Thursday, January 29, 2009
Long Khong 2 (a.k.a. Art Of The Devil 3) is a 2006 Thai horror film directed by Kongkiat Khomsiri and another eight directors known as the "Ronin Team". The movie acts as a prequel to the film Long Khong released on 2005. This installment deepens into the story of a teacher portrayed by Napakpapha Nakprasitte, who after been rejected by her classmates as a young girl, turned to black magic to take revenge on her wrongdoers.
Asian horror cinema is known for their impressive way to terrify the viewers. However, the Thai movie series Art Of The Devil combine the power of the Asian mystery and the typical Western shock but with more emphasis given to the latter.
As a prequel to the Thai film Long Khong, Art Of The Devil 3 (a.k.a. Long Kong 2) is a fine movie to watch if you feel interested in knowing the reasons behind the teacher becoming crazy and involved in Black Magic.
But my purpose here is to evaluate this particular film as an individual footage, not as a trilogy; taking that into account, I dare to say that the movie might just be lame and totally unnecessary.
The film deepens mainly into the past incidents involving Panor (the school teacher) and Ta (one of the high school students from Art Of The Devil 2. So, if we decide to view the film on its own worth, we get the feeling that it lacks a more enriching experience and more shocking moments. The numerous "flashbacks" that reference scenes from the second film make this one a little bit confusing, since you get the idea that all those events have already happened, when in deed they are just about to happen.
If you do not demand a lot from a plot, you can still find some gross-outs and a couple of scary moments. But, if you like when the plot makes you feel like you are participating of the set of events, Art Of The Devil 3 is not the movie for you. Although the film succeeds in creating some terrifying moments (e.g. a lot of maggots in the skin), the set of events do not contain sufficient elements that can capture the viewer's attention; that, plus the many characters that do not seem to fit in the movie or that seem unnecessary, take away the audience interest. Without a main hero/heroine it is difficult to appreciate this film like other horror films in which there is a protagonist for us to connect with and follow throughout the entire plot.
All-in-all, Art Of The Devil 3 is basically about trying to get a bit of the success obtained by the previous two installments in the series.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Battle Royale is a 2000 Japanese controversial film directed by Kinji Fukasaku.
The movie is set in a different timeline with the plot being, for the most, faithful to the novel of the same name written by Koushun Takami. It follows a class of students who are chosen to participate in the Battle Royale, a "Program" in which they have to fight each other until there is only one survivor. The film concentrates on three of the students participating in the BR: Nanahara, Noriko, and Kawada, an exchage student who is later revealed to be a survivor of a previous BR.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
A,P,T (a.k.a. 9:56 in Singapore) is a 2006 South Korean horror movie directed by Ahn Byeong-ki, and starring Ko So-young.
Se-Jin, a department store employee, moves into an apartment building in a Seoul suburb where she lives alone. One day as she stares through her window, she realizes that some of the lights in the apartments of the building in front of hers start to mysteriously flicker at 9:56 pm. She starts to suspect that these occurrences are, in a way, linked to a series of suspicious suicides in the neighborhood. She becomes even more involved in the strange cases as she attempts to solve the mysterious deaths.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Ju-On The Grudge is a 2003 Japanese film written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. The movie is the third installment in the Ju-On movie series that started in 2000 with the direct-to-video productions Ju-On (The Curse) and Ju-On (The Curse 2).
Ju-On The Grudge focuses on Rika Nishina a social worker, and all the events that happen to her after she comes to visit the Tokunagas. She was called to this house since a social worker that was previously asigned to the house disappeared suddenly. After a lot of terrible incidents that she experiences in the house, she discovers that the real reason behind the deaths in the house and also that they are all connected. Later in the movie it is revealed that Rika was destined to play out the curse; Rika was supposed to die the same way as Kayako did, and in that way se would become the next fulfiller of the Ju-On.
The Grudge 2 is a 2003 Japanese horror film, it is the fourth in the Ju-On movie series written and directed by Takashi Shimizu.
While driving , Kyoko Harase and her fiancé Masashi are involved in a car accident apparently caused by them hitting something. When Kyoko regains consciousness, she realizes that Masashi is unconscious and she is bleeding from her womb supposedly losing her baby.
Later, as Kyoko returns to her daily life as an actress, she and a television crew fall victims of the curse when they shot a show in the haunted house where Kayako was brutally murdered by her husband years ago, and where the grudge was born. However, while members of the team die or disappear, Kyoko is informed that she is still pregnant, and is carrying a three-and-a-half-month-old fetus in her womb. Soon, it will be revealed if this is a miracle or just a grusome part of Kayako's curse.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Spiral (a.k.a. Uzumaki) is a 2000 Japanese horror film directed by Higuchinsky. It is based on Junji Ito's manga of the same name.
