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  • helmutty19 September 2008
    I must say that 4bia is one of the good Thai horror movie. Directors from Shutter, Body 19 and Iron ladies prove that they all can come up with suspenseful tales together. There are four stories and each of them is 30 minutes. The four stories are pretty engrossing, suspenseful and interesting.

    The story: First, we get 'Happiness' directed by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon who did Iron ladies. A girl has a broken leg and stays in her apartment. She sends SMS to friends and soon she received a SMS from someone mysterious. She soon chats with him and asks for his picture. It turns out...things are not always what they seem. It is creepy and thrilling. 3/5

    The second story is not very thrilling nor suspenseful but still good. 'Tit for Tat' directed by Paween Purijitpanya who did Body 19. A guy use black magic to take revenge on a group of students who bully him. You will know the outcome as nowadays, this kind of plot are common. The gore and violence take over suspense and the thrills. Though without the suspense, it is still engrossing. 3.5/5

    Third story is 'In the middle' by Banjong Pisanthanakun who did Shutter and Alone.Four buddies camp in a forest. They make fun of horror movies and tell ghost stories before bedtime. One of them was drowned when they went water raft. They start to search for him and soon things start to get creepy. I think this story is the most suspenseful and the ending is not what I had expected. Though there is suspense, the story is a bit slow. The suspense starts later. 3/5

    The final and fourth story is' Last Fright' by Parkpoom Wongpoom who also did Shutter and Alone. An air stewardess is to escort a corpse who is a princess alone. Things start to get creepy and thrilling. As the third story has the suspense, this one has the thrills. Although like the third one, this started off a bit slow but it still manage to thrill me. 3/5

    Overall: Is it worth to watch it? Yes, it is. Suspense and thrills fans should watch this. I am not afraid to say but 4bia is actually one of the best horror and Thai movie I had seen. It is recommended to watch this. It is good although I am not a horror fan. Rated NC-16 in Singapore.
  • There is no such thing as Asian horror. Even though there are plenty of common elements, each country has its own way of dealing with horror films, especially stylistically. 4bia is a new anthology project giving room to four Thai talents. The four stories are ever so slightly related, but stand well on their own and bring their own vision on what Thai horror has to add to the genre.

    The first short is directed by Thongkonthun, a relatively fresh director with little experience in the horror genre. His short has a pretty conventional theme, being nothing more than a simple girl, ghost, haunt story. Still, the angle of the short is pretty special, as no actual dialog is being used. The girl is homebound and isolated from her friends and all conversations are held through sms contact. Not a first, as more and more films are trying to integrating digital communication, but still quite a novel experience.

    Visually, the short is decent with several attractive shots, though the single setting does get a little boring after a while. We follow he girl in her room for the entire running time, only at the very end do we get some shots from outside. As a whole, the short is convincing enough and even though the story is extremely traditional, the execution makes it worthwhile. It's Thongkonthun's talent that keeps this film well away from falling into the boredom trap. 4* Next up is a short from Shutter director Pisanthanakun. Shutter was a pretty big Asian horror hit, but what Pisanthanakun puts on display here is different and easily the most interesting short of the bunch. The short is shot entirely as if making a trailer, including color bleeds, short freeze frames, hectic cuts and speed fluctuations. A true visual feast, sadly more and more cheap CG creeps in, resulting in a rather horrible and amateurish climax.

    For those familiar with the Art of the Devil series, the story will hold little surprises, though the revenge theme of the film has been given a nice swing. The style of the film makes it a little hard to follow, but the basics are clear enough and the short looks really impressive. With a little tweaking on the CG part this would've been perfect, luckily this is easily forgotten when considering the rest of the film. 4.5* Third short is made by Wongpoom, co-director of Shutter. Again someone with some solid experience in the field of horror. And it shows. A completely different short than Pisanthanakun's, Wongpoom's film draws more to the likes of Craven's Scream trilogy. Four guys go rafting together, but when they all end up in the water things take a turn for the worse.

    The atmosphere in this film is pretty relaxed, with little to no scares or creeps. To compensate, there's a thin layer of humor running underneath everything that happens, with a rather amusing (but possible frustrating) running gag spoiling the ending of at least three popular horror films (The Sixth Sense, The Others and Shutter), even throwing in Titanic for good measure. There are some genuinely funny moments, though I assume it's not as fun if you haven't seen the mentioned films yet. Visually a little underdeveloped, but since the focus lies on the humor that's easily ignored. 4* Sadly, the final short is the least interesting of the bunch. Even though none of the shorts bring something new to the table story-wise, they all have some interesting points of execution. Purikitpanya is the only one delivering a pretty standard horror fare, with a dead body haunting a stewardess on her flight home.

