When a person thinks of horror from the far East, you’d be forgiven for immediately thinking of Japanese horror or of course the explosion of top notch Korean movies. Any horror nut worth their salt will immediately list the infamous The Ring franchise or the oft-lauded Three Extremes trilogy of disturbing tales from by Hong Kong director Fruit Chan, South Korean director Park Chan-wook, and Japanese director Takashi Miike; each of whom directed an installment in said trilogy.
A trailer from 2015 Thai horror movie The Covenant (not to be confused with the 2006 Hollywood movie of the same name – however if Sebastian Stan is your thing, I guess you could take a look) has recently emerged, boasting some sincerely spooky scenes, along with the kind of nightmarish ghouls that could even give Guillermo del Toro pause for thought.
The movie, which was shot under the original title of Run Phee, follows the story of a young woman possessed (there’s a low hanging spook-fruit) of the ability to smell ghosts. Definitely a novel approach to spectre-detection, though I for one hope that a Western release does not include the tagline “I smell dead people.”
Just lacks the ring (again, no pun intended) of other, more memorable taglines. Our heroine in this case discovers that her boarding school is harboring some dark secrets. Of course, said secrets absolutely will have to be of the pants-soiling, horrifying variety; I mean, let’s face it – who would want to watch a film about a regular, completely sane covenant?
Our olfactory afflicted character will not be alone in her investigation into the dark past of the boarding school. She is joined by a rather nattily attired dead-sidekick to assist her in getting to the bottom of the horrors inhabiting the Covenant. Good ghosts, apparently, always wear suits/school uniforms.
While the hook of smelling the dead is certainly novel, the trailer definitely evokes feelings of nostalgia for those early 2000’s horror films. I for one was most definitely put in mind of Thirteen Ghosts or even shades of the 1999 remake of The House on Haunted Hill.
You have to look no further than some of the horrors on show in the trailer for The Covenant: A melting face with a deliciously visceral gooey eyeball. A creature with a face made ENTIRELY of eyeballs .A spirit (no doubt malevolent) so chewed up and mashed, that you can see right through the back of it’s head. A suicide by gunshot, perhaps?
There is not yet an official release date (either for the United States or Europe) for horror fans to pin to their calendars, however this is certainly one to keep an eye (melting, full-faced or otherwise) on. Thailand has been quietly putting together a solid stable of horror films, in the shadow of the more acknowledged Japanese and Korean studios. More Far-Eastern horror is never a bad thing at all.