The Omen

Director: Tamaraks Kamutamanoch
Cast: Apichej Kittikornjaroen, Woravej Danuwong, Kavee Tanjararak, Supatchaya Reunreung, Pisamai Vilaisan
Year: 2003
Running Time: 80 minutes

The Pang Brothers are hanging all over this film like Triads on a debt collection – they wrote the screenplay, edited it, presented it and probably bought the coffee – but they apparently left the directing duties up to Tamaraks Kamutamanoch. Oddly, in the DVD credits I didn’t notice any for director, but his name is on the DVD box and a few other sources as well (but there are also some that credit the Pang’s as the directors).  I can’t find any other credits for this director so perhaps the Pang’s were simply mystically transferring their vision through this person or maybe he is connected to them from some previous life. The movie has the clean sharp colorful look that the Pang’s bring to their films, but the camera work and editing is surprisingly mainstream with few of their trademark jazzy tricks. To some degree that is a relief as it allows you to focus on this peculiar little film without being distracted by off-setting camera angles and spinning rooms.

Though this has been marketed as a horror film, it is really not. It is more a supernatural yarn that spins a slow intriguing crisscrossing tale of fate and karma that almost feels as if it should have a “Believe It or Not” burned onto the end of the film. Unfortunately, I didn’t – at least for me the resolution is as dumb as a bag of bricks and leaves the viewer feeling as if he has been taken for a ride. But it’s a good ride as this film very subtly brings together a puzzle that has you wondering how all the strands are connected and what it means.
Three friends from childhood work together as graphic designers and all simultaneously come across odd situations that don’t seem connected, but as the film works it’s way forward they apparently may be. Dan (Woravej Danuwong) is driving home after work when he has to swerve to miss an old woman (Pisamai Vilaisan) on the road and crashes into a tree. When he wakes up he finds himself in her ramshackle hut and finds her mutely watching him. As he leaves, she mutters, “Will we meet again?” He thinks this strange but likely the ramblings of a lonely old woman – but when he returns to thank her later she warns him to take the stairs and not enter a small room. He is soon trapped in an elevator and is mildly freaked out by her prediction. There are others to come - one quite bad.
Beam (Kavee Tanjararak) has a nicer encounter – though it begins with a flowerpot falling onto his car from an apartment. The girl responsible is Aum (Supatchaya Reunreung) and after some ranting and raving by Beam he realizes she is fairly attractive and they become friends. Big (Apichej Kittikornjaroen) also makes a strange connection in his car when a young roadside garland seller plays a guessing game with him while he is stuck in traffic – the end result being that he loses his car models and gains miniature dogs – but he can’t figure out how the switch was made. Events eventually move from the unusual to the supernatural – while visiting the old woman again Dan notices an old dusty picture clearly taken a long time ago – when he looks closer he realizes it is a picture of Aum and suddenly these lives begin crashing together from almost different dimensions. The film had me up to this point – the performances are not great but personable – and it moves along very smoothly – but there is a big road bump ahead.

My rating for this film: 6.0