    Purikitpanya shows a keen eye for composition from time to time, and the introduction of the princess (who ends up in the body bag) is pretty fun, but from that point on the short brings nothing but a bag of horror clichés. Purikitpanya's sense of style keeps it going until the end, but people who've seen their fair share of Asian horror films might be a little bored by the end of it. 3* All in all, the film presents four fun horror shorts, none of them below average, three of them come up with interesting elements. Thai horror is doing well for itself, and even though it's not quite yet ready to battle the better horror films coming from China and Japan, there's some real talent hidden away in here. A fun film for horror adepts looking for something outside the typical horror offerings. 4.0*/5.0*
  • shmobbie22 June 2009
    So, I'm going to write a little mini review for each short as they show and as I see them and then do a review of the movie as a whole after..

    story 1: Happiness effective little ghost story using texting as a medium where a recently deceased ghost talks to a home ridden young woman. I will say that this one is pretty creepy, some great shots are displayed and some cliché stuff is also used. I liked this one a lot for some reason, I usually don't get so into movies using cell phones as main plot devices, I.e. one missed call.

    story 2: Tit For Tat Bad nu metal in Thai playing almost constantly, check. Attractive main cast bullies who picks on nerdy kid, check. Revenge story? Yes. This one plays out a little similar to another thai film, Art of the Devil 2 which I didn't enjoy too much. It's directed by the dude who did Shutter, which I also didn't like so much.. But despite the awful CG at the end, I enjoyed this one, it was fun and predictable. Predictable may be bad other places, but I enjoyed it here.

    story 3: In the Middle I started out disliking this one.. Nu metal, kayaking, stereotypical teenage dudes.. But it's ripe with movie references, comedy that's actually funny, and a pretty decently creepy story. Based on other reviews I thought this might be a lot worse but I actually really enjoyed it.

    story 4: Last Fright Probably my favorite of the 4 shorts just because it was built up so well. This one had the most 'classic' feel to it and was a lot of fun, I jumped on the inside a couple times and was into this one all the way through. Nice little Hitchcockian score also.

    Anyway, Fun is the best way to describe this nice little anthology. I grew up on Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow and I'm recently in the past years getting more and more into Asian cinema so this is a film I've been looking forward to. Bottom line, it entertained me and that's all I need.

    A great rental at least!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's been a while since I've seen a Thai horror I really liked... or ever, maybe, since the most memorable is Shutter and I wasn't as taken with it as most people were (though I want to give it a second viewing).

    4bia is an anthology of four horror stories of about a half hour each, and written/directed by four different individuals (they're all Thai names and I really can't tell their genders by their names). As such, it's an uneven - though largely fun - ride.

    I liked the first story, 'Happiness' the best. It's a very simple tale about a girl resting at home alone with a broken leg who gets haunted by a ghost through text messages. What's good about it is the claustrophobic setting, and the director's superb handling of suspense, from shots of the phone waiting for it to buzz, to when the lights go out and the girl's fumbling in the dark. The big payoff is unfortunately a cheap scare, but well, it worked. I jumped.

    The second story, 'Tit for Tat,' I liked the least. A bunch of bullies are menaced by ghosts created by their victim's black magic. This segment had an over-reliance of obviously cheap special effects and wasn't particularly scary.

    'In the Middle,' the third story, was a humorous one about four guys out camping and trying to scare each other with ghost stories. That is, till one of them drowns in a rafting accident. There was some good suspense here and I liked the makeup on the ghost. That face stayed with me after the movie.

    The last story, 'Last Fright,' was pretty good too, albeit a bit stupid: A flight attendant is requested to transport the corpse of a princess whose husband she was having an affair with. A woman alone on a plane with a vengeful corpse - nice use of claustrophobia there too, though the suspense wasn't as good as with the first story.

    All-in-all, I really liked this movie because three of its directors generated pretty good suspense, which is quite hard to find in today's horrors, since they're inclined towards gore and cheap "Boo!" scares. Pity about the weak link.
  • I had the pleasure of watching this Thai anthology tonight. 4 separate stories without a wraparound. I was pleasantly surprised.

    The first story is about a woman and her cell phone and all of a sudden someone messages her out of the blue. She is kind of lonely so she gets right into it and the texting gets out of hand until she finds out that... well I won't spoil it for you but let's just say one part in particular gave me shivers big time. It's a little more original than your average cell phone horror fare.

