Ghost Lab is out on Netflix today. The Thai supernatural thriller brings an emotionally charged story to the foreground even in the midst of terrifying paranormal experiences.
The film centers on Gla (Paris Intarakomalyasut) and Wee (Thanapob Leeratanakachorn), two doctors who experience a ghost sighting together in the hospital in which they work late one night. For Gla, this is confirmation of something he’s believed his entire life. For Wee, it tests everything he “knows.” Together, they set out to run a series of experiments to prove that spirits exist. What starts out innocently enough, however, leads to tragic results neither could have imagined.
Directed by Paween Purijitpanya, the film is so much more than I expected when I first sat down to watch it. The director and his co-writers, Vasudhorn Piyaromna and Tossaphon Riantong, craft a story that is emotionally complex pulling the viewer in different directions. It isn’t that they do this, however. It’s how and the skill with which they do it that sets Ghost Lab apart.
This mostly works due to their solid world-building. Everything that happens has a reason. Their spirit world has rules. Some of them are sad; some, terrifying. Others are quite funny, but they have a purpose and as Gla and Wee discover them, so does their audience. It makes the story real and the journey impactful without feeling manipulative.
Then there’s the acting.
Intarakomalyasut and Leeratanakachorn have an almost immediate chemistry on screen. There is a familial/brotherly connection, even when they seem at odds with one another initially. Of course, this connection deepens as the film progresses, creating genuine empathy for both, so that when their lives begin to derail we care all the more about what is happening. When tragedy strikes, it is devastating.
Like any good horror film, it is about so much more than the ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Ghost Lab is far more concerned with why they do what they do. What is it that makes a soul linger? What makes them do dark things to the living? How do they communicate? What can we possibly learn in the process of dying and crossing over?
Ghost Lab comes in at just under two hours in run time, but honestly, once the action really begins to gain momentum, it hardly seemed that long at all. With genuine terror and a load of heart, it’s one of the most refreshingly original supernatural thrillers we’ve seen in some time on Netflix or anywhere else for that matter.
Take a look at the trailer below and look for Ghost Lab on Netflix today!