Monday, December 20, 2010

Uzumaki (Spiral) - Japan

          Director:  Higuchinsky
          Year:  2000
          Plot:  "In a small town in Japan, Kirie comes upon her boyfriend's father silently videotaping a snail. He seems unaware of her presence and she thinks no more of it. Later, the mans obsession with spirals becomes more and more bizarre, ending in his suicide in a washing machine which turn his body into a spiral. Soon other inhabitants become possessed with different forms of spirals, one student seems to be mutating into a snail, an other's hair becomes strangely medusa-like. The entire town becomes possessed."

          I am not sure exactly why I liked this one so much.  This is a live action of a Manga of the same name, though I have never read the manga.  I am thinking that I might just have to after seeing this movie.
          Now this is marked as being horror and comedy, but I guess I missed the comedy parts.  Sure, some of the stuff in the movie was a little ridiculous, but I didn't really see where the comedy came in.  The horror part was rather evident.  Not really in a scary sense, though it did get a jump out of me a few times.
          It was more of the fact that with everything going on, there was little the main characters could do to stop it.  You don't even know for sure if they could have escaped if they had known in time.  Now that isn't a spoiler, because I am not going to tell you who or if any survives.  I just mean that the characters might have been able to escape all they witnessed if they left the town.  They may not have been able to though.
          This movie also had its sweet parts.  I have to say that one of my favorite parts was the scene at Dragonfly Pond.  It is such a sweet scene, but I guess it is more of a bittersweet.  I won't tell why I feel this way, but one of the reasons definitely has to do with all they see.  To have such a sweet scene amongst all the death and craziness, is definitely bittersweet in and of itself.
           I also want to mention that if you pay close attention throughout the movie, you will notice subtle spirals.  These can be seen swirling about the backgrounds of various scenes.  This is one movie that is interesting to pay attention to.

          I suggest watching this movie.  It is definitely an interesting one.  I am not sure how good it is to those that have read the manga, but I do know that it was a good movie to me, having never read the mange.    n.n

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Death Bell - Korea

          Director:  Yoon Hong-Seung
          Year:  2008
          Plot:   "After Kang Yi-na is nearly strangled and another student throttled in the restroom, the classroom TV screen switches to an image of top-ranking student Hye-yeong trapped inside a fish tank that is slowly filling with water. A disembodied voice announces that her life depends on the exam questions he will set for them, and that a student will die for every question the class gets wrong."

          I have to say that I found this movie pretty entertaining.  The storyline is pretty good and kept together well with the death scenes.  I wasn't however scared by a single point in the entire movie.  It just wasn't scary.  I suppose this has to do with the fact that the deaths and such were very impersonal.  I was however very upset when one of the guys died, not going to say who, but I liked him.  Lately it seems my favorite characters are always the ones who get it.
          Oh yeah.  The thing that kept me interested was the questions that tried to point out the truth about a girl's suicide.  You constantly try to figure out what is really going on when watching the movie, but this isn't possible until the end.  I love movies that attempt to challenge you, though this one is not possible for you to solve on your own before the ending.  Despite that it was still very entertaining to watch.
          The only other problem I had with this movie, other than it not being scary, was most of the students.  They got on my nerves a lot, but that is pretty normal for horror movie characters.  It was the main two students who held the stupidity and craziness of the others in some sort of balance.  Without those two, the story wouldn't have held up with the other students involved.

          This movie is one that I do suggest, though not really for those who are looking for any scares.  However, though it may not be scary, the storyline is interesting enough not to waste your time entirely.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ju-Rei - Japan

          Director:  Koji Shiraishi
          Year:  2004
          Plot:  "Japanese school girls die violently after seeing a man wearing a black hood."

