Tuesday, October 29, 2013

23:59 - Singapore

          Director:  Gilbert Chan
          Year:  2011
          Plot:  "When an army recruit is found dead, his fellow soilders are forced to confront a terrifying secret that's haunting their jungle island training camp."

          Looks like it is another Asian horror movie that I found myself watching despite telling myself I need to watch a different genre for my other blog Asian Movies.  Still, I am glad that I decided to watch this one, especially considering Halloween is nearing.  I mean I really didn't have any expectations for it, but Netflix said I would probably like it, so I thought why not.  I was pleasantly surprised by this movie.
          While I still didn't find it scary, it was definitely a eerie movie.  That is about as much as I can ask of a horror movie knowing my tendency to not be affected.  Still, the movie wasn't perfect, as there seems to be two (maybe even 3) different ghost stories going on here.  There is the woman and child, as well as a soldier who are show early on but don't necessarily connect to the story that unfolds at the end of the movie.  It's not really a bad thing, but it just didn't connect well with the outcome, so I saw them more as fillers.  They do add to the eerie feeling of the movie though, just story-wise, they aren't necessary.
          I have always found it interesting to see the beliefs of other cultures and seeing this take on ghost and even possession was interesting.  They are similar in many ways, but the slightest differences interest me.  I especially found it interesting that the Sargent notes that they don't march on Thursdays.  While it is not explained in the movie why exactly they don't (because intended audience would likely know), I did look it up and it has to do with ghosts being more active on Thursdays.  I am curious to know why that is, but it definitely makes the Sargent's comments logical.  If you are going to let superstition effect military stuff, why not listen to the Sargent when he says it isn't a good day to do the march.

          It's quite late, so I will finish this off.  I would definitely suggest watching this one.  The ending is a bit sad compared to a typical horror movie ending, but not at all too different from some of the Asian horror I have seen.  Still, the movie has an eerie feeling about it that won't easily disappoint someone looking for a good horror movie.  I wouldn't expect it to cause veteran horror watcher to sleep with the lights on, but it should be enjoyable.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Black Night - China, Japan and Thailand

          Director: Takahiko Akiyama,Tanit Jitnukul, and Patrick Leung
          Year: 2006
          Plot: "This horror trilogy [anthology] follows the stories of a man who's having an affair, a woman plagued by nightmares and a mother who fears she's being stalked."

          We'll review each section separate as they are different and I would have a hard time reviewing them as one.

          Next Door:  I did enjoy that you can piece together parts of what happened before it is completely revealed, when Joe and Jane are talking when she arrives, and a comment Joe makes to a coworker.  It was overall, pretty good (much better than most US anthologies I have watched).  I did have a problem with the back and forth “It's my fault”, but the actual ending was good.   The promise that was made was kept which was a nice touch to me, though I guess there is some questions about the end now that I have read another's review.
          ------*Spoiler Start*------  Someone said that it was Hosie possessing Jane at the end living out her own dreams, but I am not so sure.   The issue in this belief for me is that when asked her name, she told the other to wait so she could read the passport (or whatever).  Hosie would have known her own name, so I am led to believe that maybe Jane wants to live out Hosie's life for her.  Otherwise apparently Hosie doesn't know her own name and has a weird idea of making sure Jane lives.  Not really living if a ghost is simply walking around in your body living the life she would have.  ------*Spoiler End*------
          Dark Hole:  I wasn't sure what to think of this section at first, but once Hyu was discussed, it got interesting.  This is mainly because until the end, I wasn't sure what to believe.  The question was, is it real, or imagination?   I like stuff that plays with that questions, especially if it plays out well and even leaves me doubting if I am right.  They arguments against the fantasy were really convincing, but the fantasy was also believable in my mind.
          I liked that while childhood memories were missing to the main character, she seemed to still have a connection to them subconsciously.  There is a major connection to water from her childhood.  The thing that I loved is that she works at the information counter at and aquarium.  Even if she couldn't remember, she still found herself connected to water in some way.  I don't know little things like that really make me believe that some real though went into the character, which I love in general.
          The Lost Memory: Maybe I am out of sorts when it comes to Asian horror movies, but I enjoyed this part too as I did not see the ending coming, either one.  I just liked how this unfolded and couldn't help but notice the role of water again.  I think they should have called the anthology Black Water (Dark Water is taken).

          Anyway, the overall story of this section was rather sad.  I mean the woman lost her memory and is struggling to get it back, but of course not all memories are good ones.  In reality, it might be important to get the memories back, but the character lives in a horror movie.  In that sense memories are often better left forgotten.

          As an anthology, I would suggest this one.  I didn't find it scary, but then again most horror movies are like that for me.  You may not enjoy it for various reasons (some acting in the first section wasn't very good), but I did like the stories for each sections and I found it to be better than some US anthologies (haven't found a good one yet).  If nothing else, it will be a use of time, whether good or bad.  I am having trouble finding a trailer, so a picture will have to suffice.

