Monday, October 11, 2021

Ominous October - The Medium (2021)


Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: The Medium (2021)
Genre: Horror
Length: 130 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Production/Distribution: GDH 559, Showbox Entertainment, Northern Cross, Golden Village Pictures, Finecut, Shudder
Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun         
Writers: Cha-won Choi, Chantavit Dhanasevi, Na Hong-jin, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Siwawut Sewatanon
Actors: Akkaradech Rattanawong, Arunee Wattana, Boonsong Nakphoo, Chatchawat Sanveang, Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Pakapol Srirongmuang, Sawanee Utoomma, Sirani Yankittikan, Thanutphon Boonsang, Yasaka Chaisorn
 
Blurb from Shudder:  A documentary team follows Nim, a shaman based in Northern Thai, the Isan area, and encounters her niece Mink showing strange symptoms that seem to be of inheritance of shamanism. The team decides to follow Mink, hoping to capture the shaman lineage passing on to the next generation, but her bizarre behavior becomes more extreme.

 
Cat’s Point of View:
My mind is feeling a little whiplash in the wake of viewing The Medium. I went from one of the best comedy shows I’ve ever seen to watching this two-hour and change descent into madness. We’ve had the comedy show tickets for almost two years now, because of the pandemic. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. I digress…
 
The Medium’s trailer seems to promise supernatural chaos with a side of Thai cultural flair. I’d have to say that it wasn’t misleading. The proverbial wheels come off the bus at The Medium’s climax, but it’s a bit of a meandering march to get there.

 
If I had to give a quick summary of what The Medium entails, I would have to say it’s as if there was a mash-up of Paranormal Activity (2007) and The Wailing (2016) but from the point of view as if someone were making a documentary of the experience.

Even though things get off to an extremely slow start, I did appreciate the time taken to give some cultural background to the characters and the region of Thailand featured in The Medium. It makes sense that a documentary crew would be getting some B-roll footage of landscape and the like. There probably could have been a little less. The Medium’s plot was engaging. There were points that I forgot I was reading subtitles and even didn’t mind the passage of time. However, there were other moments that I felt every second tick by.

 
The story behind The Medium is a tragic tale of a family unraveling amidst supernatural mayhem. There were points I really felt dread, and quite appreciated that the production skillfully induced fear without the need for jump scares and the like. Of course, there are some towards the end, but I get it.
 
I am not the biggest fan of found-footage films. The shaky cam is the bane of my existence. It’s probably my biggest pet peeve in movies. Unfortunately, because of The Medium’s framework using the point-of-view of the documentary crew, there is quite a bit of it here. It does, however, put you in the shoes of the person holding the camera. As such, it is effective in situations like this where the danger seems to be more imminent to the viewer.

 
Overall, the acting was on point, the visuals were interesting as well as horrifying, and the story was eerie. The Medium may not be for everyone, but it is a solid offering for this time of year. You don’t have to be specifically a fan of Asian horror to appreciate it, either.
 
The Medium is releasing as a Shudder exclusive premiering Thursday, October 14th.


Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score –None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –62%
Metascore –None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.6/10
 
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
 
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
 
Movie Trailer:

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