          So many said that this movie wasn't all that great, but I decided to watch it anyway.  This movie is the lame version of Ju-on.  It isn't anything special, though it did get two jumps out of me.  It still wasn't scary.  The jumps only came because of things popping out of no where.  The ghosts were rather boring.  They have nothing on Kayako.
          The one thing this movie did have going for it, was the way it was told.  I did enjoy the chapter idea where they went from chapter 10 back to the beginning.  This brought about an interesting aspect to a movie that would have otherwise been a complete and utter waste of time.
          I actually stuck around to the end because I wanted to know how the whole thing started.  The problem was that they don't tell that part very well.  Sure they show you pieces through the news clip and the teachers story, but that's about it.  You never really find out about this black shadowed person, just the fact that its scary and going to kill you if it touches you.
          Not exactly the best plot starting point if you ask me.  I think it may have been better if they elaborated more on the original ghost figure and not focused on the mother and child.  The original ghost started everything, yet as far as I can tell, we never even saw it.

          This is not a movie I would suggest.  Sure it got a few jumps but that wasn't because the ghosts were scary.  Also the format of the storytelling was interesting as it was being told backwards, but it didn't save the movie from being average.

A Tale of Two Sisters - Korea

          Director:  Ji-woon Kim
          Year:  2003
          Plot:  "Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother's obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery."

          So I finally decided to watch this one after seeing it a number of times listed on peoples top Asian horror movies lists.  I have to say that it is a good movie.  I don't really consider it horror; there was nothing scary about it.  Now that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the movie, it just wouldn't be on my top list of horror movies.  More like top list of mystery or thriller movies, seen as I reserve top horror for those that actually scare me.
          Anyways, like I said I did enjoy this movie.  It was really well made and the plot kept you guessing until the end, and I am saying this having known what the truth was about the girls, somebody spoiled it for me.  Even knowing that little plot twist, I was still surprised by the results of the movie.  Even though the stepmother or what ever wasn't as bad as she is portrayed, I still couldn't stand her.  The whole thing was her fault anyway.  She could have tried to save everyone from the pain they go through, but instead she walks away.
          The relationship of the girls is touching and leads to a sad movie.  This is another reason I wouldn't classify this as horror.  Though there have been other movies that have been touching and even made me cry, but have still been horror, but that is because they actually had scary scenes.  Like I said, this one did not have any scares in it for me, but the movie was wonderful.

          This is one movie that has been suggested many times, and rather rightfully so.  If you want something really scary, put this one off for later, but definitely watch it.  The story is so well done, it won't be a waste of your time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Masters of Horror - Dream Cruise - Japan/America

          Director:  Norio Tsuruta
          Year:  2007
          Plot:  "Absolutely terrified of the sea, an American lawyer reluctantly goes on an ocean cruise to be near the wife of a client, with no idea of the grim situation that awaits them all."

          I think i had expected a little more of this movie.  The story was just not put together enough for me.  Sure we got the basics, but there wasn't enough of anything for you to really care about the characters.  I really couldn't have cared less if one of them died, and it did bother me greatly that only one person dies (minus the already dead ghosts).  I have to say that the ghost was creepy, for the first few minutes.  Then the green glowing got really cheesy, and the movie fell apart.
          This wasn't the greatest movie, but then again it wasn't the complete worst either.  I had some time to kill and this did the job.  It wasn't the best, but the ghost of Sean did save the movie a bit in my mind.  The problem is that the ghost of Naomi is a vengeful spirit.  She wouldn't have just stopped like that.

          Unless you have absolutely nothing better to do, skip this one.  Like I said, unless you are really bored this one is not going to entertain you.  It isn't really scary at all.

Shibyo Osen a.k.a. Dead Rising - Japan

          Director:  Keiji Inafune
          Year:  2010
          Plot:  "Loosely based on the Dead Rising 2 game, Shobyo Osen is a spin-off story that takes place in a world where the zombie outbreak has spread all over the world, including Japan.  Areas with the infected are quarantined from the rest of the world, leaving the uninfected residents to fend for themselves against the horde of hungry zombies. Two of these people are brothers George and Shin, who decide to hatch a plan to escape after they find themselves trapped in a zombie-infested area."

