My Ex probably isn’t Thailand’s first horror movie, but it certainly seems like they’ve discovered horror tropes for the first time, and are keen to use them over and over.
Ken is a Thai movie star who has a tangle of on-off, lying and cheating relationships with three women. The newest is Ploy, and I’m trying to find a pun for that. The previous one was Meen, whom he dumped when she told him she was pregnant, and the first was Bow, who got smushed by a truck pretty close to the opening. Ken and Ploy are being haunted by a ghostly woman.
The first thing that’s difficult about My Ex is not having a character for the audience to care about. I don’t even mean someone likeable, I don’t need to like a protagonist if I find them interesting.
Ken is a dick, Ploy is possessive and jealous, Meen is a nutcase and Bow is, well, smushed by a truck. Ken flounces around the film telling everyone “of course you’re the only girl for me”, and Ploy comes out with things like “do you think I’m the one” after they’ve been going out for approximately a week. I think there’s some shared blame to be found here for the unhealthiness of this relationship.
On to the important stuff. Is it scary? Nah, I rolled my eyes and looked at the clock a lot. Well, OK, it has a couple of things going for it. It thankfully doesn’t have the ghost as a pale woman with long dark hair, that thing is finished, there’s some proper corpse-y makeup. It has one quality gore effect. It has one scene that’s so unexpectedly extreme that it seems out of place.
On the other hand, they grid down any goodwill by cycling through the same scare setups over and over. Closeup on a character’s face while ghost lady moves around in the background. Trying to focus on something in the distance when suddenly! it’s right in front of you. Vague blurry ghost in all the photos of the protagonists. “Oh, that scary thing that happened was only a dream”. You can tell from the first few seconds of a shot which of these it’s going to be, to the point that cheap loud noise scares don’t even work.
I spent a lot of the film wondering why it was called My Ex when there were two scorned women about. Well, there’s a twist. In hindsight, it’s actually a pretty good twist, but its introduction was deeply confusing, so it lacked the Usual Suspects type montage in your brain where it all suddenly comes clear. Instead, it provoked a gradual back-pedalling through the film thinking “well, then this doesn’t make sense, except if…”. I’m giving myself some of the blame for this as well.
I spent the first fifteen minutes wondering if “Meen and Bow” was one person with a weird name, seeing as how the paparazzi were asking him “aren’t you still dating Meen and Bow”, until they both appeared on screen.
It’s still not scary though, and doesn’t have anything interesting or compelling in terms of characters and plot. It feels like one decent idea padded out by 85 minutes of generic horror movie scenes.