Film Review: The Medium

Noi and Mink

While a good yarn is difficult to beat, the truth is often stranger than fiction. Sometimes, considerably scarier as well. There’s something inherently unsettling when you’re watching a creepy true story. We naturally empathise with the victim, imagine ourselves in their shoes. The line can blur between fact and fiction. Occasionally there’s even deceit at play. A slight of hand, even maybe playfulness. In The Medium, it’s much more sinister.

A documentary crew head to a village in the remote mountains of north-east Thailand. Their subject is Nim (Sawanee Utoomma), a local shaman who is possessed by the benevolent deity Ba Yan. A position she assumed after her sister Noi (Sirani Yankittikan) rejected it. They plan to document her everyday life. When her niece Mink (Narilya Gulmongkolpech) shows signs of being the next chosen one, Nim believes it’s her job to steer her. However, Mink’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic.

Every so often a new horror comes out of Asia and is a must-see. The Medium is that film. Everything starts off normal enough. Director Banjong Pisanthanakun (Shutter) allows the story to slowly build, introducing the audience to a cast of fascinating characters. Then he slowly turns up the dial and never stops. Producing an outrageously wild and truly memorable experience. The Medium is a mockumentary which plays with a number of themes before opening the gates of Hell.  

The Medium premieres on Shudder on 14 October.

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