You know how you should always do your research when traveling to another country? How you should learn a few foreign words, a little bit of the culture, do’s and don’ts?
Well, sometimes all of that won’t help you with an ancient curse. It is the other tourists that can screw you over.
This is exactly what happens to Julie and Jim when they travel to Thailand for a romantic getaway. They meet some really nice locals, one of whom is Gogo, a taxi driver who also becomes their tourist guide. In their hotel, they meet two British tourists who quickly befriend them and want to partake in the celebrations when Jim proposes to Julie.
But they do have nefarious intentions, which become obvious as one of the British, keeps telling his partner that they shouldn’t go ahead with their plans. Julie is a nice girl, he says. It is then that we are told of the ghost houses dotted all around the city. Apparently, those are small houses that spirits dwell in and if they are pleased, they will stay in there. If not, if you take what is theirs, they haunt you and possess you in three days.
Julie is a photographer, who is fascinated by these houses, but she has the sensibility to not overstep her boundaries and disturb these houses. Their two newfound friends, however, play a really nasty trick on her and get her to take something from one of the houses in the woods near a cemetery. In this case, one of them had stolen her scarf and tied it around a small statue in the house. She picks it up, and the two run off, leaving Julie and Jim stranded in the middle of nowhere. While Jim tries to follow them, Julie is faced with the Watabe- an angry Japanese ghost who was jilted by her husband.
Her story is introduced, wherein the Japanese woman leaves behind her life to come to Thailand for the sake of her lover, who though marries her, cheats on her with a young, pretty woman. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, so the wife burns down the house, and unfortunately, is consumed by it. The husband and his lover, however, manage to escape. All that in vain! So, the wife has promised to haunt any young, pretty woman who takes from her what is hers.
Fortunately for the young duo, Gogo comes to their rescue and not only gives them a ride but also has a monk take a look at Julie. The monk and the women, pray all night, deck Julie’s wrists with amulets and by morning, voila, she’s awake.
They think that the haunting is over, however, it is just the beginning.
One of the British tourists had a girlfriend who had desecrated the ghost house, apparently, and was being possessed by the watabe. The only way for her to come back to normal was if they could pass on the curse to someone else.
Jim tries to follow the similar fashion but decides he has too much of a conscience to go ahead with it. Plus, good ol’ Gogo is there to remind him he’s doing the wrong thing. They meet with a shady guy who engages in debauchery but has the good sense to send them to a witch doctor.
The old woman, demands a sacrifice from Jim, but he cares too much for his digits and instead hands her an engagement ring.
Of course, that trivial sacrifice doesn’t work and the watabe threatens to tear everything apart. Finally, Gogo hands Jim the sacrificial knife and he does away with a finger. The witch doctor performs her magic, and Julie is finally freed from the ghostly hold of the watabe.
As with all movies, there is a cliffhanger. The watabe was never destroyed. She abides in the ghost houses, waiting for the next victim.
The Ghost House is an engaging watch. It isn’t scary, though. There are no ‘jump out of your seat’ moment and thankfully, no creaky doors and sinister background score. It is a simple tale of horrifying incidents and deception. For once, the locals are shown to be helpful, and that was something comforting to watch.
Next time you travel, make sure to stay away from the other tourists, though. One of them, might just get you in deep trouble and attach a ghost to you!