Pee Mak, Banjong Pisanthanakun (Thailand, 2013)$9
One part ghost story and four parts Beavis and Butt-Head—and number one of all time at the Thai box office—Shutter co-director Banjong Pisanthanakun’s Pee Mak is a hilarious send-up of horror movie conventions that owes as much to Scary Movie III as it does to Thailand’s favorite lovelorn ghost, Mae Nak. By now every Thai child knows the tale: wounded country boy Mak returns home to his village after the war—this time around with his four best buddies in tow—to reunite with his love and their son, only something is not quite right. While Mak gets mushy with his devoted bride (Thai/Belgian model Davika Hoorne), the four friends gamely set up in a neighboring house that’s conveniently been abandoned by frightened villagers—everyone seems to believe Mak’s wife is a ghost, and not without good reason. Between all the stringy long black hair, outrageous physical gags, and genuine scares on display, you might gloss over the film’s blink-and-you'll-miss-it barrage of on-point cultural references and its luxe cinematography. Try to keep your eyes open: Pee Mak is a rare treat—certified art and certified pop.
• Written by Chantavit Dhanasevi, Nontra Kumwong, Pisanthanakun. Photographed by Narupon Sohkkanapituk. With Mario Maurer, Davika Hoorne, Pongsatorn Jongwilak, Wiwat Kongrasri. (115 mins, In Thai with English subtitles, Color, DCP)