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.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nightmare Detective 2 - Japan

          Director:  Shin'ya Tsukamoto
          Year:  2008
          Plot:  "Yukie and two of her girlfriends are being haunted by the ghost of a classmate, they once bullied. When the other two die under mysterious circumstances, Yukie sees only one chance for herself.  With the help of the Nightmare Detective she hopes to escape her hopeless situation."

          Having already shut off the first movie before finishing it, I had hoped that this one would be better.  It turned out that it was indeed better.  It wasn't great, but it was rather interesting.
          I had an issue with the two storylines and jumping around a lot.  In the movie you get the storyline of Yukie who like the plot says is being haunted in her dreams, and Kagenuma who keeps trying to learn about his mother by talking to his father.  I felt that all of the storyline about Kagenuma and his mother was a little unimportant.  I understand why it was there, but I really felt it could have been left out.  After all, the ending kind of ruined the movie for me.
          It would have been a much better movie if the ending with Kagenuma would have been left out.  I thought that the part where he saved the girl would have been a great ending, but then they went and added all the stuff with Kagenuma's dream and his mother, and it kind of ruined the touching scene just before.
          This one also got a few jumps out of me near the end.  In the first half though, there was no scares in it, but it was still interesting.

          Give this movie a try.  The storyline is interesting even if it has a few faults.

Nightmare Detective - Japan

          Director:  Shinya Tsukamoto
          Year:  2006
          Plot:  "Three people in Tokyo take a surreal voyage of self-discovery through memory and nightmares. "O" intends suicide while talking on a cell-phone with a stranger he meets on line who plans a simultaneous suicide. Events take a horrifying turn. Keiko Kirishima is a cool, seemingly emotionless police detective, brilliant but off-putting. She's faced with two mutilated corpses who appear to have killed themselves, but she's not sure. A cell-phone number links the deaths. She calls on Kyoichi Kagenuma, a poor and suicidal young man who has the ability to enter people's dreams. He's reluctant to help. His past haunts him. A subconscious duel of terror and blood awaits the three."

          The reason I even gave this one the chance I did, is because so many said that the second one was really good.  I don't like watching movies out of order if I can help it, so I gave this one a chance, ignoring the multitude of negative comments.  I wish I would have heeded those comments though.
          I didn't even finish this movie, which is unusual for me.  I even finished watching Whispering Corridors, but this one I just couldn't.  I watched the first few deaths and was in no way impressed.
         The storyline didn't develop itself well enough for me in the beginning.  I mean you start off seeing Kagenuma in a persons dream, then you go right to a girl wanting to die who then gets attacked by an invisible assailant and killed with scissors.  After that, you get to see a little investigating and the team going to Kagenuma to ask for help.  After one of the cops dies, I quit watching.  By then I had hoped to know at least a little bit.  Supposedly the person on the other end of the dial number 0 gets into your dreams and gets you to kill yourself.
          There was nothing about this one that made me want to keep watching it.  At least with Whispering Corridors I at least wanted to know which girl was really a ghost.  This one though I didn't really get the storyline enough to want to know the ending, nor did I care at all about the characters at that point.

          I would suggest skipping this one.