Reviewed by Johnny Butane
Starring Wichan Jarujinda, Kanya Rattapetch, Chidjan Ruijphun
Directed by Piraphan Laoyont & Thodsapol Siriwiwat
Released by Magnet Releasing
Thai films and I have never really gotten along too well. Unlike their food, I’ve never been able to really enjoy a Thai film for various reasons; hackneyed plots or pointless meanderings, but I’d heard some good things about Sick Nurses and didn’t want to pass it up. Glad I didn’t.
Set in a strange hospital that doesn’t seem to specialize in patients, Sick Nurses finds a group of young, far too hot nurses who, along with a young doctor they all lust for, have been selling organs from the recently dead for fun and profit. And why not? It’s not like Thailand is known for it’s high morale standards.
Anyway, one of the nurses catches her sister having an affair with the doctor and looses it, threatening to bring them all down by exposing the truth of what they do, so of course they have to take care of her. Never really a good idea to threaten people who habitually sell organs, in case you didn’t know.
Her vengeful spirit only has a limited amount of time to get its revenge, so it waits till the very last minute (well, the last fifteen minutes) before the stroke of midnight to do its dirty work. And boy does it make those fifteen minutes count! I know what you’re saying at this point; another lame vengeful ghost movie from Asia, who cares?
Sick Nurses is different, though. Sick Nurses has style to spare, blending elements of old-school giallos and the early, artful work of Dario Argento with the usual long-haired ghost, who starts off only showing one eye but becomes more playful as the night grows short, and basically just telling logic and reason to take a hike.
The nurses themselves, while plenty sick in their own right, sure to seem to get a lot more than what they had coming to them, some worse than others. Their deaths are long and protracted, one girl gets slowly strangled by hair in a scene straight from Exte, and usually far more elaborate that is entirely necessary. But then, you figure you’re a vengeful spirit, you only get to do this once, might as well enjoy it, right?
The key to enjoying Sick Nurses is to understand that its not trying to be a terrifying film, but rather a very strange and unique tale of revenge with a twisted sense of humor. There are times when it’s just downright ridiculous but if you can make it past the first, say, 25 minutes, chances are you’ll get what Sick Nurses is doing and hopefully enjoy it, as well.
As for features, Magnet included a tight 6-minute “making of” that’s actually pretty good. Usually I like these to be a bit longer, it feels too much like an EPK when they’re this short, but it manages to cover enough about the movie and where its directors were coming from to satisfy. Still would’ve been nice to see a bit more on the disc, though, especially since it’s one of Magnet’s first.
I know it’s hard to convince anyone out there to give a long-haired Asian ghost movie a chance these days, but Sick Nurses really deserves one for those of you craving a little idiosyncratic giallo mixed in to their horror story. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on what this directorial duo is up to next cause Sick Nurses is one fine debut.
3 1/2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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