Film Review: Leio (2022) by Chalit Kraileadmongkol and Chitpol Ruanggun

More than the previous handful of years, Thail cinema has began to break via the ranks of the international stranglehold on genre output that had previously benefitted Japan, South Korea, and most lately Indonesia as the top rated alternatives in terms of Asian Horror cinema. From the likes of Krasue: Inhuman Kiss, The Medium, and The Maid most prominently demonstrated, the nation is beginning to make a slew of higher-good quality titles to make its case in the planet which have mainly been relegated to localized-favored releases which have just appealed very effectively to international audiences. Now, former VFX artist Chalit Kraileadmongkol turns his hand to directing with his debut work &#8220Leio&#8221 which aims for a far more international tone and flavor.

With his popstar profession going downhill, Kao (Golf Pichaya Nitipaisankul) goes back to his native village exactly where he accepts an offer you to partake in a drilling competitors that could get him a lot of income. Deciding to group up with his companion Jane (Natthacha De souza) and cousin Yo (Supachai Suwannaorn), they head out into the desert beneath the directions of Fon (Dhanatorn Neerasingh) who informs every person of the guidelines of the competitors and sends them off to attempt their most effective in discovering the dried-up water provide. But the underground tunnels hide far more than just water, as what they do not recognize is that a mysterious beast lurks underground.

Commonly, &#8220Leio&#8221 has a lot to like about it. Most of the positives right here stem from the mainstream-friendly script by Charoen Kaithitsuwan that enables for a extremely familiar series of immersion points to create. The entire setup of Kao retiring from his life in the rapid lane to return to his roots and rediscover his childhood buddies performs to begin all the things with a effectively-worn idea. As effectively, that serves to introduce the audience to Kao as a man who&#8217s attempting to do the suitable issue rather than searching for an effortless payout. Searching to use the income as a signifies of assisting him to reconnect with his loved ones legacy with Yo and Jane although reconnecting with Fon who stayed behind in the village, comes off as a prevalent tactic but nevertheless performs effectively right here. The idea of the competitors drilling to uncover the water supply also serves to get folks out of the neighborhood and into the desert exactly where the creature can use many benefits very efficiently. Using the undiscovered nature of its existence to launch many surprise attacks or its enormous tunneling speed to travel speedily undetected, all the things comes off rather nicely.

With that sturdy of a setup, &#8220Leio&#8221 manages very a lot of enjoyable creature attacks. Utilizing the elements of its biology and physical attributes very effectively, the capability to burrow underground at higher speeds and pop out of the ground enables for some strong ambushes in the very first half. Likewise, the gliding capability is place on show in many genuinely impressive attacks exactly where it launches out of the sky to grab unsuspecting victims. The centerpiece sequences right here are far far more impressive, although, letting the creature pull off enormous attacks in broad daylight with several participants attempting to evade it and get away alive. This outcomes in sequences like the initial attack on the drillers in the middle of the desert, the escape try exactly where it crashes the campsite to uncover a spot to nap, and the stellar trap to catch it although a rescue mission is launched to rescue the captured victims. This sequence shows off the creatures’ skills in some rather enjoyable higher-power action scenes that are offered a slick, glossy appeal that gives a lot to like about it.

There are some minor problems in &#8220Leio&#8221 but are fortunately not that detrimental. The major drawback right here is the rather overlong operating time that emerges from possessing a bit as well substantially excess in the very first half. The exploits involving how Kao gets caught and dumped from his profession, forcing the return take a look at are substantially as well extended. That becomes in particular correct when coupled with the flashbacks involving him increasing up collectively that serve a fine point but get incorporated a handful of as well quite a few instances. As effectively, there&#8217s the usual quantity of rather wacky and somewhat confusingly-added comedy present that becomes somewhat of a hindrance. The smarmy driller continuously hitting on Fon comes off as anticipated, but the slapstick antics and mugging that goes on from the workers who are a component of the water-browsing competitors are cringe-worthy. The other challenge with this one particular is the smaller problems that crop up involving the creature, which are very effortless to see. The truth that it&#8217s shown way as well early in the film feels like a error, as the revelation really should&#8217ve been carried out when it attacks the group rather than becoming observed close to the starting. As effectively as the apparent CGI applied in bringing it to screen, these problems stand out and bring it down all round.

Keeping a slew of positives and only a handful of minor drawbacks, “Leio” functions very a lot of likable functions which make the film a lot of enjoyable and an additional in an emerging line of impressive Thailand genre efforts. Fans of higher-good quality monster motion pictures or searching for a similarly-styled genre work will have a lot to like about it.



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