Dorm

"Good"

Dorm Review


An innocent young boy is dumped by his cruel parents at a spooky Thai boarding school where dogs howl at night and rumors of ghouls abound. Sounds like a perfect setup for a typical flesh-flaying gorefest. But Dorm is something else altogether. The most sweet-natured ghost story you'll ever see, it's even appropriate for kids because it teaches a lesson straight out of Sesame Street: It's always nice to help people, even if those people happen to be spirits from the other side.

Thirteen-year-old Ton (Chalee Trairat) is miserable when he arrives at his new school, mainly because he believes he's been exiled by his father after discovering Dad's infidelities. Ton needs to be silenced. The large school, full of rambunctious boys, is indeed pretty creepy, and it takes on an even more sinister vibe as the older kids regale the rookie with tales of the macabre, most notably a story about how one boy drowned in the school pool ten years back and his ghost still rattles around the dorm. The school mistress, Ms. Pranee (Jintara Sugapat), was so traumatized by the boy's death that she's become a cruel school leader, feared by one and all.

OK, cue the ghost. It doesn't take long for Ton to encounter Vichai (Siranath Jianthavorn), the one boy who treats him kindly. Problem is, Vichai is the kid who drowned, and Ton is the only one who can see him. As it turns out, Vichai couldn't be nicer. He becomes a real buddy who shows Ton around, goes on long walks with him, tries to explain his ghostly nature, and eventually reveals what really happened at the pool all those years ago.

It becomes Ton's mission to free Vichai from his purgatory (the poor kid has to relive his drowning every day at 6 PM). Ton himself will have to die for a minute or two to get the job done, and in order to accomplish that he must convince several of his taunting schoolmates that the ghost of Vichai exists and that he needs their help. As good Buddhists, their response is: "Sounds good to us. Makes sense. Count us in."

Aside from a few jiggling doorknobs, there's nothing scary in Dorm. On the contrary, it's almost heartwarming, a feel-good story about a bunch of nice kids trying to do the right thing. The marketing is a bit misleading, but the end result is an interesting exercise in metaphysical problem solving, Buddhist-style.

Aka Dek hor.

Just like your college.



Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Thursday 2nd February 2006

Production compaines: GMM Tai Hub (GTH)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Songyos Sugmakanan

Producer: Yodphet Sudsawad

Starring: Charlie Trairat as Ton, Chintara Sukapatana as Pranee, Sirachuch Chienthaworn as Vichien, Suttipong Tudpitakkul as Ton's Father, Jirat Sukchaloen as Peng, Thanabodin Sukserisup as Doc Nui, Pakasit Pantural as Pok, Nipawan Thaveepornsawand as Ton s Mother

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