Sophon Sakdaphisit (The Promise, Laddaland), known for delivering spine-chilling Thai horror, returns with another blood-curdling film, Home for Rent. The film revolves around Ning and her family and their sudden encounter with a cult. Ning was helpless when she found out that her previous tenants had left her condo in shambles. Renting out the condo was her steady source of income, but now she needed money to fix the place. The realtor suggested she put her house up for rent and fix the condo with the money. He had the perfect tenants for the house, and they were willing to pay a good amount of money to shift there. Ning was a little hesitant since her husband, Kwin, was completely against renting out their house. But she decided to somehow convince Kwin to consider the idea, given how it could help them financially. The family of doctors arrived at the house, and even though Kwin had shown disinterest that morning, he immediately agreed to rent out the house after meeting them. The mother-daughter duo had some effect on Kwin, but what was it? We had yet to find out.
What Is The Film About?
Ning, Kwin, and their daughter, Ing, shifted to the condo. Ning started to notice a shift in her husband’s behavior. He was a little too attached to a red book that he carried along with him wherever he went. When Ning asked him about it, he stated that it was the factory manual. He had also recently had a symbol tattooed on his chest; he blamed it on a game of dare that he indulged in with his colleagues. Ning very well knew that Kwing was lying, but she couldn’t understand the reason behind it. When she went back to the house to collect some items, she was a little surprised by Dr. Nuch’s behavior. Dr. Nuch was clearly annoyed by Ning’s sudden visit and wanted her to leave the house immediately.
Ning was not invited into the house, and she could sense someone watching her from behind the curtains. What struck Ning as odd was the similarity between Nuch’s nape tattoo and the symbol she had seen on her husband’s chest. She received a text from her neighbor, Aunt Phorn, asking her to meet her before leaving. Aunt Phorn had been keeping a close watch on her new neighbors, and the first thing she noticed was a bunch of crow features hanging outside the door. She also heard chanting from Ing’s old bedroom, and one night she noticed a bunch of crows flying all over the house. The next day, she found her dog lying dead outside her house. She believed that Nuch and her mother, Ratree, had a role to play in the brutal killing of her pet dog. After returning home and searching the internet, Ning found out that Ratree Khemarak was not a registered doctor. She called her former partner, Nut, and asked him to gather information on her tenants. Kwin was strangely defensive about Ratree and Nuch, and Ning gradually started to lose trust in Kwin.
That night, when Ning woke up, she found Ing seated in an upright position. She believed someone had entered the room since the door was left ajar. Ning got up to close the door and noticed crows flying around. She was reminded of what Aunt Phorn had discussed that morning. She was all the more surprised to find Kwin returning to the condo with the red book in his hand. Where had Kwin been? And what was Kwin doing? Ning had no answers. Ning received another message from Aunt Phorn that night. It was a video of some ritual that Ratree was performing. Soon the message was deleted, and she stopped hearing from Aunt Phorn all together. Later, Nuch informed her that Aunt Phorn had gone to her country house. Ning did not believe a word Nuch said.
Ning was petrified of the Guri doll Kwin had recently gifted their daughter. She tried to throw away the doll when she found it lying next to her. Soon she encounters an evil spirit attacking Ing in her sleep. The spirit was gone when she turned on the light, and the next morning, she noticed the same triangular symbol drawn on Ing’s chest that she had seen on Nuch and Kwin. She was certain that her husband was a part of the cult, and she decided to get to the bottom of it. She followed Kwin to the terrace the next night and watched him chant with the red book in hand. There were crows all around, and Ning noticed the spirit of a little girl, and she was attacked by a bunch of crows. She left the terrace in haste and pretended to fall asleep. Kwin followed her but left the room as soon as he received a text.
Why Did Kwin Join The Cult?
To understand why Kwin joined the cult, we were told about an incident that changed his life completely eleven years ago. Kwin lived with his daughter, Jaa, and they were quite satisfied with their lives. Kwin’s partner left soon after giving birth, and from then on, he was Jaa’s sole guardian. He had no complaints; he enjoyed living with his daughter and tried to provide her with the best life possible. He gifted Jaa a Guri doll, something she had been asking for. This was the same Guri doll that, eleven years later, Kwin gifted his second daughter, Ing. Life was going perfectly well for Kwin and Jaa until an accident occurred. Jaa was electrocuted while taking a shower. Kwin had recently fixed the geyser, but it needed more work. Days passed, but Kwin could not get over Jaa’s death. He treated the Guri doll as his daughter and replayed the audio that Jaa had recorded over and over again.
One morning, Ning mistakenly rang his doorbell. She used to sell insurance, and he needed company. They eventually got married and had Ing. While he had healed from the pain, Jaa was always on his mind. He was taken aback one morning when he saw Ing talking to Jaa’s spirit while she danced in front of the mirror. She never admitted to knowing Jaa, but Kwin realized that Jaa’s spirit continued to linger in the house. He noticed how Ing said and did things that Jaa used to do, clearly suggesting that she was close to the spirit of his elder daughter. Kwin’s questions were answered when he met Ratree and Nuch. He was spellbound when he realized that Ratree could see the spirit of his daughter as well. Kwin desperately wanted to see Jaa’s spirit, and he agreed to perform the ritual in the hopes of meeting his daughter. Ratree advised Kwin to allow the spirit of his daughter to depart since that was what the mighty power wanted. He was desperate to bring Jaa back, and he begged Ratree to help him.
