PERNICIOUS (2014) Reviews and overview



Evil never dies, it waits’

Pernicious is a 2014 American-Thai supernatural horror feature film directed by James Cullen Bressack (To Jennifer13/13/13Blood Lake; et al) from a screenplay co-written with Taryn Hillin. The movie stars Ciara Hanna, Emily O’Brien and Jackie Moore.


Three young, attractive women arrive in Thailand to teach English for the summer, some with noble intentions and some just want an adventure, but none were prepared for the horror that awaited them.

The nightmare begins when their new friends go missing, vivid bloody dreams haunt their sleep and a stolen statue leads them down a dark path into Thai folklore and magic that has been long forgotten. Their situation continues to become worse once they realise it’s not what that is haunting them but who: an eight-year girl, sacrificed by her family decades ago…


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Pernicious is a carnival for the eyes; with the aforementioned beautiful women, insane special effects, and haunting Thai setting, you’ll find yourself swept away in the story and in love with your favorite female lead. Sure, there are a few warts, but what it all boils down to is: How much were you entertained? Pernicious is very entertaining.” Dread Central

“We get some real brutal deaths and some great practical effects. Overall, Pernicious is a film for the real horror fans. If you are looking for a movie theater and popcorn flick then you are in the wrong place. However, if you want something sexy, bloody, and heinous then check this one out!” Horror Society

… it manages to pull off a slasher feel as well, kind of along the lines of Hostel or Turistas, but the pretty girls in this movie, the ones in their underwear and covered in blood, play the opposite roles than you might be used to (somewhat, at least). Combining those two subgenres is no easy task, but the scares are here in full force…” HNN

“Beyond the external beauty of the leads and the Thai backdrop, the film fails when you discover the lackluster character development, inconsistent pacing and derivative story elements. See it out of curiosity, but don’t be surprised if the film quickly bores you with things you’ve seen before, and done much better.” Bloody Disgusting

“With Pernicious, you have to look past the silliness. Would we be watching the film if the three girls were boring and run of the mill? Of course not. The film plays off the way that it does because we need it to and it does not disappoint.” Wicked Channel

“The Thailand locations add greatly to the ominous atmosphere, and the scares — while often of the standard variety (a bathroom mirror suddenly revealing a horrific presence…really?) — are delivered with admirable proficiency … But despite some cleverly nasty narrative twists, the film fails to make much of an impression… ” The Hollywood Reporter


Choice dialogue:

“Remind me, never drink again from an Englishman’s flask. Ever again.”

Main cast:

  • Ciara Hanna – The Devil Came Near; 210 Halloween Spook Stories; Sum 41: Blood in My Eyes
  • Emily O’Brien – Restoration; Project BigfootSéance
  • Jackie Moore – Army of the Damned; 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck
  • Russell Geoffrey BanksFrenzy; Who’s Watching OliverGhost House
  • Byron Gibson
  • Jack Prinya – Croc
  • Sohanne Bengan
  • Jared Cohn – Little Dead Rotting Hood; Feed the Devil; 13/13/13
  • Sara Malakul Lane
  • Wallop Terathong