          This movie was released as episodes for online viewing from Capcom.  I watched it on at this link.   There were those who said not to watch it if you were a fan of Asian horror movies.  I watched it anyway.
          I have to say, besides the dubbing and obviously low budgeted effects, it wasn't a bad movie.  The zombies weren't the greatest I have seen, but they also weren't the worst.  The thing that held this movie together for me was George.  He is facing a great obstacle, and I don't mean the zombies.  George is handicapped.  Not exactly your typical zombie movie star.  
          I couldn't stop watching this movie until the end.  I had to know what happened to George, and I have to say, I wasn't expecting the ending.  I know it was likely to happen, but I got so attached to George.  Now you probably get what I mean, but the way it is done, I hadn't expected.

          I would suggest watching this movie, but of course not when you want a great scary horror movie.  The effects may not be the greatest, but the characters are pretty well done.  If you do follow the link and watch it, don't shut it off until the very end.  The credits play before the movie actually ends.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Into the Mirror - Korea

          Director: Sung-ho Kim
          Year:  2003
          Plot:  "Woo Yeong-min retired from the police force after trying to save his partner and causing his death.  He must face both his own fear of mirrors and the mystery surrounding the fire that closed down the mall."

          Again, I have to admit that I watched the remake and the sequel to the remake before having ever watched this one.  Few things about the remakes first.  The first one was "scary".  It didn't get me, though I thought it was a good movie, but it did get my sister quite a few times.  The problem with the first remake was that a lot of it didn't make sense.  I just didn't understand how the mirrors worked even at the end.  It was never explained to the audience about the rules of the mirrors.  Also the whole demon thing was a little irritating.  Once again, you have to face a religion being forced on you through a movie.  If you aren't religious and don't believe in demons, this one just didn't work on the plot level.  Though it was an okay movie as far as horror goes.
          Now for the remakes sequel.  I found this one to be rather enjoyable.  It was hard to keep from laughing when Christy Carlson Romano was in the shower and awaiting her end scene.  It wasn't because there was anything funny about her.  No, my sister was just having a major issue with seeing the sister from Even Stevens naked.  When she finally covered her eyes, I was able to see a pretty great death scene.  The death scenes looked much better in this one.  I had an issue with the jaw separation scene in the first one because it looked super fake, but the death scenes in this one were rather good.

          Finally, let's move on the the original.  I have to say that this one though not "scary", I doubt even my sister would be scared, but it has a great well put together story.  If you have already seen the remakes, this one fills in all of the holes, about how the mirrors actually work.  As an audience we are given the story about the world inside the mirrors and how even if you die on the outside of the mirror, you can still be living within it.  All of this is plainly stated in the movie during a scene with the main character's friend.  Now if I would have been told this during the remake, the movie would have made a lot more sense, thought the whole demon thing would have had to be ditched.
          The plot of this one is completely different from the first remake, with the "ghost" or "spirit" within the mirror being a lot like that of the Korean movie "Shutter".  By this I mean that the spirit isn't like Kayako the Grudge, killing everyone it comes in contact with; no, this one only kills those who it has a previous involvement with.  Well, no more on that subject or I will give away too much (that is if you haven't seen Mirrors 2).

          Definitely check this movie out, even if you have seen the American remakes.  Into the Mirrors will allow you necessary insight into how the mirrors really work.  Even if you haven't seen the remakes, give this movie a watch.  It is a very intriguing story.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ju-on: The Grudge 2 - Japan

          Director:  Takashi Shimizu
          Year:  2003
          Plot:  "While driving , the pregnant horror-movie actress Kyôko Harase and her fiancé are in a car crash caused by the Toshio.  Kyôko loses her baby and her fiancé winds up in a coma."

           I found this movie rather interesting.  It wasn't really scary, but it was definitely good.  This one follows the same sort of story telling as the first (and American remakes) whereas it jumps between the stories of more than one character.  It might be a little confusing if you haven't gotten use to this, but if you've seen a few movies with this style, it is fine.
          I have to say that I liked some of the stuff that was filmed in the house.  What I mean is, I loved what it turns out that they captured on film.  The guy might not have been so clueless if he had actually woken up to see the reply, but at least we as the audience get to see it.
          There were a few things that just weren't quite right.  Like the wig.  I remember reading a comment on the remake where they mentioned the wig scene from this one and now I know what they were talking about.  It wasn't scary it was just simply weird.  I also didn't like the birthing.  It was just a little too unbelievable to watch.
          Other than those, this movie was actually pretty good.  It wasn't scary, but it was entertaining, as a lot of Takashi Shimizu's films are.

