocy! And then Wi's parents should have known how crazy their daughter was and not let her off on her own. I should also mention the movie just ends out of nowhere in a way to actually create a plot hole; so don't hold your breath over at least a satisfying ending. The last scene involves a detective investigating the murders surrounding Wi's suicide and he feels there's a ghost involved. But then the final shot implies he gives up, yet in a different segment, we see him still on the case so...yeah, okay. I suppose you could loosely create a scenario that explains this but whatever. And why the hell is this movie called "9-9-81?" Is that Wi's birthday? Does this have significance to Thai people? Am I missing something? Is it supposed to be 666 upside down and in a roundabout way? Did they mean to put 9x9=81?

If this movie has taught me anything it's that you do not screw a chick with anti-psychotic medication out in the open, and who says she's saving herself for marriage only to come back a minute later wearing a veil and says now she can bang. I appreciate and even like the attempt they were going for with this one, but everything falls flat and turns into a mess. The ghost isn't that scary, almost nothing makes sense with contradictory moments, tone shifts too often without consistency, and they wasted potential especially in regard to the ghost bride concept. But, to be fair, the style to the film is good, there were good ideas, the humorous moments were genuinely funny, and the actors were pretty good. Overall, this falls under the slightly better than average category only for the attempt to do something different. I'm going to say pass this one up unless you are unbothered by nonsensical inconsistencies all movie long all the while ending the film out of nowhere.

Notable Moment: Probably the banter between the "Aunties" that live in the apartment complex. They deliver some great lines, but they also kill the atmosphere more than once.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

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