    The second story is about high school kid who is bullied and decides to get revenge. The best way I can describe it is that it's like a "Final Destination" inspired MTV music video but it gets better towards the end, where it gets gory and despite the bad CGI it's definitely worth a watch.

    The third story is about 4 teens who go white water rafting in the jungle. It is chock full of movie references and it is HILARIOUS! I laughed out loud quite a few times. Very enjoyable, and of course in keeping with the theme of the anthology it has horror elements to it as well. It was fun watching some of the movie references tie in with the story.

    The fourth is definitely the weakest of the bunch. It has a few jump scares and a lot of clichés and not much else. It reminded me of a bad episode of Tales From the Crypt or the new Twilight Zone.

    All in all a good anthology that I believe stands up beside any of the V/H/S or similar titles coming out nowadays. 7/10
  • what a stupid title... this movie starts off with a surprisingly well done title sequence that uses blood as its main motif... it was elegant.

    i was impressed by how great the first 'mini film' was shot. it looked great. The tension was excellent throughout and the almost-total lack of any dialog was interesting and ambitious.

    the second 'mini film' is exceedingly bad... the flashy editing was distracting and seemed to be included only to cover the thin script. the "terrifying finale" of the whole thing centers around a horribly executed cgi zombie-looking character. who uses cgi to make zombies?!?! this is the worst of the 4.

    the third one was a lame and mildly homo erotic attempt at a 'self-referential' horror movie (in the vein of 'scream' maybe?) not scary, not funny, totally forgettable.

    the last one was great! incredibly effective thriller about a flight attendant that has to deal with one of the most terrifying scenarios that i can remember seeing in a movie. it grabs you and doesn't let you go... great acting too by the lead actress.

    in closing, you gotta take the good with the bad i guess...

    1 is good, 2 is god-awful 3 is bad 4 is great.
  • 4bia is a four stories that thrills me. It started with a girl with a broken leg who cannot get out from her apartment. What i see is no dialog which she always text messages. But, it's still creepy.

    The second story is about a bunch of kids bully some nerd. I don't like this because the ghost isn't realistic and computerized. But, this story is brutal.

    The third story is about four kids who was camping and tell jokes. One of them say "if i die, i will attack the one who sleeps in the middle". there are some scene is laughable.

    the fourth and final scene... I LOVE IT. It's about a princess who has to go home to her hometown with a stewardess who sleeps with the princess's husband. When the princess wanted her stewardess's food, the stewardess know that the princess has an allergy to shrimp. She thought that only to pick up the shrimp is save. after the princess ate it. She had a red eye. The next day, she was d-e-a-d. then the thrill starts.

    Maybe i'm gonna rate this movie 9/10. Because, the second story is letting them DOWN.

  • For a Thai horror movie, then "Phobia" was a lukewarm experience, because it wasn't particularly scary.

    The first segment, titled "Happiness", was the best of all four stories. It was also the most interesting story of them all. The director had managed to struck a nail with this story, as it was portrayed really well.

    The second segment, titled "The Deadly Charm" had a nice story as well, though the CGI generated dead people looked like something made on a Commodore 64. That was really an eyesore to behold. For a tale of revenge, then it wasn't all that shabby.

    The third segment, titled "The Man in the Middle", had an interesting enough story, with sort of a "The Sixth Sense" going on. However, the story was portrayed in a way to comical way, that really brought the story down to a childish level. And the way that the young men were behaving was also helping bring the story further down.

    The fourth and final segment, titled "The Last Flight" was the second-most interesting story, and it had the most scare effect of all the four stories together.

    The acting in all stories, except the third one (The Man in the Middle) was good, and you could easily get into the stories. However, the stories are fairly short, and they suffer under that criteria, which is a shame. As a aficionado of Asian horror movies, then I was looking forward to sitting through this, but the end result was a somewhat less than average experience, unfortunately.

    That being said, I will still make it through the sequel, but more on that later.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "See prang" AKA "4bia" is made-in-Thailand anthology consisting of quartet of horror tales.

    Loneliness The first one concern Pin (Maneerat Kham-uan) holed up alone in her apartment due to a broken leg she sustained in a car accident. She receives a text message from an unknown caller wanting to be her friend. Pin will later discover the stranger-turned-SMS buddy has a terrifying secret. An effective old-school chiller.

    The Deadly Charm The next one could be better if not for over flashy cinematography. When a kid is beaten up by own schoolmates for snitching on them about stashed drugs, it leads to chain of deadly consequences for the latter.

    The Man In The Middle The Man In The Middle will give you goose bumps despite elements of comedy sprinkle thru out the story. Four friends on a camping jaunt turn into a 'haunting' trip of a lifetime.

