- horror reviews - MOH 2022

The Medium

IMDb Info

Release Year: 2021
Runtime: 2h 10m
Country: Thailand, South Korea
Language: Thai
Genre Tags: Horror
Plot Summary: A horrifying story of a shaman's inheritance in the Isan region of Thailand. What could be possessing a family member might not be the Goddess they make it out to be.

Poster - Title Card rating: notes: Compelling possession story that starts out very "documentary", switches to "Paranormal Activity" and then just goes bonkers. Maybe a little too long, and hampered by a fake documentary framing device. I wanted more tension, and I couldn't figure out why the camera people never helped out or ran away in fear. Drops the big questions of "If everything is fated, why do the gods care about me?" and "Does my faith really need to be 100% committed?" The answers are not good.

Outside Reviews:

Andrew Skeates
4 out of 5 stars - Far East Films

While the faux documentary/found footage angle threatens to buckle proceedings on occasion (the aforementioned "why are the still filming aspect" and the film would have worked just as well filmed in a more traditional/linear way), ‘The Medium' is nevertheless an impressive and brutally nihilistic delve into the dark side of spirituality. It's not a happy film, but ‘The Medium' is a well-crafted and rewarding experience that manages a fine balance between subtle dread and all out horror.

Dennis Harvey
Good Spirits, Bad Spirits, and a Shamanic Exorcist Auntie

The script has a certain go-for-broke expansiveness in the end, taking its plot further than you may have expected. At the same time, Pisanthanakun's brisk pacing somehow doesn't build much cumulative suspense, and tethering the film to a pseudo-documentary conceit robs it of badly needed atmosphere. There are some lovely shots of the surrounding forests, but too often "The Medium" has to stick with the jerky-cam visuals necessitated by using a video crew as characters (ones who never think to abandon their camera when fleeing in terror). That aesthetic and concept have been so tired for so long, it's hard not to imagine how much better "The Medium" might've been if it had ejected them as superfluous, adopting instead a more polished, traditional presentation.