Film Review 33rd Asian American International Film Festival 2010 – Slice

Image from SLICE starring Arak Amornsupasiri

“Slice” (“Chuen”) 101 Mins
Thailand
Director: Kongkiat Komesiri
Writer: Kongkiat Komesiri, Wisit Sasanatieng
Cinematographer: Thanachart Boonla
Reviewed at the 33rd Asian American International Film Festival 2010 www.aaiff.org 
July 16, 2010, Clearview Chelsea Cinemas

Kongkiat Komesiri (“The Art of the Devil” sequels )  and Wisit Sasanatieng (Tears of the Black Tiger) join forces again after “The Unseeable” to co-write this serial killer thriller called “Slice.”

The color red was a major character in film: stylistically splattered all over the screen signifying blood in the opening credits;  blood spewing slow mo from all the murder scenes; and the mysteriously caped (in red) killer who stalks the town with back to back high profile homicide cases. The color red gets creepier as the film  unfolds or shall I say as the blood flows…..

One would remember the significant flowing red color in movies like Michael Haneke’s “Cache,” Park Chan-wook’s “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance ” and Sho Time’s “Dexter.”  “Slice”‘s similarity to these movies does not end with the color red. All these movies have super intelligent serial killers/predators who ironically want to make a difference in society. (Weird as it sounds.) In all films the camera is mostly used as a POV perspective from a spiritual being, like somebody is lingering, maliciouly enjoying the scene – (big brother is watching). The said tools were effectively used in “Slice” to create the gory horror suspense thriller that it is.

The Flashback of two kids – the younger Tai (Sikarin Polyong) and the side kick wanna be  Nut (Arthapan Poolsawad) reminds me of the scenes of Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan’s “Slumdog Millionaire” and Fernando Meirelles & Kátia Lund’s ” City of God.” In Slice and in the two other mentioned films, the youngsters are exposed to child related social issues such as: bullying,  homophobia, abuse and loyalty. The flashback are used to explain  the origins of the protagonists turned sociapaths in the films. As I remember, like in the film Scott Hicks’ “Shine” the children version of the characters, I believe also does an “acting award” worthy performances.

The characters Papa Chin (the cop by day – thug by night) brilliantly played by Chatchai Plengpanich was equally matched with the character Tai  (a convict and ex-police man) played by suave actor Arak Amornsupasiri. The somewhat father son relationship is obviously lopsided as we see Tai almost blindly following Papa Chin’s every command.  Papa Chin secretly (conveniently) releases Tai out from prison to solve the serial killer case as Tai proves he might know the serial killer. He is given 15 days to solve the case.

Kudos to the direction of Kongkiat Komesiri and the Cinematography work of Thanachart Boonla who meld great subtle acting, cutting edge special f/x and fluid camera work into a true Asian Suspense Thriller Horror genre film.

As a filmmaker who has experienced creating a horror flick called “Multo” (“Ghost”), I enjoyed the special f/x. One would see the intricate make up used, which entailed very minimal cgi if at all – mostly were traditional special f/x. Genius! The film encouraged me to create more films.

My  viewing experience was made memorable by a fellow viewer who shrieked like a girl ( he was an older gentleman ) as the first murder was shown. cringed and gasped at every gorey effect. Finally he stood up  and walked off the theater  at the last third of the film, he said its “too much, its too much.”  Apparently he found the film too disturbing.

Horror thrillers like this is definitely not for the feint of heart. (There should be a Warning that says: “lots of gore and nudity  really not for the feint of heart.”) Hmmmmm, I guess the special f/x was too real for him. Believe it or not, personally, my heart was pounding all throughout the film. “Slice” lives to its reputation as truly an Asian Suspense Thriller Horror genre film. If you like this type of movie, “Slice” will be worth your time and money.

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