    The Last Flight The final tale, arguably the crème de la crème, takes place on a plane where flight attendant Pim (Laila Boonyasak) past indiscretion becomes focal point of retribution from the beyond.
  • I enjoyed this film very much despite having limited expectations. Each of the four segments plays out smoothly with few cheap scares and reasonably coherent plot development. That said, none of the chapters are particularly scary and it's all stuff we've seen before. What set it apart for me was the wry ingenuity of Man in the Middle and one small detail in The Last Flight - at one stage when the stewardess is serving the Princess, sunlight reflection from the aeroplane window moves slowly across the bulkhead behind as if the plane is banking. A nice touch. I can overlook that the galley interior is of a much larger plane than the 737 portrayed externally :-).
  • This nicely filmed anthology is better than most. Filmed by some of Thailand's top directors, this movie is almost completely subtitled, which might be a turn off for some watchers. However they are fun stories if not the most original or unique. "Deadly Charm", "The Man In The Middle", and "Flight 244" are however rather predictable if you can follow the story or at least not as surprising as I'd hoped (especially the 'Man in the Middle" - which smacks of a true Hollywood ending). The first, "Loneliness", is the best, and the most spooky out all of them although each have their own 'jump' moment. "Deadly Charm" has an interesting link back to the first story "Loneliness" although this is not clearly spelled out. Is this worth a watch? Yes, so long as it doesn't cost you much. Do they make any sense? No more than a lot of other movies out there. Interestingly enough, two of them, "Deadly Charm" and "Flight 244" actually leave you (or at least it left me) feeling sort of sympathetic with a few of the characters which can be a unique situation for an anthology. But yes, you should watch this; they are well filmed, semi-cohesive tales full of little scares and lots of fun.
  • This is actually one of my favorite Thai films. I actually recommended this to my friends. Although some parts of it were a bit too ridiculous to believe in. In my opinion, the part that was set on a plane was the part that gave justice to the film's title but my favorites were the 1st and the last. The 1st, although short and with a very limited setting, it gave me the same impression as a full movie would give. The suspense was amazing and it keeps you hooked because you'll want to see what's gonna happen next. It gives you the creeps because it is something that may happen and is very possible if the supernatural world does exist. The last part was as thrilling as it is entertaining. You get to avoid the heavy feeling we usually feel after watching a horror film. It is also fun to watch this part with friends.

    I have already watched this movie twice and I would still want to watch it again.
  • Just try it!!!.

    Hollywood's standardize's SO high ,thier quality of the acting based on body language and facial expressions're very outstanding but the whole're suck horror movie(Scream ...Run and die by nothing )!!!

    Someone'd say they all did a silly job.

    Just only one reason to love Asian movie(esp;Thailand) is the unique theme in their,they told us everything especially Krama's laws(Goodies get good,villain get bad),Are there any bikini's Screaming run as the below thinking?

    Asian horror movie may be is not fear a lot on mental knifers cause of some'd kick them with Muay Thai or kungfu(I've still confused why the most Hollywood victims are standing to be die by no reason, oh..well perhap they want to insist their quality of the acting based on body language and facial expressions.)

    Overall,I think this was an excellent ghost movie. The writers created by seam the segments together(or some Yankies did not see). Common man if you love VDOgame you'll like 4in1 game more than one hardcore background's theme. Wow,act head shots in only one scene 's not fun enough.....
  • I read good reviews about this movie on IMDb and a few other places so I decided to give it a try.

    The acting throughout these movies seem fine, but they speak, for the most part, in a foreign tongue so I can only determine the quality of the acting based on body language and facial expressions. I'd say they all did a good job.

    The atmosphere was well set up, even in Middleman, which I enjoyed the most because of the comical references to other horror movies. The last segment probably had the best atmosphere, although I'd like to mention that I was impressed by the first segment's success in telling a beautiful story with such minimal vocal dialogue. That was impressive acting.

    This movie had very little emotional power to me. Only the Deadly Charm segment got me a little upset at the cruelty that we do to each other. Aside from that, I didn't get scared or sad or anything in this movie. Oh, I did laugh a few times during the Middleman segment.

    Overall, this was an okay movie. The writers probably had some good weed but should've smoked more of it. Why not tie the segments together and make it a full movie? There were minor references that tied some of the segments together but they had nothing to do with each other. If all four segments were linked together, this movie would've been more fun to watch. Instead, I feel like I watched four little movies.