In the small town of Kuruzou-Cho evil spirals are taking over people's minds. Such phenomenon manifests in a great variety of ways (e.g. girls hair being curled up, people being twisted to death, etc.).
The movie focuses on the character of Kirie Goshima played by Eriko Hatsune and what happens with her boyfriend's family and with her own.
Suicide Circle (a.k.a. Suicide Club) is a 2002 Japanese independent thriller film directed by Sion Sono.
After 54 high school girls throw themselves in front of a subway train in Tokyo, it appears that it will only be the beginning of a string of suicides around the country. The police force is baffled as the bloodbath triggers a wave of suicides across the city. Soon, a cryptic phone call tips off the police to a weird website that appears to be connected to the suicides and it is apparently tracking down the deaths before they happen. Later on, lead Detective Kuroda finds out that his own family has been influenced in some way and he is in a race against time to save them from the suicidal fad.
Reincarnation (a.k.a. Rinne) is a 2005 Japanese horror movie directed by Takashi Shimizu and starring Yuka as Nagisa Sugiura and Karina as Yayoi Kinoshita.
Nagisa Sugiura is a young Japanese actress who has the leading role on a horror film which tells the real story about a crazed, local professor who murdered 11 guests at a hotel, including his son and daughter. Since the film is being shouted at the hotel where the murders took place Nagisa starts to be haunted by the victims' ghosts and is also plagued by nightmares of the killings. Later, as her hallucinations become more vivid, she starts to investigate what the real story behind her visions is and she finds out that she is not the only person who is seeing ghosts and that everything seems to be related to the reincarnation of the victims.
Noriko's Dinner Table is a 2005 Japanese drama thriller written and directed by Sion Sono, starring Kazue Fukiishi and Ken Mitsuishi.
Noriko is a young girl who lives in Toyokawa with her father, mother and younger sister. To escape from her unhappy reality, she constantly logs on to Haikyo.com, a BBS web site where she finds other high school girls like her. One of these girls, Ueno54, induces Noriko to run away from her house and she does so, in Tokyo she meets a young woman called Kumiko, her BBS friend, who runs a "family circle program", where she takes in young girls who are unhappy with their lives and gives them new personalities and families; Noriko joins it and her younger sister Yuka does so eventually. But the circle grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls, and it spreads larger and larger under the unfeeling control of Kumiko.
Splatter: Naked Blood is a 1996 Japanese horror movie directed by Hisayasu Sato.
Eiji, a Japanese scientist, has developed a new chemical named 'MySon' that can turn pain into pleasure. He decides to use the chemical in three girls who attend the experiment held by his mother in the test. 'MySon' influences the girls gradually in different ways: One of them wishes to have the best food in the world, but she ends up eating herself; another one wishes to have the thinnest and most beautiful body in the world, but when she notices body hairs and pores, she also tries to mutilate herself. However, the third girl does not seem to be influenced by 'MySon', but Eiji finds out her secret and everything will change.
Ju-On is a 2000 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Shimizu. The movie stars Yūrei Yanagi, Chiaki Kuriyama, Hitomi Miwa, Takako Fuji, and Takashi Matsuyama.
Ju-on follows the lives of the people connected to the house in Nerima where the gruesome murder of a housewife occurred due to the jealousy of her husband as she loved another man. School teacher Shunsuke Kobayashi visits the house of his absent student, Toshio. Soon as the teacher enters the home, he discovers that Toshio is in no a really good state. He waits for Toshio's parents to come but nobody arrives; it finally becomes too late when he realizes what the Saeki family has become and not even Kobayashi's wife make it out alive. The movie also explores the fates of the next family to live in the house. This timeline of the film also extends the stories of Tsuyoshi and Kanna from Gakkō no kaidan G. The last timeline shows a snippet of Suzuki Kyoko's experience, a psychic invited by her brother to look into the house that he was going to sell, which was the cursed Saeki house. This V-cinema movie showed death as the cursed's manifestation.
Ju-On 2 is a 2000 Japanese horror movie directed by Takashi Shimizu and starring Ryo ta Koyama, Yurei Yanagi, Yuuko Daike, Takako Fuji, and Kahori Fujii.
Ju-on 2 continues the story of Suzuki Kyoko and shows how all her family was affected by the curse. It also shows the story of the Kitadas, another couple living in the house and the extended storyline of Detective Kamio from Ju-on 1. Ju-on 2 also shows what will be the fate of the school girls who had sneaked into the house, one of which is Toyama Izumi, whose story would be continued in Ju-on: The Grudge. This movie presents another aspect of the curse in which it can drive a person insane before finally killing them.
