Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Art of the Devil is the first in a series of brutal Thai horror movies that focus on witchcraft, revenge and seductive demons. The original film isn't connected to the two sequels that followed but it is an entertaining movie in its own right. I wasn't a big fan of this entry in the series on first viewing, favouring the two demented sequels instead, but Art of the Devil is an effective chiller with gore, sadistic violence and dubious acting aplenty. Everything we have come to expect from a Thai horror movie.

When a millionaire spurns his pregnant mistress, she places a deadly curse on his entire family. Sure enough, each member dies in brutal fashion. The rejected mistress, who loses her unborn child in a tragic accident, sets out to reclaim her inheritance. To do this she must kill the millionaire's ex-wife, not to mention the entirety of her family as well. All in a days work for a vengeance seeking purveyor of the dark arts. A young reporter sets out to investigate the case, but he soon comes to realise you should never underestimate the power of the, um, dark arts.

The first film seems tame in comparison to its fiercer siblings, but don't panic, there is some arresting imagery along the way. As with most Thai horror movies, the lead actress certainly looks the part, which helps to ease the pain of dubious plotting, weak performances and budgetary restraints. There's a traditional lank haired demon thrown into the mix too, but thankfully she doesn't get in the way of the blossoming witchcraft.

The Art of the Devil movies are a refreshing change of pace for Asian horror fans because they favour the dark arts over vengeful demons. Of course, the relentless torture and extreme violence of later instalments don't hurt the series either. The original outing deserves a little more loving than you'll find online though, it's an effective chiller even if it doesn't break the mould. Check it out.

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