The Road - Philippines

          Director:  Yam Laranas
          Year:  2011
          Plot:  "When three teenagers disappear after a joyride, detective Luis Medina connects the events to a 12-year-old cold case with eerie similarities."

          Wow, a year since I posted...  Sorry...  Anyway, this wasn't my first choice of movie, but as the one I wanted to watch only had sound coming out of one side in my headphones (headphones work fine), I decided on this one.   I had it on my list of movies to watch, but hadn't really gotten the urge to watch it.  Maybe that is because the plot description, while interesting, doesn't particularly grab me.  In any case, the movie did pique my interest as I began watching it.
          I was a bit apprehensive about the movie in the first 10 minutes as it seemed kind off stupid, particularly the girl's scream as she turned only to fall off her bike.  When the red car showed up though and one character makes a rather strange claim, I found myself interested.  I definitely think the acting, as far as the scared teenagers (I have seen worse though, sadly) go, could have been better, but the storyline had my interest enough that acting wasn't that big of a deal overall.
          I did have an issue though with the story.  I know, I said it had my interest, but the problem was the movie never really worked itself out well enough.   The twist of who the killer is, or was, wasn't too bad and I was able to accept that well enough despite some issues with reality.   The thing I really had an issue with is the fact of how the teenagers got stuck on “The Road”.   I mean with the reveal of who/what is behind the disappearances, Part I really makes no sense.  And for the first time, I find myself needing to post some spoilers just to get this out as I have found no one bringing up this little plot-hole (from where I stand).
------------------*Spoiler Start*------------------
          Okay, so at the beginning of the movie, the teenagers go for a joyride and end up on a road that was blocked off by a wood gate.  No real problems there. Then as they go on, the road just seems to continue and a red car passes them.   A bit later the same car passes by again one of the girls verifies that there isn't anyone driving which she thought the first time.   As things progress, they realize the road just keeps repeating and the car continues to pass them until they see a bloody person in the back.   This point is where my plot-hole came up.
          By the end of the movie, it is revealed that the killer is the cop Luis and the ghosts were previous victims.   Normally I would say they were just trying to warn the teenagers away, but then how come they basically went in circles and had no way off the road?  I mean the ghosts wouldn't have kept them there and obviously the human killer couldn't be responsible.  The only possible explanation is that it was Luis' mother, but the movie gives no reasons to support this.   She only seen through her son's eyes and wasn't responsible for the predicament of the sisters, so logically, she wouldn't be responsible for the teenagers either.
------------------*Spoiler End*------------------

          Despite the rating, which it got for the storyline issue, and for being at times a bit slow, I might still suggest watching this to some.  It isn't the best movie, but the first part was quite good.  If this was a short (just Part 1) and not a full length movie, it would have gotten at least a 4 star rating, but the other parts really brought this movie down for me (particularly Part 3).  If you do decide to give it a shot, don't expect Part 1 to tie in perfectly with the rest there are points that tie in nicely, but one major one that doesn't.  (Oh decided to use trailers instead of pictures for the end of posts.  n.n)

          (Not greatest quality but other version showed way too much of Part 1.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hansel & Gretel - Korea

          Director:  Pil-Sung Yim
          Year:  2007
          Plot:  "On the way to visit his ill mother, Eun-soo gets into a car accident.  Disoriented, he wanders in the forest until he meets a young girl.  She leads him to her home deep in the forest, but the fairy tale like house encompasses a secret."

          I have been meaning to watch this movie for some time now, but never really got around to it.  My current knitting project (a rainbow tank top) calls for a lot of time, so I figured I would try to catch up on some movies.  It turns out that I had been missing out on a wonderful movie by putting this one off.  I am not sure what it was that made me put this one a list and forget about it, but I am glad I finally got around to watching this.
          It only took a short time, about 10 minutes, before I was hooked.  Now I usually don't talk about sets and lighting or anything because I don't have a clue what I am talking about, but even I know this had some great sets.  The house had a nice creepy feeling too it even with the fairy tale quality.  To me, the sets and all really added to the feel of the movie.  When everything seems normal and you might question the genre, the set just doesn't feel right and causes you to start questioning what you are seeing.
          Of course, the set can't carry the movie on its own.  A good movie need the actors to sell what the set is showing you.  This movie did well in that manner as well.  I thought the acting was great, especially from the kids.  The children in this movie really had some depth to them.  One minute you can be against them and their slightly skewed idea of how things should be, and the next, you are worried about them.  This really was the point of the movie that I loved.  It is the fact that the bad, isn't always bad.  It is something I was taught as a writer, a character cannot be all good or all bad and be believable.   There has to be a some good and some bad in all.

          This is definitely a movie I suggest.  It wasn't a 'scary' movie, but it definitely had a creepy feel to it, especially at the beginning.  This movie might not be a good one for a night when you want to be forced to hide under the covers, but it is one that should be watched.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Re-cycle - China

          Director:  Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang
          Year:  2006
          Plot:  "After writing three best-sellers about love story based on her own experiences, the successful writer Tsui Ting-Yin is without inspiration and having difficulties to write her new novel in the horror genre entitled "Re-cycle".  While drafting the text, spooky events happen at her apartment and her former boy-friend of eight years ago visits her, after his divorce.  When Tsui sees a supernatural long-haired character of her book, she is trapped in his world of terror."

