Haunted Thailand: The Village as a Location of Thai Horror

In Thailand, the concept of the village has been used to imagine the Thai nation and perceive Thai identity. The discourse of the village has been romanticised based upon a socio-political impetus. This paper argues that the romanticised village discourse is repressive and reductive, in the sense that it creates expectations that might not fit with social reality; that the imagination of the peaceful village encourages forced homogeneity; and that the imagination of the pure rustic village bars the village from material progress. The paper contends that the discourse of the Thai village creates cultural anxiety that is well reflected in horror films, based on an analysis of Ban phi pob [Village of the phi pob] (Saiyon Srisawat, 1989) and Phi hua khat [Headless Hero] (Khomsan Triphong, 2002) as responses to the two intense movements of the romanticised village discourse.