Episode 2 of School Tales the Series opens with a sinister tale. “They say a senior once put the curse of death on all her classmates before killing herself. That senior was hiding a secret in a box of curses. And it’s hidden somewhere in this school.”
“Vengeful Spell” begins with a girl named Mint livestreaming on Facebook. She’s at school, insisting someone is following her. But no one comes to her aid. The next day, she’s found at school, dead.
Someone, her face unseen, scrolls through Mint’s social media profile, which shows several pictures of herself and her boyfriend, Sun. “Sun’s ex won’t leave him alone,” the first post says.
Putting her phone down, the mysterious person takes off her sock to reveal Mint’s name written on the bottom of her foot. She wipes off the writing.
The next day at school, a girl named Pleng meets with another student named Boy. She’s writing the script for a horror movie he’s directing. She also has a crush on him–but a girl named Jinnie decides to get in her way.
Jinnie tells Pleng that she and Boy have been dating secretly for a long time. After how long Boy has flirted with her, Pleng feels betrayed.
A flashback then shows us Pleng skipping class and hiding in an abandoned classroom. She’s scrolling through Mint’s social media page when she hears her voice being whispered to her. Looking up, she finds a crack in the ceiling. Pulling a panel aside, she discovers a box–the box of curses.
Inside are instructions on how to curse someone: write their name on your foot and chant a particular spell.
It was Pleng in the earlier scene who wiped Mint’s name off her foot and caused the girl to die. Back in the present timeline, Pleng goes home, muttering how Jinnie should go to be with Mint. She writes the girl’s name on her foot and begins the chant.
While Pleng chants, Jinnie suddenly experiences an intense pain and ringing in her ears. Everything becomes so loud to her that she collapses, ears bleeding.
Later, Boy finds Pleng in the old classroom. She accuses him of lying to her when, in reality, he has a girlfriend. He denies it, however. Jinnie is his little sister and just likes stirring up trouble with his friends.
While they crouch together in the old classroom, Pleng tells him the story of this place: that the students in this class all died because of a classmates’ curse. And how that person killed herself afterward.
All things forgiven, Pleng takes Boy back to her place and comforts him about his sister having fallen sick. They kiss, and he takes her clothes off, starting with her socks. When he sees Jinnie’s name on Pleng’s foot, he storms out.
Pleng picks up her phone to find that Jinnie is doing a livestream at school. She’s surrounded by eerie whispers and asks if her viewers can hear it. Pleng, meanwhile, tries to wipe her name off her foot. Unable to take the whispers any longer, Jinnie rips her own ears off before losing connection. She hangs herself and is later discovered by Boy.
Pleng cries when she sees that Jinnie has passed away. She wipes off the remaining marks on her foot. But the name reappears while she sleeps. A force pulls her out of bed and wakes her up for her to discover her dog is dead and her foot is starting to get sores.
The note she initially read from the curse box also states that the curse can’t be stopped until the cursed person dies. But if the curse reflects back onto the caster, it can be stopped by burning the box and everything in it.
So Pleng goes back to school, but her feet get worse, sprouting gruesome boils. She has to cut one completely off with a box cutter knife so she can crawl upstairs to the old classroom. But when she goes for the box, it is no longer there.
A hand suddenly grabs for her leg. It’s Jinnie–at least, a zombie version of her. Pleng desperately apologizes to her, saying how she didn’t mean to hurt her or Mint.
She then realizes there’s a phone on the ground that’s been livestreaming for the last minute. The comments say that Pleng is terrible, that her condolence posts to Mint and Jinnie were lies.
Jinnie then sticks her hand through the bottom of Pleng’s foot and into her leg. Screaming maniacally, Pleng grabs a saw to cut off her own foot.
The next morning, a teacher discovers Pleng’s dead body, the leg detached.
The news of Pleng’s death spreads around the school. Boy writes a condolence post on her social media page, thanking her for being part of his life. He then wipes Pleng’s name off his foot.
When he and Pleng were in the old classroom together, before Jinnie’s death, Boy briefly stayed behind. Hearing whispers, he discovered the box of curses and read the note inside.
This means that he knew exactly what it meant for Pleng to have Jinnie’s name on her foot.
Now, Boy wipes Pleng’s name off his own foot. After her death, he puts the box back where it belongs.
The Episode Review
School Tales drives up the drama and gore with this second episode in the Thai horror anthology, directed by Putipong Saisikaew.
The premise of “Vengeful Spell” is hard to stomach–and I don’t just mean the gruesome deaths. The truth is that having young women cattily betray each other as the foundation to any story is a more than tired trope, especially when you punish them explicitly for being teenage girls on top of that.
In this case, at least, the trite drama serves as a catalyst for a storyline much more sinister and engaging. There’s also something to be said for how social media is framed as the culprit in pitting these young women against each other–although the ways writers try to tie in themes of social media and low self-esteem are somewhat sloppy.
All in all, Pleng’s story delivers a real sense of dread, a tight narrative, and an interesting twist that makes sense within the greater plot. If you like body horror, you probably don’t want to miss it.