Ghost Lab is a supernatural Thai horror that has an extraordinary, unique story accompanied by a massive twist. However, it has an unnecessarily long run time of almost two hours! Yep, you heard right! The director Paween Purijitpanya is no stranger to the horror genre after having the likes of horror anthologies such as Phobia (2008), Phobia 2 (2009) and Body (2007) under his belt.
The first half of the movie takes on the persona of a paranormal investigation show, where the friends roam about the hospital at night with specialized equipment hoping to capture a ghostly apparition. The initial jump scare is extremely intense and well executed, but the first half of the movie trudges along a bit too slowly. The concept of it being impossible to capture a ghost’s physical form on any electronic device is super interesting as it would explain when people try to take pictures during a suspected ghost manifestation, most of the time nothing appears on film. The low budget special effects work in most areas of the film and in others it just seemed to fall flat.
The two leads are excellent in their roles and there is a great balance between the development of their stories and the emotional, violent build up towards an extremely surprising and touching ending. The accompanying score during the more intense, faster paced sequences was a great choice to get the adrenaline pumping. The story provokes a lot of moral questions when certain lines are crossed because both the main characters tether over a line that seemed to lack all sense of morality when their obsession takes full hold.
The twist is totally insane when you really think about but, how many scientists have died in order to prove that their theories could work. How many, too, were willing to break the rules of humanity in order to obtain certain results? It gives a whole other meaning to the term “Mad Scientist” when you see just how mentally unhinged the characters become in their thirst for knowledge and proof. You are going to inwardly cringe when you see them literally spiral out of control and continuously make bad decisions that you just know are going to have some hefty consequences. The new take on ghost lore is a refreshing addition to the film as it builds and builds into an astonishing crescendo that is going to shock the audience when they go overboard in their curiosity.
However, Ghost Lab isn’t just about ghost hunting and that’s what makes it stand out; it’s tied into a plot about the emotional and psychological effect which grief can have on loved ones left behind. At its core, the film has a heart of gold because it goes out of its comfort zone to show the audience both sides of the coin, per se. We sometimes forget that the sudden loss of a loved one can bring about an immense anguish that should be heeded, because it can lead to irrational decisions which is explored well in this story here. The story also becomes a representation of testing the bonds of friendship.
As the film hits the climax, events become decidedly creepy, fun, and scary. You are guaranteed to go from being frightened to possibly shedding a tear or two. Although the pacing of Ghost Lab is uneven, you get a mostly exciting and rewarding experience with a plot device that teaches us that curiosity can be a dangerous thing if not controlled.