Jaa’s spirit needed a vessel to return to, and she believed Ing was the perfect fit since she was about the same age and could communicate with spirits. Ratree stated that she would conduct a ritual after which both Jaa and Ing’s spirits would live together in Ing’s body. She promised that the ritual was safe and would not affect Ing in any way. Kwin discussed with Ing the entire truth. She readily agreed to perform the ritual, knowing how important it was to her father, and she also could not imagine her life without Jaa. While Kwin and Ratree were preparing for the ritual, Ning decided to leave the condo and check into a hotel with Ing. When Ning stepped out of the room, Ing called her father and asked him to take her home. Kwin took her to the house where Ratree had been preparing for the ritual.
What Was The Cult’s Original Plan?
Kwin was driven by his emotions, and he had avoided a few red flags along the way. He genuinely assumed that Ratree and Nuch wanted to help him without questioning the sudden disappearance of Aunt Phorn. On the day of the ritual, after he had drawn his blood to invoke the spirit of Jaa, he came face-to-face with Aunt Phorn, but she was not the old neighbor he knew. She was possessed, and she immediately stabbed Kwin multiple times with a dagger. Kwin collapsed on the floor before he could even react. Ing ran to her father, but she was held back by Nuch. Kwin realized that the people he had been blindly following had taken advantage of his vulnerability. Ratree had targeted Ing long before Kwin met her. She was searching for a body for her daughter’s spirit to reside in, and Ing was the perfect choice. Her daughter, Prae, drowned when she was 7, and since Ing was of the same age, Ratree decided that she was the right vessel.
All these years, Ratree had preserved her daughter’s spirit in a wooden doll, waiting for the right body to transfer her spirit onto. Tom, the realtor, was also a member of the cult, and he was the one who informed Ratree about Ing. They vandalized Ning’s condo to convince her to rent out her house, and they were successful. Ratree fooled Kwin into believing that she was helping him, whereas in reality, she was using him to prepare Ing for the final ritual. Kwin realized that the spirit of the child he met on the terrace was not Jaa but Prae. Ratree met Jaa’s spirit soon after entering the house, and she captured the spirit onto the Guri doll. She trapped Jaa, knowing that she could become a menace if left free. Every night, the cult performed a ritual to bring the dormant spirit (Prae) back to life.
It was revealed that Ratree was a descendant of the founder of the cult that was started in the Himalayas. It was important to save the family line of the descendant of the father of His Mightiness, and that is why, when Ratree’s mortal body died, the cult members performed a ritual and transferred the spirit to the body of another individual (Napaporn Pongthewa). The catch was that the person they chose to transfer her spirit to had to be murdered for the ritual to be a success. They had fooled Kwin and Ing into believing that two souls could live within one body, whereas in reality, a soul had to be sacrificed. It was time for the ritual, and even though Ing protested with all her life, she had no way out.
Ning, who was knocked out by Tom, managed to kill the realtor with a pair of garden scissors and drove to her house. Upon entering the house, she created a small explosion that caught Nuch’s attention. While Nuch was busy putting the fire out, she entered the ritual room and attempted to hammer Ratree, but the spirits of the cult members stopped her from doing so. She tried to wake Ing up, but she was unsuccessful. She went ahead and hammered down the wooden doll, and an evil spirit creeped out of it. Within seconds, the spirit was gone, and Ing woke up. While Ning carried Ing out of the room, Ratree told her that Ing was no longer alive. It was Prae who now lived in Ing’s body.
‘Home For Rent’ Ending Explained: Did Ing Survive?
All of a sudden, the roof collapsed, and everyone was stuck underneath the debris. Ing (or the body of Ing) opened her eyes and grabbed hold of a sharp object. She walked up to Nuch and jabbed it into her skull. She moved ahead and repeatedly speared Ratree. So, why was Prae murdering her own family? Well, as it turned out, the spirit living in Ing’s body was not that of Prae but Jaa. But how did the transfer of spirit occur? Thanks to Kwin, who brought the Guri doll along with him to the house. At the end of Home for Rent, when things started to go down, Kwin used his blood to draw the symbol on the doll’s forehead. He could hear Jaa whimper, and he realized that his daughter was trapped in the doll. After Kwin had drawn the blood symbol on her forehead, her spirit was free and ready to be transferred to a body. While Ning was taking care of Prae’s spirit, Jaa gradually entered Ing’s body. We can assume that it was not something that Jaa willingly did; the chants and the symbols led to the occurrence. Therefore, when she woke up, all she cared for was revenge.
It is possible that Prae’s spirit was destroyed because the wooden doll was shattered, and she had no other vessel to reside in. Ing’s spirit was sacrificed in the process, and all that remained was her body. That night, Kwin bled to death. At the hospital, Jaa confided the truth to Ning. Ning was devastated, but at the same time, she was accepting of Jaa.
During Home for Rent‘s ending, Ning treated Jaa just like her own daughter; after all, the body was that of Ing. It must have been traumatizing for her to lose her daughter, but she never blamed Jaa for it. Jaa perhaps knew that Kwin would have never been able to move on if she ever appeared to him (also, Kwin did not possess the power to communicate with the supernatural). By the time she could physically hold her father again, he was already gone. Even though both Ning and Jaa had suffered immensely, at the end of the film, they became each other’s support system. Ning felt closer to Ing when she was with Jaa, while Jaa cherished having a caring maternal figure in her life.
What truly works for Home for Rent is the story. Apart from the horror element, it is the emotion that drives Sophon Sakdaphisit’s film. For Ning, protecting her family was her only priority, and she could go to any lengths to do so, whereas Kwin was thinking with his heart and not his mind. Every decision Kwin made was out of love and not for any other sinister purpose. Kwin was also surprisingly respectful of Ing’s opinion and asked for her consent before performing the ritual. The ending was about two broken people coming together and forming a family. To think of it, the title has a dual meaning. Of course, the house that the cult chose to rent is suggested in the title, but at the same time, it also indicates the body chosen as the vessel or home of a spirit to spend the rest of their lives in. The spirits were essentially staying on rent at the house (bodies) of another individual.