Movie and TV Reviews‘Cracked’ Will Not Crack This Year’s Field Of Top...

‘Cracked’ Will Not Crack This Year’s Field Of Top New Horror, Indie Flicks


Humans love to be scared.  Psychology Today, the Harvard Business Journal, Yale New Haven Health and so many other hugely reliable sources point to one central reason humans love to be scared.  That reason is, at its heart, biochemical.  Simply put, people like to be scared because it gives them a rush.  That is why thousands of people flock to theme parks nationwide every year for the roller coasters.  It’s the same reason people have been drawn to horror movies ever since the dawn of the movie industry, and the film industry has definitely turned out so many timeless horror flicks sure to give people a good scare.  From famed slasher franchises, such as the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises to more classic titles, such as The Haunting (1963), The Innocents (1961) and House on Haunted Hill (1959) and more, there are plenty of great flicks to give people a good rush from the scares they offer.  That also includes the creature features from the 1950s.  Sadly, for every good horror movie out there, there are also just as many that are less memorable.  Most of those less memorable movies are indie offerings, such as Shadow People (2013), The Rambler (2013) Speak No Evil (2013) and others of their ilk.  Next week, Film Movement will bring American audiences another of those lesser memorable movies in the form of the Thai import, Cracked.  Originally released in 2022 through CJ Major Entertainment, the movie is scheduled for release July 18 domestically through Film Movement.  The movie comes up far short of expectations, sadly, because of its story, which will be discussed shortly.  Another concerning factor in this movie is its general look on screen.  This will be examined more deeply a little later.  One other concern with the movie is the acting.  The cast’s work is just as troubling as the other noted items.  Each item noted is crucial in its own way to the overall presentation of Cracked.  All things considered they make Cracked a paranormal thriller that is scary more because it is anything scary.

CJ Entertainment’s 2022 paranormal thriller Cracked will make its domestic debut on DVD next week thanks to independent movie distributor Film Movement.  The 93-minute movie sadly proves to be anything but a standout addition to this year’s field of new horror/thriller entries domestic and otherwise.  Its primary issue comes from its story.  The story is simple:  Ruja (Chayanit Chansangavej – WolfGood Old DaysSomeone From Nowhere) is dealing with her father’s estate after his death.  Part of the estate is a pair of unsettling paintings that have a dark past and paranormal link.  There is seemingly a vengeful spirit held in the paintings, and as it turns out, the spirit in question is that of the woman portrayed in the paintings (not to give away too much).  The woman’s spirit is so angry about her death that she makes anyone who owns the pictures kill others the way in which she was killed.  How she died will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.

Backing up a bit, Ruja does not learn this revelation until late in the story.  Before learning all of this, Ruja meets Tim (K-Pop star Nichkhun), who has been charged with restoring the paintings in preparation for their sale to a millionaire who has agreed to buy the paintings.  This is where things get a little concerning.  When the story reaches its climax, it turns out that Tim is not quite who he made himself out to be when he first meets Ruja.  The revelation in question is anything new.  As a matter of fact, his reveal is something that has been done so many times in so many thriller movies out there.  That takes away some enjoyment from the story being that it is a plot device that is anything but original.  His turn in the final act is actually somewhat confusing for anyone who does not pay close attention to the story because it happens so randomly, detracting from viewers’ engagement and entertainment even more.

As if all of this is not enough, the random disappearance of Ruja’s daughter Rachel (Nutthatcha Padovan – Innocent Lies) at points throughout the story and other items that just seem to happen are just that.  They just seem to happen.  It gives the story something of a semi-noir feel, especially what with the focus on the rain and water in general.  Anyone who has taken courses in film studies will understand and appreciate this explanation.  Simply put, the story just feels overall, to be all over the place from beginning to end.  There is a certain continuity to the story but the way in which the story is presented in general just does not work.

The story featured in Cracked is just one of its concerns.  Just as concerning but on another level, is its look on-screen.  It would seem that either a lot of filters were used on the cameras or the story just has a lot of night time and gloomy style scenes with darker colors.  On the surface this does not seem overly important, but when viewed on a 4K UHD monitor, the upscale honestly looks anything but appealing.  As a matter of fact, the upscale makes most of those moments that are already dark in their own right look even darker on screen.  This happens enough that eventually it can and will make audiences want to just fast forward through so many of those moments.  Between this aesthetic/production concern and that raised by the story featured in this movie, the two items make for even less reason for audiences to want to watch.

The cast’s work on camera just does not seem believable.  Chansangavej, for instance, just seems like the typical scared lead that so many female leads have been in so many American horror movies.  When she is searching for her own daughter, there just does not seem to be the urgency that one would expect from a parent as she just walks through the forest, calling out her daughter’s name.  Even as she fights for her own survival in the story’s final act, her performance just seems run-of-the-mill.  Nichkhun’s turn meanwhile is difficult to believe because, as noted, it just seems to random.  It is as if he went from one persona right to another and just phoned it in.  The pair’s performances collectively make it so easy to honestly just tune out here and there, sadly.  When this shortfall is considered along with the concerns raised by the movie’s production and its story, the whole make Cracked a presentation that proves anything but memorable among this year’s field of new horror and even independent movies.

Cracked, CJ Entertainment’s horror/thriller movie is, sadly, a movie that comes up short of expectations set through its trailer and teaser summary.  Set for domestic release on DVD July 18 through Film Movement, the movie’s main problem is its story.  Yes there are some paranormal elements that some audiences will find familiar, but the story overall comes across as being all over the place.  It is a presentation style that will appeal primarily to noir movie fans, keeping that in mind.  The stark color use in the movie’s general presentation adds even more to that sense, but also makes viewing on screen more than a little problematic.  That is especially when watched on a 4K UHD monitor.  The concern raised through this concern makes for even less reason for general audiences to take in the movie.  The movie’s two lead actors are anything but believable in their portrayals, making for even more concern.  Each item noted here plays its own important aspect to the movie’s presentation.  All things considered they make Cracked a work that will do anything but give audiences a good scare.

Cracked is scheduled for release July 18 through Film Movement.  More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available at: