Reviews: Pernicious

Heather ravages horror film, Pernicious. 

"Is this the scary room where
we go to learn how to act?"
Pernicious: having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way. 

The keyword here is "gradual". It wasn’t all bad. Yes, the acting was unprofessional. Yes, the music was unnecessary for the most part. And yes, the camera guy must have been DT-ing on set. But Pernicious wasn’t all that bad. 

Once you get around the “straight to DVD” aspect of it, you might start to appreciate where it came from and inadvertently appreciate where it was probably trying to go. Southeast Asian culture is very old, filled with traditions, legends, and folklore. One being that of the Kinnari, which this movie is based on, but only uses the name and not its lore. In Thailand, Kinnari or Kinnara are depicted as half human half bird and are harmless. Each country in Asia has their own origin story, but all say the same thing. In all lore of the Kinnari, they are beautiful and devoted to their lover and are worshiped. In Pernicious, the Kinnari is the exact opposite.

While watching it, you'll cringe at the fact that you know this movie is based on something real, something sacred, but is being butchered and for what, money? If this was a story actually about the Kinnari, it would’ve been a hell of a lot better. I’m writing it in my head right now and it’s at least ten times better. The sound and the gore are downright obnoxiously hilariously bad and the make-up/wardrobe…dear lord, why? I get it – Americans go to Thailand and are sooooo out of place, but please, if you have Americans going to Thailand to teach English to children, they’re educated in the native culture and speak the language; maybe not fluently, but just enough to get around. 

Not only is Pernicious completely unrealistic, but based on real things. It has horrible character development. You totally just don’t care after the first act. I’ll admit, at first, I thought it was going to be this cool ass ghost story about Thai mythology with some sweet gore, but it just went stale. Sorry James Cullen Bressack, I’m sure your intentions were good, but Pernicious isn’t.

- H