          I found this movie to be quite great.  The beginning of it starts off as a pretty typical horror movie with strange things happening in her house.  The things is that the 'scary' stuff rather drops off after she enters the other world.  There is scares still placed in this world, but it didn't even really seem eerie to me.  I guess I was more intrigued by this other world than anything else.
          I loved the idea about the forgotten, or abandoned.  It was all really very interesting and really rather cool.  This idea has been done in another way (can't remember where I seen it before), but I have rather liked the ideas.
          The idea of the aborted babies is a little bit off for me.  I understand it, but it just leads to a lot of arguments.  It makes people argue about whether it is for or against abortion.  I would have rather not opened up a forum post about this movie and seen nothing but 'abortion is bad' or 'I'm pro-choice'.  It is just rather irritating when I am trying to find out more about the movie.  That is pretty much the only issue I had, and it wasn't even really about the movie.  I didn't see this movie as being 'Pro-Life'.  I just seen it as someone going through a rather real situation and feelings.
          I absolutely loved the ending to this.  I know it was a bit confusing for some, but for me, it wasn't that hard to figure out.  I loved that it really tied into the rest of the movie.  It is one that if you really paid attention you will be able to understand the ending, even if you need a little help.  I would be happy to help with that if anyone needs it.

          I highly suggest this movie, though it wasn't scary.  It is an entertaining movie with a really well done plot and idea.  So if you want a straight horror movie, this one probably won't do.  This movie will though be entertaining despite this so definitely watch it sometime.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who are You? - Thailand

          Director:  Pakphum Wonjinda
          Year:  2010
          Plot:  "Nida is a single mother who takes care of her anti-social son who has locked himself in his room for five years.  The only way to communicate with her son is to write on a piece of paper and slip it under the door.  But, when outsiders start to get curious about what is going on behind the door of her son’s room, a series of terrible events starts to happen."

          I am really not sure what to say about this movie.  I didn't really completely enjoy this movie, but it wasn't the worst I have seen.  I think I might have turned this movie off, if it wasn't for curiosity.  I really did want to know what was going on with Ton and why he never came out of his room.  From the beginning, I had a feeling that something was going on.  Which of course I was quite right about.  I just hadn't figured out that sort of ending.  I guess I kind of seen that ending coming, but not the extent that it was.  I mean did we really need Gollum from Lord of the Rings thrown in there.  Okay, I want say anymore about that.
          If I am right about what happened with the girl's story, I feel kind of sorry for her.  For starters, having allergies like she did had to be quite hard.  Especially when her mother had her so secluded she wasn't even supposed to stand by the window.  I understand it could be dangerous for her, but what kind of life could she have like that.
          I was kind of interested in the whole idea of the power of the mind.  It is rather interesting to think about how much our minds can really do.  I have always been interested in psychology and all.  It just fascinates me the things that our mind can actually cause us to really believe.  By this I mean such delusions or even dreams that seem so real, it is hard to believe that they're not.

          I wouldn't really suggest this movie, but I do think that it isn't a complete waste of time.  This movie is just one for the curious, and like I have said before, for those with nothing else to do.  If you have the opportunity, I would suggest many other movies before this one.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Alone - Thailand

          Director:  Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom
          Year:  2007
          Plot:  "Pim moved from Thailand to Korea to escape the guilt of being the surviving half of a conjoined twin.  After she returns to visit her dying mother, the spirit of her dead sister angrily thrusts herself into Pim's life."

          So I first have to say that this movie got me.  It isn't too often that a horror movie startles me to the point that I end up closing my eyes.  This one happened to do that though.  I even went back to the scene and it got me again.  I am not sure why.  I didn't even go through the build up the second time, and I was still startled by the scene.  The only thing is, that was the only thing that startled me.  The other 'scares' didn't get me, but for some reason the scene with Pim and the flashlight did.
          I had the ending a bit spoiled for me.   Yes, I knew the outcome before it happened thanks to some unnamed people.  The thing is though, this never really bothers me.  I end up just looking for the clues that hint to the end.  This fact sometimes makes a movie rather bad.  That is if they fail to show me subtle clues.  I have to say that this one did a rather good job.  There were many little hints, and if you paid attention, you might have been able to pick up on it yourself.
          This movie isn't as high up on other sites as I feel it should be.  I feel that this kind of came from being done by the same people who did Shutter.  It seems that many felt that this didn't live up to Shutter.  I don't feel that is a fair way to judge a movie.  A movie should not have to live up to the creators other works.  It should simply have to be a good movie in itself.  On this term is how I judge this movie and ended up finding it to be quite good, but of course it wasn't perfect.

          I do suggest this movie.  The story is well done and has many little hints throughout it.  It is definitely one that will let you think before they just spell everything out for you.  I can't see disliking a movie where they try to let you discover the fact for yourself before the reveal where they tell you if you are right or wrong.