Thai filmmakers (and presumably their audiences) have a particular fondness for snakes, it seems — especially really big ones. Two serpent-oriented horror movies have recently appeared, one featuring ordinary snakes en masse and the other a solitary giant of a snake.
The Intruder (Thailand-2009; dir. “James” Thanadol Nualsuth and “Ping” Thammanoon Sakulbunthanom)
In 1983, before the giant Suvarnabhumi international airport was built, the neglected and unoccupied area was called “King Cobra Swamp” by the locals. As building commenced, a huge old Banyan tree blocked the construction path. A work crew call in a mechanical digger to remove the tree. As the roots are torn from the ground, thousands of cobra bones explode from the earth, tearing the workers to pieces. After the passing of the grim massacre, witnesses who survived tell strange stories about an evil Cobra spirit. Years later when a new apartment block was built on the spot, Nin, the building’s owner, has to face the horrifying truth when hundreds of Cobra appear, hell-bent on killing every living person in the apartment building. Once again, people believe that it is the vengeance of the Spirit. How will they survive, while being hunted by vengeance without mercy? (adapted from 24FPS)
From the posters, The Intruder follows the current Hollywood standard for barely-out-of-their-teens protagonists, plus a smattering of gore. It also has nearly as many posters associated with it as there are snakes biting holes in the cast (see Gallery below).
The Scout (Thailand-2009; dir. Pleo Sirisuwan)
Scouts visit an ancient temple to witness a lunar eclipse. Hearing campfire stories of the legendary god who protects the temple, they decide to go on a treasure hunt. Finding themselves lost in a parallel universe, they must find the way back before the end of the eclipse traps them.
This one, which features Boy Scouts, seems to be a kid’s horror-adventure film (check out the trailer below, if in doubt). Presumably the “legendary god” manifests in the form of a giant snake. Much about the storyline suggests that it is a family-friendly version of the same director’s earlier giant-snake opus Vengeance [aka Phairii phinaat paa mawrana] (Thailand-2006; dir. Preaw Sirisuwan) — a sort of sequel or even a parallel child-oriented remake. Vengeance was actually a pretty good film, if rather more bloody and “adult” than the trailer and scenario of The Scout suggests that Sirisuwan’s new film is likely to be — so it will definitely be worth checking out, especially for the mega-snake obsessed among us.