Pernicious (2014) – By Loida D Garcia

“Three young, beautiful girls arrive in Thailand to teach English for the summer, some with noble intentions and some just wanting an adventure, but none were prepared for the massacre that awaited…”

If that doesn’t sound promising I don’t know what does!  Pernicious is one of those films that just gets it right.  It is the perfect blend of suspense, mystery, far off lands, danger, gore, fun, and everything else in between.  

During the first few minutes of Pernicious you get the feeling that you may have seen this film before.  We are introduced to three beautiful young women who are staying in a far off land in a creepy old house.  Of course strange things are going to happen!  What we fail to foresee is HOW everything is going to happen.  This is the main thing that this film got right, it followed the traditional path of horror and ghost stories up to a certain point only, then they just forged their own path into uncharted territory.  And let me say “Thank You” for doing so.

I don’t want to say too much because I want to make sure to not give anything away!  All I can tell you is that if you get the opportunity to watch this film please do so!  It is well worth your time and a great addition to the horror genre.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the writer and director of Pernicious, James Cullen Bressack.  Here’s what James had to say about his film:

What was your inspiration for this film?

I had lots of inspirations on this particular film.  I’m a horror movie fan, obviously, so it was cool to bring a lot of different horror elements into “Pernicious.”  I was inspired by a lot of ghost films, torture films and of course some of the older genre archetypes that find their way into it.  It’s got a wide range of different horror sub genres that made their way into the final cut.  Also, the location itself was inspiring in it’s own way.

What was your favourite part about making this film?

What wasn’t my favorite part about making this film?!  Everything was totally awesome!  It was really incredible to film in Thailand, first of all, but the cast and crew were what really made it awesome.  I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of awesome people, but “Pernicious” was really something else.  Really the best part about it was making memories.  I know that sounds lame, but you spend that much time with people and you start to really gel and become great friends, inside jokes, etc.  Like “numba two” or “same same!”  When I say that to certain cast and crew members now they’ll just crack up instantly!

How long did it take to film it?

We filmed for about three weeks, though our pre-production and post were pretty extensive in their own ways.

How did filming on location help and/or hinder the filming?

Well it definitely adds a lot to the story, that’s for sure.  It was a blessing most of the time, and a curse for others.  For instance, we got flooded out for a couple of days which is interesting to work around.  That and there really aren’t a lot of steadicam operators in Thailand…

What type of cameras were used in the making of this film?


What type of sound equipment was used?

Lavs and a boom

Any fun memories made while filming that will always stay with you?

So many.  I guess I touched on this before, but it was really something else.  Really just being immersed in the culture and the people of Thailand was a one of a kind experience.  The locals were incredibly friendly and accommodating.

Anything you would like to tell us about your film that hasn’t already been said?

It’s completely bad ass.  Definitely my favorite film to date.  Gore, horror, beautiful woman, beautiful setting, great story.  Definitely watch it with the lights off.

My Personal Review:

Rating Scale:  Movie Theatre, Redbox Rental, or Skip It — Movie Theatre

Cheese Factor:  Vegan (no cheese), Taleggio, Limburger, Stinking Bishop — Taleggio