Piyapan Choopetch’s ‘My Ex’ is a generic and unadventurous take on the ‘vengeful spirit’ horror sub-genre that horror fans have become very accustomed to. While it does play host to a few creepy and cinematically appealing scenes, it lacks tension and relatable characters; and drags on for what feels like a very long time!
Wealthy young celebrity Ken changes his girlfriend more often than he changes his clothes, and when current flame Meen informs him of her pregnancy he ousts her in exchange for a newer model. Understandably distraught Meen sets out to get him back, in the rather unorthodox manner of killing off her love rivals one by one.
The plot itself is a fool proof horror classic that fans of the genre will be satisfied by, but not enthused. Throw in a few one-dimensional characters with no accessible personality and you have a creepy horror with no real substance. Ken is a womaniser; that much is certain from the very beginning, promising all his love to one woman before tearing the clothes off another, so it’s very difficult to feel any kind of empathy for him. The lack of empathy unfortunately leaves the audience detached from the story, and it renders the entire mystery and horror of the story pointless because there’s no reason or desire to invest in any of the characters; nor care when they die.
All the generic horror clichés are present; faces in mirrors, ghosts lurking in the background and the classic ghost in the road trick. There’s even a hairy-scary bath reminiscent of ‘Ju-On’ (The Grudge). Rather than induce jump scares, the music is over used and at times intrusive. Instead of being used sparingly and with intent it’s used throughout in a failed attempt at creating atmosphere; and Ken’s ringtone is really annoying.
It’s not all bad though. What the film lacks in style and integrity it makes up in blood and guts, so if you’re a fan of gore this won’t disappoint! The gory death scenes almost manage to assuage some of the monotony, but the story remains generic and dull, and the scares are sparse. Now I like my fair share of blood and guts, but one step too far is taken when we see Meen give herself an abortion and then throw the embryo at the wall. Nice! Sometimes directors can overstep the line between gore and downright bad taste, and unfortunately it can often make or break the movie!
Towards the end it becomes apparent that the director has bitten off more than he can chew when we are bombarded with flashbacks explaining the story. It’s never a good sign when a film has to explain itself to the audience. The rush to explain itself at the end detracts from what could be a punchy final sequence and the ending drags on for a frustrating amount of time. The screen goes black on several occasions, which leaves you sighing with relief, only for it to carry on with another few minutes of tail dragging.
‘My Ex’ is probably the longest eighty-five minute film I’ve ever sat through. It has the potential to be satisfyingly creepy (albeit unoriginal) but throws its potential out the window in place of an unexciting plot and boring one-dimensional characters. There are so many similar films out there this just isn’t worth recommendation; I’d take ‘Ju-On’ or ‘Shutter’ over this any day!