The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum has for years been plagued by rumors that it is haunted, but workers there were split Wednesday on whether a Thai horror movie set in a fictionalized version of the former prison is appropriate.
“Ghost Game,” which is scheduled to open in Thailand today, is set in a haunted prison turned museum, for which the director reportedly visited Tuol Sleng to conduct research.
Yos Thin, a 50-year-old motorbike taxi driver outside the museum, said he was opposed to the movie.
“The story will make people angry because it’s not true. They just bring disrepute to Tuol Sleng,” he said.
Vorleak Kalyan, who is in charge of the museum’s documents, said the movie was “just a movie.”
“The important thing is that our guides and workers here explain to tourists about it,” she said.
Over the years, workers have reported seeing and hearing spirits of some of the thousands who were tortured at Tuol Sleng crying out for help and fighting in the darkness.
But Tuol Sleng staff member Chey Sophearom dismissed the ghosts rumors and criticized the Thai filmmakers for sensationalizing Cambodia’s tragedy.
“Let tourists come and visit it themselves and they will understand its truth. They should not pay attention to the movie.”
Thai production company Tifa Co ltd did not respond to e-mailed questions on Wednesday.
Richard Lamanna, a 26-year-old US tourist, said he had seen a pre-release showing of “Ghost Game” in Bangkok.
“I was surprised that they didn’t hold back on anything. They went all out,” Lamanna said.
Nuon Sothear, a DVD vendor on Street 63, said that although she thought the idea of the film was disrespectful, bootleg copies would surely hit Cambodia’s market stalls soon.
“I think in a week or 10 days this will be in Cambodia,” she said.