    I'd recommend this movie for hardcore Asian horror fans who like to have something in the background while PvP'ing in World of Warcraft. Hardcore Asian horror fans who don't play WoW probably won't enjoy watching this movie too much. If you're not a fan of Asian horror at all, then skip this movie and go sign up for a World of Warcraft account. If you're none of the aforementioned, then well...what do you do for fun?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    4bia is an anthology of four supposedly scary stories from four different Thai directors. Interestingly, horror movies' compilations allow the viewer to briefly explore and experience the many competences of different directors. Yongyoot Thongkongtoon (Happiness), Paween Purikitpanya (Tit for Tat), Banjong Pisanthanakun (In the Middle) and Parkpoom Wongpoom (Last Flight) delivered, in this particular case, four entirely distinctive segments reviewed below.

    Happiness, the first segment, introduces the viewer to the story of a girl who has suffered a car accident, which has left her at home for the past three months with a broken leg. As she feels lonely at home, the main protagonist decides to answer an unknown text she receives in her cell phone. Review. Peculiarly, no dialog is registered during the whole movie and the plot is based for the majority of the film in only one character. A nerve-wracking atmosphere is chiefly well constructed considering the characteristics of the short story. Even though the film aspires to principally create a feeling of insecurity and suspense, the director tentatively cared to include a minimal explanation for the occurring events throughout the movie.

    In Tit for Tat, a group of obnoxious teenagers attacks a classmate, eventually accidentally pushing him off of a speeding vehicle. The victim returns nevertheless to punish the ones that have maltreated him. Review. Tremendously ineffective and mind-numbing, the second installment of the anthology seems to be pitifully dragged for more than 20 minutes, making it an exercise in patience. The characters are extremely annoying, the acting is probably the worst of the four segments, the death scenes aren't even original, dreadful special effects, exacerbated amounts of blood coming out of one single body, stains of blood looking like red wine stains and with CGI being probably even worse than the one observed in a 0.49$ video game. All in all, Tit for Tat intends to be a tale of revenge although it only achieves being easily considered the worst segment of the movie.

    In the Middle describes the adventure of four friends out camping. After spending the night sharing ghost stories, an unexpected accident happens the following day, as one of them appears to drown in the river. Review. From the beginning, an intended humorous component in the movie is observed, although it may seem out of place and particularly not that hilarious overall. Mentioning Shutter, his previous masterpiece, twice is also peculiarly awkward and quite embarrassing specially considering that the quality of In the Middle is visibly inferior to the referred movie. The stereotypical teenagers are mostly annoying borderlining a childish attitude and the plot is poorly developed. A final twist is registered at the end of the movie although not being particularly satisfactory.

    With Last Flight, the viewer is introduced to the story of a stewardess that is chosen to be the only flight attendant on a flight taking home the body of deceased princess. Review. Contrarily to Banjong Pisanthanakun who was also, alongside with Parkpoom Wongpoom, the co-director of Alone and Shutter, the director in this case is able to deliver the most mature and disturbing segment of the anthology. The four installment of the compilation is by far the best developed and most interesting. With the plot being claustrophobically confined to an airplane, the movie is capable of creating an atmosphere of suspense and terror. Notwithstanding a predictable ending and a few well-known clichés in every Asian horror movie, the movie embraces a decent and well-constructed argument. The acting is quite superior as well to the one registered in the previous segments and overall, the short story appears to be the most consistent and solid of the four.

    All in all, the movie clearly does not work as a whole, being far from cohesive. Interestingly though, a connection appears to have been created between the four segments, although it almost seems irrelevant at the end considering how distinctive the stories are and how the concept of facing fears is treated in each segment.
  • 4Bia, actually title PHOBIA, is a pretty predictable Asian horror anthology, I was mildly entertained but there were no surprises here; those well-versed in Asian horror will see most of the "shocking twists" coming from a mile away. Now that doesn't necessarily mean the film is bad, it just means Thailand has the same problem we do…played-out predictability sells well in theaters. If this were to have been released in the U.S., it would have ended up going straight-to-DVD. This isn't a bad flick, I actually enjoyed "Tit for Tat" and it's stylish CG and the goofy horror comedy of "In The Middle" but nothing really jumped out at me as original or different. It's all pretty average, a "been there, done this" experience indeed.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I read all of the reviews here so I won't go into what the individual stories are about but I liked each of them. The effects were just fine for me, not Hollywood but not terrible. It was a fun watch and one that I would likely watch again.

    The only complaint that I have is that the first three stories are sub-titled but much of the dialogue text is on the screen for too short a time, I had to scan back and pause to read it. The second story had some distracting camera work as well. Other than that, a very enjoyable movie.

    Give it a shot; I don't think you'll be disappointed. Cheers.