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.)