Watch P

  • NR
  • 2004
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 5.0  (1,298)

P, released in 2005, is a Thai supernatural horror film that interlaces traditional folklore with modern-setting anxieties, aimed at showcasing the cultural clash between rural and urban lifestyles while delving into the realm of the macabre. Directed by Paul Spurrier, a British filmmaker, it features an evocative performance by Suangporn Jaturaphut in the lead role, supporting performances by actors Opal and Dor Yodrak, and explores themes of innocence lost, the dark allure of power, and the consequences of actions taken in desperation.

The movie follows the story of Dau, a young, innocent girl from a rural village in Thailand, played compellingly by Suangporn Jaturaphut. Raised by her grandmother, Dau is thrust into a world of traditional beliefs and ancient customs, which include folk magic and witchcraft. Her grandmother, a village witch, becomes her mentor, imparting her with ancient knowledge and the responsibilities that come along with it. This setting creates a backdrop that juxtaposes the mysterious, hidden world of rural magic with the impending influences of the urban environment.

Life's hardships strike when Dau’s grandmother falls ill, forcing Dau to face the harsh realities of her circumstances. Caught between the pressing need to earn money and her limited options, Dau leaves the sanctuary of her village for the vibrant chaos of Bangkok, in search of work to pay for her grandmother's medical expenses. Through this journey, the film captures the stark contrast between rural and urban Thailand, as Dau enters a society driven by materialism and a disregard for the traditional values she holds dear.

Dau secures a job in a go-go bar on the sleazy backstreets of Bangkok, where the world is venomous and predators lurk in every corner. Her pure and otherworldly demeanor sets her apart from the other bar girls, bringing her attention that is both beneficial and dangerous. The realities of urban life and the humiliations she endures in her job begin to weigh on her, leading her to tap into the dark arts her grandmother taught her. This decision sets her on a perilous path that underlies the film's core horror elements.

While turning to her heritage's mystic traditions may appear as empowerment at first, it soon becomes apparent that there are high prices to pay for meddling with forces beyond her control. As Dau becomes increasingly reliant on her newfound abilities to enact change in her life, her inner turmoil and the consequences of her actions intensify. The character's development through these trials is a poignant representation of the clash between innocence and the corrupting influence of power, as well as the allure and danger of resorting to the supernatural.

The film isn't just an exploration of the supernatural or a simple crossing from innocence into experience; it is also a stark depiction of the exploitation of migrant workers and the seedy undertow of Bangkok’s nightlife. The horror aspect is not only supernatural but also grounded in the very real fears and desperation that Dau experiences. As viewers, we witness her psychological transformation and the moral conflicts that arise as her once simple life becomes increasingly complex and driven by dark motivations.

Paced with an eerie and deliberate rhythm, the film takes the audience through a series of chilling and suspenseful moments intertwined with culturally rich visuals that paint a graphic picture of Thai folklore and its role in the modern world. It blurs the lines between fact and superstition, past and present, bringing to the fore questions about the nature of evil and the lengths to which one might go for survival.

What makes P stand out in the horror genre is its reliance on psychological terror over gratuitous gore, allowing for the subtleties of fear to seep into the psyche of the audience. The muted tones and carefully designed atmospherics contribute to a creeping dread, as traditional scares are eschewed in favor of a more disturbing and unsettling narrative designed to linger in the mind long after the movie has ended.

The director's choice to have Suangporn Jaturaphut authentically play the role of Dau gives the movie a strong anchor. Her compelling performance, from the innocence at the beginning to the transformation by the film’s end, is heartfelt and resounding. The supporting cast, including Opal and Dor Yodrak, help to contrast her character's mystical rural background with the harshness and cruelty of city life.

In conclusion, P is not merely a conventional horror film by any standard. It is a complex tapestry of cultural examination, a character study in adversity, a visual meditation on the crossroads of tradition and modernity, and an engaging narrative of a young woman's chilling journey into the dark heart of her own potential for good and evil. It brings together disparate elements for an intriguing cinematic experience that is both a throwback to age-old mythologies and a commentary on contemporary society's challenges.

P is a 2004 art house & international movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.0.

Where to Watch P
P is available to watch free on Tubi TV, Vudu Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent P for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.0  (1,298)