          I suggest this, watch this movie even if it is just to see all of the Ju-on/Grudge movies.  It won't be a complete waste of time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ju-on: The Grudge - Japan

          Director:  Takashi Shimizu
          Year:  2002
          Plot:  "In Japan, when the volunteer social assistant Rika Nishina is assigned to substitute at a local residence, she is cursed and chased by two vengeful spirits. Each person that lives in or visits the house is murdered or disappears."

          Now I was sort of putting this off.  I have seen the remake and didn't want to watch something redundant.  Takashi Shimizu had after all said that the reason he wanted to change the second American Grudge was so that he wasn't making another movie over again.  I'm sure you can see my problem here.  If Shimizu felt he was making a movie again, then the remake should be pretty much the same, right?  Well not exactly.
           This movie did surprise me.  For the first half it was all pretty much the American remake, albeit tweaked to allow American actors into the plot, but still relatively the same.  The later half however was different.  Some of its elements ended up in the American Grudge 2.
          This version was scarier than the remake to me.  The first half wasn't, but I attribute that to the fact that I had already seen the remake.  I did however find the later half of this movie to be scary.  I knew certain things were coming, but I still jumped.  The ending where Kayako is coming down, same as in the remake, I just couldn't look away.  I wanted to, but couldn't.  It is kind of creepy how she just stares at the camera as she is coming down.
          I also have to say that this movie just made some already creepy places creepier.  The empty public bathroom is one of them.  Did you really have to put Kayako in that sort of place?  Yeah, I know you already did.  Now I am going to be even more creeped out at work.  (I am a Secretarial Assistant at an Alternative school.)

          This is the one of the series (and even including remakes) that deserves the most recommendations.  Even if you have seen the American remake, you won't be disappointed with this one.  It makes more sense without all the American actors, and the ending just seems creepier.

Ju-on: Girl in Black - Japan

          Director:  Mari Asato
          Year:  2009
          Plot:  "A Nurse named Yuko has a strange experience while taking care of a girl named Fukie. Test results show a cyst inside Fukie’s body, but that cyst is actually the leftover grudge from a baby who was unable to be born."

          After watching the last one, I have to say I was kind of disappointed.  I had hoped for something scary, but what I found was actually more of a heart wrenching story.  It brings you the feelings of a child unable to be born, and no, abortions had no part in this movie.  You come to understand the anger she must have felt not being able to be born when another was.  That is the grudge that takes place in this movie.
          There were no scary parts to me in this movie, and it ended with an extremely sad scene, a suicide, but I won't tell you who it is.  That isn't the complete end though, the girl in black makes a final appearance to the absolutely adorable homeless guy.  "Have you seen Ma?"  He's just so cute.  n.n

          I suggest this watching this movie simply to finish out the Ju-on series, but don't expect any good scares.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ju-on: Shiroi Roujo - Japan

          Director:  Ryûta Miyake
          Year:  2009
          Plot:  "At a certain house, a son brutally and methodically murders all five of his family members after failing a bar exam.  He then hangs himself, leaving behind a cassette recorder at the scene on which he can be heard saying 'Go...Go now' in unison with a strange female voice."

          Now I have been in a Ju-on kick lately and have been trying to watch all of the movies.  This one is not  related to the others very much.  I do believe that the Kayako's curse does have to do with this, though she doesn't get involved.  It seems that the house that this movie has to do with, belonged to Kyoko from the first two Ju-on movies.  Toshio also makes a short appearance, which shows that Kayako's curse may have led the son to do what he did.
          Now this is done as short stories, just like the originals.  I was kind of unsure about what I was expecting when I started this movie, but I soon had my mind made up.  This one definitely had some scary elements for me.  The old woman just creeped me out.  It took a lot for me to actually keep my eyes on the screen while she was on (not while she was all non-dead though).  This also might have to do with me finding a lot of elder people creepy.  I don't know why, but I do.
          This one wasn't directed by Takashi Shimizu, but unlike the American Grudge not made by him, I felt that this one was actually decent.  The story was written by Shimizu, so it all still incorporates his original story.  It may have been better if he were to have directed it, but it wasn't a waste of time with this director either.

