A slapdash and silly Netflix Original horror movie from Thailand, Pawan Purijitpanya’s “Ghost Lab” is hardly poised to become an unexpected cult hit just because it’s available to watch in so many homes across the world. And yet, for people who’ve grown numb to the predictable rhythms of jumpy Hollywood schlock, there’s something faintly endearing about a vision of the afterlife as unpredictable as grief itself.Ghost Lab 2021.
Mourning someone isn’t sad all the time — the process can swing from romantic to delusional to funny so fast, even the most disparate feelings smudge together — and “Ghost Lab” reflects that through such wild tonal shifts that even someone like Bong Joon Ho seems like he’s coloring inside the lines by comparison. Purijitpanya isn’t operating on quite the same level (or even in the same dimension), but credit where credit is due: Even dedicated horror junkies who might somehow be able guess where this story is going will still be surprised and bemused by how it gets there.“Ghost Lab” kicks off as a clumsy horror comedy set in what seems like Bangkok’s emptiest hospital (this movie has more genres than extras), where a pair of young residents have been drawn to the medical profession for their own morbid reasons. Wee (actor/model/pop star Thanapob “Tor” Leeratanakachorn) is the more serious-minded of the two; he became a doctor to care for his long-suffering mom, on her deathbed in the hospital’s long-term care unit for the better part of the past decade. His puckish best friend Gla (Paris Intarakomalyasut) is a prankster who lives for the LOLs, but he’s also hiding a dark streak that traces back to a paranormal encounter from his childhood.