ALONE is an Asian import – not from the usual suspects Japan or Korea, but Thailand (technically, the film is partly set in Korea, but it is a Thai production). Although not a masterpiece, it is an intriguing tale told in a suitably spooky manner, offering evidence that, nearly a decade after the J-Horror wave launched with RING, there is still some life in supernatural horror movies from the Orient.
Pim is a married woman living in Korea, who returns to Thailand after her mother has a stroke. Home is definitely not where the heart is, however; Pim is haunted – either psychologically or literally – by the ghost of her deceased conjoined twin, who apparently resents Pim’s happy life alone, after the two of them had sworn to stay together forever.
The typical supernatural scares are executed with all effectiveness you could desire, but ALONE is essentially a study of Pim’s psychological deterioration. The plotting is slow (it takes forever for flashbacks to reveal things we have already guessed, such as that Pim insisted on being surgically separated from her twin in order to get married); fortunately, the script pulls off a great surprise twist near the end that not only casts more light on the proceedings but also helps make sense out of why Pim is so guilt-ridden. If one were to pick a point of comparison, the closest predecessor would be A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (which also played the game of “is the haunting real or imagined), but ALONE is much less cryptic in its storytelling.
If ALONE suffers from any obvious flaw, it is one fairly typical of ghost and/or haunted house movies: the lead character trues to go about her daily life, which is interrupted by the intrusion of the supernatural; consequently, the story has little forward momentum, relying on the ghostly manifestations to liven things up, until the characters are finally forced to take action in the last act. For those patient enough to sit through the protracted set-up, the pay-off is worthwhile.
Unfortunately, ALONE is not currently available in the U.S.
ALONE (Faet, 2007). Directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun &
Parkpoom Wongpoom. Screenplay by Aummaraporn Phandintong,
Banjong Pisanthanakun, Sopon Sukdapisit (as Sophon Sakdaphisit),
Parkpoom Wongpoom. Cast:
Marsha Wattanapanich … Pim / Ploy
Vittaya Wasukraipaisan … Vee (as Withaya Wasukraipaisan)
Ratchanoo Bunchootwong … Pim and Ploy’s Mother (as Ruchanu Boonchooduang)
Hatairat Egereff … Pim – age 15
Rutairat Egereff … Ploy – age 15
Namo Tongkumnerd … Vee – age 15 (as Namo Tonggamnerd)
Chutikan Vimuktananda … Pim – age 7
Chayakan Vimuktananda … Ploy – age 7