           I suggest giving this movie a chance.  I don't think it will be a waste of time.  Especially if you find some elder people creepy.  n.n

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Stranger from Afar (Marebito) - Japan

          Director:  Takashi Shimizu
          Year:  2004
          Plot:  "A fear-obsessed freelance cameraman (Shinya Tsukamoto) investigates an urban legend involving mysterious spirits that haunt the subways of Tokyo."

          Now I decided to watch this one mainly because it was directed by Takashi Shimizu.  Now he has made some really good movies, but this one isn't one of those.  It was an interesting movie, but by the end, it makes absolutely no sense.  I understand the guy was crazy by that point, but it just didn't make any sense.
          The only good points were "F", a blood drinking girl the guy finds and takes care of, but that was just cause you felt bad for her when it took the idiot so long to realize she needed blood.  I thought it was adorable when she was drinking out of the bottle.  Is that strange?  Anyway, she was the only good thing in this movie.
           I also don't like the "documentary" feel of the movie.  It irritates me.  I just don't like watching them, but because this was a Shimizu movie, I gave it a shot.  It turned out to be not so worth it.

           Skip this movie if you want something scary or creepy.  If you are bored and have nothing better to do, I guess, give it a shot.  It is in the least an interesting story.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nightmare (Gawi) - Korea

          Director:  Byeong-ki Ahn
          Year:  2000
          Plot:  "Hye-jin's homecoming should have been a joyous occasion. She was especially happy to see her childhood friend again, the shy Eun-ju. However, when a secret is revealed, harsh words are exchanged. Seven friends will die one by one for protecting a terrible secret. Can a vengeful spirit be stopped? What is this mysterious tape that everyone is asking about?"

          I found this one on IMDb as a recommendation for one of the movies I was looking for more information on.  Now the plot keywords sparked my interest (the first one) and I just had to check this one out.
          Now this movie had its good points, but I didn't find it at all scary.  The problem with this one was that I found the ghost to be rather sad and just in what she did.  They all deserved it, for what they did to her.  I mean she didn't hurt Hye-jin who had nothing to do with it.  Also all Eun-ju wanted was to be friends with Hye-jin and her group.  She didn't deserve what she got, so I didn't feel at all sorry for the rest of them.
          There was a few good death scenes in this one, which made the movie worth while.  I also have to say that the actors and actresses in this one are all rather attractive. ^.~
          I would have to say that one of the only "bad" points in the movie is when the lawyer guy goes crazy.  He is a little over the top and it gets a little irritating while it lasts.  Other than that there weren't any notable "bad" parts in the movie.  It could be a little choppy at points, but not too bad.

          I do suggest watching this movie.  It is worth your time, though it isn't scary at all if you feel for Eun-ju at all.  It will definitely use up a some down time and not leave you feeling completely disappointed.

Possessed - Korea

          Director:  Yong-Joo Lee
          Year:  2009
          Plot:  "After Hee-jin's younger sister So-jin, who is possessed by a spirit,disappears,the neighbors die one by one and a secret underlying their deaths is revealed."

         Now I decided to watch this one because it was on the recommendations section of  This one, though not a complete waste of time, wasn't very good.  There was no scary, creepy, gory or even gruesome scenes, and the crazy religious woman just simply got on my nerves.
          This movie has a few plot holes, but I guess they could be overlooked.  The problem is that this movie was nothing special.  It wasn't a waste of time though because the plot was decent enough.
          The only really point that keeps your interest in this movie was So-jin, and what really happened to her.  Because you don't find out until the end, it can keep you from turning off the movie, like it did with me.  If it wasn't for her and actually feeling sorry for her through different parts of the movie, this one might have been a waste of time.  They did good with creating a character that you actually feel bad for in the end, at least I do.  After all, she was stuck with her crazed christian mother while her elder sister moved out.

