Sophon Sakdaphisit’s Thai horror film ‘Home for Rent’ revolves around Ing, who gets chosen by her father Kwin as the potential “home” of his late first daughter Jaa’s spirit. He seeks the assistance of a cult leader named Ratree for the spirit of Jaa to transfer to Ing’s body from a doll. Ning, Ing’s mother and Kwin’s wife, learns about her husband’s connection with a cult and sets out to save her daughter. Sakdaphisit was inspired by several true stories to create the movie, especially ones concerning tenants committing crimes in their rented houses. However, it doesn’t mean that the Ing, Ning, and Kwin are based on real people!
The Inspiration Behind Ing
Even though Ing is not directly based on a real person, she represents several girls who had been a victim of religious practices and rituals. In Asian countries, young girls or boys are often the victims of human sacrifices or any related ceremonial crimes. One of the prominent examples that happened in the country of Thailand concerns the murder of Prapasorn Jiamcharoen, a twelve-year-old girl who was allegedly killed by her mother Kanchana Jiamcharoen, two aunts named Anong and Charin, and her grandmother Saibua. In the film, Ratree leads the ritual in the name of “His Mightiness.” In reality, Prapasorn was reportedly killed to appease Lord Indra, the king of devas in Hinduism.
The murder was committed in the year of 2004. According to a police sergeant named Niwat Siwantawong, one of the aunts told him that Kanchana, the mother, had supernatural powers and used the assistance of her relatives to kill Prapasorn to summon Indra, hoping that the lord would bless the family’s coconut farm and pomelo orchard. “I entered the house, and I’ll never forget what I saw. Lying there on the marble floor, in a big pool of blood, was a young girl, completely naked, her throat slashed so badly that her head was halfway severed, and it looked like someone had cut her hair off in a hurry,” Niwat told South China Morning Post.
Human sacrifices are still being reported in several Asian countries, including India. In 2023, four individuals were arrested in the country for killing a 9-year-old as part of a ritual while in pursuit of a hidden treasure.
Ning and Kwin Are Fictional Characters
Despite being fictional characters, Ning and Kwin can be paralleled with several real-life people. In the horror thriller, Ning is a mother who is ready to go to any lengths to protect her daughter Ing. Even when she knows that her life is in danger, Ning doesn’t hesitate to rush to her child. She runs to the face of danger to safeguard Ing in any way possible. There are several real-life mothers across the world who would do anything in their capabilities to protect their children. Ning can be seen as an archetypical mother figure whose characteristics and actions are relatable.
As far as Kwin is concerned, he can be seen as a representative of people who blindly trust religious rituals and alleged supernatural powers for their personal gain. In the movie, he leads his daughter Ing in harm’s way to regain his late first child. Similarly, often in cases of human sacrifices, the victims’ relatives kill their loved ones expecting personal gains. In the case of Prapasorn Jiamcharoen, her mother Kanchana allegedly killed her for the prosperity of her family’s assets. There is a 2023 example from India that concerns a 4-year-old, who was allegedly killed by his stepmother and a man described as an occultist for the woman to conceive a child of her own as part of “tantric” rituals.
Through these fictional characters, Sophon Sakdaphisit’s horror film makes the viewers aware of the unignorable reality concerning human sacrifices.