Realms is a supernatural horror movie that takes place in Bangkok, Thailand. A good part of the dialogue is in English though. Both the director and several actors are American. Watch On Demand now!
Realms is a supernatural horror movie with a cast consisting of both Thai and American actors. It also takes place in Bangkok, Thailand. But really, this story could have been anywhere, so it really doesn’t matter too much.
I wasn’t crazy about the style of acting in Realms though I did really love Madison McKinley’s approach to her character. I’ll get back to that later.
If you’re in the mood for a horror movie with a diverse cast and languages then check it out.
Madison McKinley as the villain
The story of Realms takes off with a bank robbery. Two Americans – a man and a woman – decide to rob a bank in Thailand. Things don’t go exactly as planned so they end up taking two women as hostages. They escape by forcing an Uber driver to get them out of there, so now he’s another one of their hostages.
I’m sure we’re supposed to root for the hostages, but I found the bank robbers much more intriguing. Especially Madison McKinley who is decidedly un-charming as Jewel.
She looks like a drug addict and acts like she could not care less about anyone else. This is perfect for her character. Forget about vanity, she’s giving a deliciously nuanced performance while having fun as the villain. Madison McKinley is doing pretty well playing these off-center characters. You may also have seen her in Orange Is the New Black or Molly’s Game.
The other bank robber is Bobby who’s portrayed almost as interestingly by Ryan Kelley. You’ll know him from Teen Wolf if you ever watched that. Also, he was brilliant as the son of Sigourney “Ripley” Weaver in Prayers for Bobby (2009).
Nothing new really
While I wanted to like Realms, I just couldn’t really get into it. I was too irritated with the characters we’re supposed to root for. I can’t say exactly what it was, but it just felt too forced.
The protagonists are portrayed by Praya Lundberg (Winny) and Golf Pichaya Nitipaisankul (Chaow). While Winny was one of the hostages from the bank, Chaow is the Uber driver caught up in the escape.
I’m not familiar with either of these actors and, unfortunately, I don’t care if I see them in anything again. Maybe I just had my hopes up too high for this movie. We’ve been blessed with some brilliant supernatural horror movies from Asian countries for many years.
If you’re curious about the style of Asian horror, I would recommend the brilliant Satan’s Slaves from Indonesia. And if you have HBO, then do check out the Asian folklore horror anthology Folklore.
Recommended reading: Check out our Season 1 review of the HBO Asia series Folklore 1 here >
You can watch Realms now
The script for Realms was written by Kevin Summerfield. Based on his IMDb profile, I think this movie is very much along the lines of this previous work. It’s just a bit too simple and easy while offering nothing new or innovative.
The director of Realms is Daric Gates. He’s an American director who has already done both short films and feature films. Darci Gates has another movie due out later this year called American Slasher. It’s listed as a “Thriller” on IMDb, but the title sounds very much like a horror movie.
As someone so experienced, I would have expected more in terms of better pacing. Then again, I did like the ending of Realms which is always a huge positive.
I can’t really recommend watching Realms since I didn’t enjoy it very much. But I do think other people would probably get more out of this story, so check it out if you like the sound of the plot.
Realms is out On Demand in the US now on all major platforms such as Prime Video and iTunes.
Director: Daric Gates
Writer: Kevin Summerfield
Stars: Ryan Kelley, Madison McKinley, Praya Lundberg, Golf Pichaya Nitipaisankul, Air Phantila
On the run from a brutal bank robbery gone awry, two thieves and an outcast find themselves under surreal circumstances within an isolated mansion in the forest. As the night unfolds, tension quickly increases and they all begin to believe the mansion holds many secretes within its mysterious chambers.