          Give this movie a shot only if you are really bored.  If you want a scary horror movie, no, an actual horror movie, skip this one.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Coming Soon - Thailand

          Director:  Sopon Sukdapisit
          Year:  2008
          Plot:  "It will get you wondering if Something or Someone might be waiting for you to let your guard down. The horror movie that you just saw is about to happen to you in real life! Coming Soon."

          Now many people on said that this movie was scary.  Hearing that from ahm fans, I decided I had to check this one out for myself.  With this movie, I am glad I did, and my sister will definitely be watching this one, if I can talk her into it.  It is really very hard to get her to watch horror movies, even in the middle of the day.  I do love to watch her jump from these movies, and I know for sure that this one will do it easily.
          Even though the ghosts make up was really fake at some instances, it made sense with the storyline being that it was done up as a character on a movie within this movie.  Even with the fake make up look, the ghost scared me more than once.  n.n  As I have said before, it isn't easy to get a scare out of me.  And I don't count the occasional little jump from way too loud music.  It is a cheap trick that doesn't make a good horror movie.  I have to be scared by actual images or what not, not just loud music.  So this movie did it's job well.
          This is pretty much the essence of a movie I have been looking for, a movie with decent scares and a decent storyline.  The movie does start off a bit slow, but that in no way takes away from the ending.  If you felt for Chen the main character, the ending is rather sad.  Well I wouldn't say the ending, because there is a little more to the movie after the end of the Chen and Som story line.

          I definitely suggest watching this movie.  It is really worth your time, and I actually bought this and put it into my collection.  It has an interesting storyline, and some pretty good scares.  There were quite a few people who have decided to rank this one as on of their top asian horror movie, and I am now one of them.

Cadaver - Thailand

          Director:  Dunyasit Niyomkul
          Year:  2006
          Plot:  "In Bangkok, the medical student Mai has her first contact with cadavers in the anatomy class; however, after touching the dead body, she is haunted by the ghost of a woman. The Dean, Professor Winai, advises her to follow another career, but Professor Prakit offers to help Mai supersede her fears and beliefs."

          I have put this one off for awhile now, because the plot never really struck me.  Instead I went and watched movies that others said were good and had decent sounding plots.  I wish I had switched this one with Whispering Corridors, or Nightmare Detective.  The reason is that Cadaver actually had some scares in it.
          There were a few parts throughout the movie where I got a bit confused, but they soon righted those instances in the movie.  I wouldn't say Cadaver is one of my favorite Asian horror movies, but it is still pretty good. You get the feeling while watching it that something isn't what they say it is, after all Mai is the only one in her group getting haunted.  After that you start trying to figure out what the real connection is along with Mai herself.
          All in all I feel that this is a pretty decent movie.  It has its scares in it and a decent storyline, though it is not the best movie I have seen.  It isn't bad.

          I suggest you give this movie a shot.  It is worth a lazy afternoon, but don't expect the best movie you have ever seen.

Naraka 19 - China

          Director:  Miu-suet Lai
          Year:  2007
          Plot:  "A nightmare begins when Rain, a young and beautiful university student, receives an SMS on her mobile phone - 'Do you know what the 19th Gate of Hell is?'  The same cryptic text message goes out to all her best friends, that unwittingly involved them in a deadly mobile phone game - in this chilling game, if you lose, you die. Game over."

          The plot of the movie was intriguing enough for me to give it a shot, and I have to say it wasn't all that bad.  Though it was in no way a "horror" movie in my opinion, it was still rather entertaining.
          The whole point of the movie is trying to see what the 19th level of hell is, seeing as they only know of 18 levels.  Now you'd expect to see all 18 levels during the course of the movie, but that is not the case being that the controller of Hell allows Rain to skip a few levels because she has proven herself in certain instances.  It would have been better if we were able to see all of the levels, but her not doing so does make sense later on in the movie.
          The movie fell apart for me at the very end, but nonetheless it was still rather entertaining.  It's all about which level the characters are going to give in to their conscience on.

          If you are looking for a "horror" movie, skip this one.  If however you are just looking for an decent movie to waste a boring day on, give this one a shot.  You might just happen to like it, but then again you might not.