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Publication Date : 28-08-2013
Desperate times call for desperate measures. A man ‘pawns’ his life to a ghost and lives to regret it
Although they have very little, husband and wife Neung (Krissada Sukosol Clapp) and Dao (Supaksorn Chaimongkol) are happy with their simple life. After eight years of marriage, they have finally saved enough money to invest in a small business. Unfortunately, their business venture goes south.
Things get from bad to worse when Neung runs over his neighbour’s daughter while driving under the influence. The girl slips into a coma and Neung is wrecked with guilt. Wanting to do right and pay for the girl’s hospital bills, Neung decides to visit a pawn shop to get some money.
Since this is the premise for a Thai horror film titled Pawn Shop, you can bet Neung’s transaction is not a typical one. Pawnbroker Long Zhu (Chalee Muangthai) suggests that Neung “pawn” his life for a lot of money.
Thinking this is the only solution to pay all his debts, Neung agrees. He doesn’t realise that the pawnbroker is going to use Neung’s life to feed a vengeful ghost that the pawnbroker has pledged his life to.
On the bk.asia-city.com website, director Parm Rangsi (Daddy’s Menu) explained that he wanted to make a film in which the living interacts directly with a ghost.
“The idea of Pawn Shop actually came to me when I went broke making a film previously and had to go in and out of the pawn shop all year round.”
To get the right setting for the pawn shop, Rangsi picked to film in a mansion in Phang-Nga, a small town situated between Krabi and Phuket in the south part of Thailand. The mansion is apparently haunted!
In the film’s production notes provided by Rainfilm Sdn Bhd, Rangsi explained: “It used to be the property of the Na Thalang clan, who had a history at that place for over hundred of years.
"Someone told me that there was a murder committed at the mansion too. Behind the house, there is an isolated limestone mountain. It is so gorgeous during daytime, but when the night falls, it looks scary.”
The eerie location somewhat helped actor Clapp to create the emotions his character was experiencing. It is fortunate that neither Rangsi nor Clapp had any supernatural encounter working at such odd hours at the big, empty, house.
Perhaps what is scarier is the fact that the director is a perfectionist and made his actors shoot the same scene between 10 to 15 times before he was satisfied. Clapp shared: “That made all of the cast members stressed, some even cried. But I get it, that is how he directs.”
There are scenes in Pawn Shop which Clapp’s character slaps himself and also hits his head against the wall repeatedly. Let’s hope that’s not the scene Clapp had to film 15 times!
In the end, however, the director hopes the audience doesn’t see Pawn Shop as just another horror film. He said: “It is a strong drama as well. I hope audiences will not only feel scared, but will shed tears too.”
Pawn Shop opens in Malaysian cinemas on August 29.