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Finally, a Disturbing Horror Film — The Medium (2021): Movie Review

Finally, a Disturbing Horror Film — The Medium (2021): Movie Review

I kid you not, these past few years, I have been devouring horror content like wildfire. I have been fascinated with spooky things, since maybe around five years ago or so. And yes, just around that time.

When I was a child, I was not mainly a fan of it but I was also not so much of a scaredy cat. Maybe I was somewhere in between. Today, I am not a geek but I most certainly relish in things that haunt the mind and the heart.

Movies have incredibly played a massive role in this adoration of mine as the horror genre has had its resurgence in the industry with films having a significant influence on mainstream media once again, reclaiming its glory.

And when I say horror, I almost always reiterate that I am not talking about lame gimmicks and jumpscares. Instead, what piques my interest are the things that leave me breathless and restless because of the extreme disturbance I experience during the ride. This is true in any piece of literature (e.g. movies, books, short stories, podcasts, etc.)

Of course, that is not to say that I do not enjoy a few scares from here and there but it needs to be done in a tasteful way. That brings us to the current horror flick that has disturbed my soul which is none other than the Thai film, The Medium, released on July 2021.

The Medium 2021 Movie Review

Let us look at the dark mind-boggling movie that made my heart race while watching it and haunted my soul after viewing it.

Finally, a Disturbing Horror Film — the Medium (2021): Movie Review

The film revolves around a shaman, Nim, who serves as the medium between the real world and spirits, but mainly the goddess Bayan, who has been protecting their village for ages. The goddess has possessed ladies in Nim’s family for generations, finally settling on her, as her sister, Noi, had refused to be a shaman. Later on, her nephew, Mink, who is the daughter of Noi, shows signs of being possessed by their goddess, which makes sense since Nim doesn’t have any children. However, as we move further into the story, strange things start to happen to Mink, making them believe, that somehow, Bayan isn’t the one who got a hold of her body but a sinister entity.

The film feels dark and eerie

One of the reasons we watch horror films is to experience the feeling of darkness and fright. With the atmosphere that this film has set for itself, you will get that exact ambiance, having a documentary-type approach that contributes to its realistic tone and immersive experience. The interview with the family members adds an in-depth exploration of their family beliefs as well as the underlying issues that they pose. But you have no choice but to follow along as a viewer who is merely peeking at their everyday life.

The Medium 2021 Movie Review

Just like any other documentary-type film, the introduction comes off as very light, acting as a glimpse of what it feels like to live as a shaman in Thailand, showing off their rich culture and environment. This brings a sense of relief and comfort that you shouldn’t trust because what’s in store for you for the next few minutes of the movie is indescribable.

The pacing is very dragging but eventually pays off

If you are a person who enjoys things that reward you in an instant, well, this movie is not for you. It actually reigns as one of those that others might consider a slow burn or having an intensity that gradually increases over time.

In all honesty, in the first few minutes of The Medium, I find people around me dozing off. We watched this movie as a family during the holidays, so they are anticipating something exciting that can hook them right from the start but it didn’t. In a setting like a group viewing, that can happen because you bond over things that all of you can scream at and laugh about later. Nevertheless, this movie does not do that instantly; instead, it builds up and waits for the right time.

The Medium 2021 Movie Review

I advise that you stick to the end and appreciate every crumb that it leaves for you because it is fun to pick up on every detail that might make sense eventually. The movie is smart in terms of creating momentum and plotting a satisfying finish. Trust me when I say that it will pay off.

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The Medium successes more on being disturbing than scary

From my perspective as a viewer of horror, I have always declared my adoration for the disturbing rather than the fright it can give me. What’s important is the mindboggling concept and the hard-to-understand scenarios that leave me with a heavy feeling.

“Scary” to me makes you feel paranoid and frightened of the things around you, while “disturbing” can leave you wondering for days and may even affect your mental well-being as it digs deep to make you feel uneasy with certain aspects that don’t sit right with a typical human being. The Medium succeeds in the latter.

The Medium 2021 Movie Review

It is true that they have placed genius jumpscares and terrifying imagery in multiple scenes that can leave you sleepless for nights which is good for a group viewing because everyone just screams their lungs out. On the other hand, the film was also able to present issues that just unapologetically tackle uncomfortable topics head-on.

It is not complete gore but it had some bloody scenes from here and there as well as some violent sequences. There have been scenes in the film where all of us in the room just had our mouths agape with shock and disdain at how the movie just blatantly did what it did in right front of our eyes.

The Medium 2021 Movie Review

The ending was just utter chaos but in a good way

I think it is not a spoiler when I say that the last few minutes of the film just strip all of your hopes away. As we approach the climax, we all hold onto something that might be the solution to the extremely horrible things the protagonists have been enduring. The film was able to successfully provide us with possible fixes to the unimaginable inhumane obstacles and then completely throw all of them onto the ground as they break into tiny little pieces. Nothing feels more hopeless than the final minutes before the ending and that just drains you.

That is not to say that the film ends tragically but it also does not disprove it. All I can say is that viewers should be ready for the rollercoaster of emotions that, to put it simply and honestly, is a wild ride.

In conclusion, The Medium is a perfectly structured film with the right build-up, a commendable horror atmosphere, tasteful jumpscares, disturbing concepts and imagery, and a satisfying yet gruesome ending that you won’t easily forget. I cannot recommend this more as I haven’t found a horror film like this in a long time.

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