The Medium (2021)

The Medium (2021) MOVIE DETAILS
Name: The Medium
Year: 2021
Country: Thailand
Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun
Main cast: Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Sawanee Utoomma, Sirani Yankittikan, Yasaka Chaisorn
Runtime: 130 minutes
Production company: GDH 559, Showbox Entertainment, Northern Cross


Has everybody seen The Wailing (2016) already? That South Korean movie that came out 5 years ago with an interesting proposal mixing a regular detective’s case with the supernatural and that astonished everybody around the globe. Well, Na Hong-jin, the writer and director of for The Wailing (2016), has joined forces now with Thai director Banjong Pisanthanakun, responsible for two local box office hits in his home country Shutter (2004) and Pee Mak (2013), to bring out The Medium (2021). Both of them wrote, Banjong Pisanthanakun directed, and Na Hong-jin producing.

The Medium (2021) won’t reach the level of success that The Wailing (2016) achieved, but that doesn’t mean it is not one of the top horror titles of the year. And the proposal is original enough in a moment where almost everything is already invented. There is one thing for sure, The Medium (2021) is not your typical possessions movie. What starts as a documentary about a popular shaman in the Isan region of Thailand becomes a horrifying trip. Call it a mockumentary, if you want. But towards the middle of the movie, the sense of witnessing true events is gone becoming a rollercoaster of horrors, beyond what we normally see in exorcism and zombie movies.

Despite the limitations of the found-footage style, since the entire running time of the film is shot by the documentary crew, that doesn’t serve as an excuse for a low-fi show. Every shot, every frame, every movement made by the camera crew and the actors, everything is planned to the detail. It is a movie that shows more than we see at first sight, with clues all around, and a structure that keeps the audience attentive for over 2 hours of film.

And don’t let the amateurism that distills from the fake documentary subgenre fool you, because all the performances in The Medium (2021) are sublime. All the actors are well aware of their characters’ role in the story, and along with frantic editing, they are the main pieces that keep the whole thing together. It all orchestrated by the director Banjong Pisanthanakun who, once again, proves that he is one of the Asian filmmakers to keep in your orbit.

Perhaps the running time of The Medium (2021) is a bit too long, those 2+ hours could have been shortened a little, but the movie never gets stuck and manages to keep the tensions from the first scene until the last one. And it all topped with a final ritual that will go wrong, very wrong. The audience gets prepared for a final leg that promises to be spectacular, but I think the disasters caused by that final ritual surpass all expectations. A good final gore feast. Not over using the special effects that might kill the whole aura of reality the whole movie is involved in, but generous in gore and horror. A good ending for a movie that was surely leading towards that the whole time.

The Medium (2021) has been in a few film festivals this year including Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea where it won the Best Feature Film award, BFI London Film Festival in the UK, Beyond Fest in the USA, and Sitges Film Festival in Catalunya where it was nominated for Best Motion Picture. And now it is also part of the Shudder catalog. Without a doubt, one of the movies of the year to pay attention to.

RATE: 7/10


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