The Medium (Thai: ร่างทรง Rang Song, literally: Mediumship) is a 2021 Thai-South Korean mockumentary supernatural horror film co-written and produced by Na Hong-jin and directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun. It is a co-production of Thailand’s GDH 559 and South Korea’s Showbox. The film was premiered at the 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival on 11 July 2021. It was theatrically released in South Korea on 14 July 2021. It was selected as the Thai entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards but was not nominated.
The film was adjudged as the best feature film at 25th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and was awarded with the Bucheon Choice Award for the best film. On the box office front as per Korean Film Council data, it is ranked 15th among all the films released in the year 2021 in South Korea, with gross of US$7.35 million and 831,126 admissions, as of 26 September 2021. It is the 6th highest-grossing Korean film of 2021.
A Thai documentary team travels to the northeast part of Thailand, Isan to document the daily life of a local medium, Nim, who is possessed by the spirit of Bayan, a local deity whom the villagers worship. Bayan is an ancestral God and has been possessing women in Nim’s family for generations. The latest in the line of succession was Nim’s sister, Noi. However, Noi did not wish to be a medium and turned to Christianity. The spirit of Bayan moved onto Nim and has been with her ever since.
While en route to the funeral of Noi’s husband, Wiroj, Nim reveals misfortune always befall the men in Wiroj’s family; his father’s factory went bankrupt and he committed suicide after he was caught setting fire to the factory for insurance fraud; his son, Mac, died from a motorbike accident. Noi only has one daughter left, Mink, who does not believe in Shamanism and attends Church with her mother.
Mink’s family and friends, as well as the documentary crew, notice Mink displaying strange and aggressive behaviors, along with displaying multiple personalities such as one of an old man, a drunkard, a child, and a prostitute. She starts to have strange dreams, hearing voices in her head, and experiences debilitating abdominal and vaginal pain. She is fired from her job after her boss catches her having sex with multiple men at work. Nim is initially convinced Bayan wishes Mink to succeed Nim, but Noi refuses to let Nim perform an Acceptance Ceremony to move Bayan’s spirit onto her daughter.