Ginea Pig: The Devil's Experiment is a 1985 Japanese gore movie directed by Satoru Ogura. This is the first movie in the infamous Guinea Pig film series.
A group of men capture a young girl with the intent of hurting her to experiment on the human body's threshold of pain. They graphically torture her in many ways, from beating her up, to putting sharp pieces metal through her eyeball piercing across her retina.
Guinea Pig II: Flower Of Flesh And Blood is a 1985 Japanese gore movie directed by Hideshi Hino, starring Kirara Yugao and director Hideshi Hino. The film is supposedly based on a real snuff film. This is the second installment in the Guinea Pig film series.
A woman walking home late at night is attacked by an unknown assailant who knocks her out with chloroform. When she regains consciousness, she finds herself tied up to a bed in a blood- spattered dungeon, at the mercy of a white-faced man in a samurai helmet who wants to turn her into a "Flower of Blood and Flesh."
Guinea Pig III: He Never Dies is a 1986 Japanese gore movie directed by Masayuki Kuzumi, and starring Masahiro Sato and Keisuke Araki. This is the third movie in the Guinea Pig film series.
Masatosh Nakamura becomes a very depressed man after his girlfriend dumped him for a friend. Then he tries to commit suicide but after many attempts without success, Masatosh changes his mind and will do whatever it takes to bring her girlfriend back even if that implies self-mutilation.
Audition is a 1999 Japanese thriller directed by Takashi Miike, and starring Ryo Ishibashi and Eihi Shiina. This movie was based on a Ryu Murakami novel of the same name.
Seven years after his wife's dead, Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi)'s son encourages him to start dating other women. Aware of the situation, a movie director friend of him invites Aoyama to participate in an audition for an actress. While reviewing the resumes of the participants, Aoyama's attention is caught by Yamazaki Asami(Eihi Shiina), a girl with ballet training. The day of the audition she is the last interviewed and Aoyama decides to call her after copying her phone number from the files. Soon after, they start dating and Aoyama falls in love with this young woman unaware that their relationship is going to become his worst nightmare.
Wild Zero is a 2000 Japanese zombie horror movie directed by Tetsuro Takeuchi, and starring the Japanese rock band Guitar Wolf as themselves.
After attending a concert of his favorite band Guitar Wolf, Ace (Tetsuro Takeuchi) rescues the band members from a threatening situation, as a reward he is name the band's blood brother and they give him a special whistle for Ace to call them if he is in troubles. Some time later Ace joins forces with the band to attack a zombie army and the UFO invading the Earth.
Long Khong (a.k.a. Art Of The Devil 2) is a sequel (though in name only) to the 2004 Thai horror film Art Of The Devil. This sequel was released in 2005 and was directed by Kongkiat Khomsiri, and starring Napakpapha Nakprasitte.
Two years after their high school graduation, a group of friends meet again as the father of one of them committed suicide. They decide to sleep over at their friend's place but when night falls, weird things start to happen to each one of them. It seems that all the strange events are related to some black magic spell that this group of friends cast on someone when they were still in high school, and it seems that is coming back to them.
Khon Len Khong (a.k.a. Art of the Devil) is a 2004 Thai horror film, directed by Tanit Jitnukul and starring Supakson Chaimongkol, and Arisa Wills as Nan.
After Boom becomes pregnant from an affair, her lover tells her to leave him and his family alone. Enraged, she goes to a witch doctor and has him use black magic against her ex-lover and his family. They all die in suspicious manners. Just when Boom thinks everything is over, a woman claiming to be her lover's secret mistress claims his inheritance and moves in to his house with her 4 children. Not long after that, unexplainable things start to happen to the family and one of the children will have to stop the curse.
Shutter is a 2004 Thai horror film directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun and starring Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, and Achita Sikamana.
After being involved in a car accident, Tun (Ananda Everingham) and his girlfriend Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) begin to find mysterious shadows on their photos. Jane thinks that the girl they hit in the car accident is haunting them, but Tun rejects the idea, then he starts experiencing severe neck pains. Meanwhile, Jane investigates the girl until she finds out that the girls was Natre (Achita Sikamana) a shy and weird girl who studied with Tun in college. When Tun is confronted by Jane, he confesses that he had a secret relationship with Natre and that she tried to commit suicide when they broke up. Tun and Jane decide to go to Natre's house and there they discover that she had committed suicide long time ago. Later Tun discovers that his closest friends are dying under strange circumstances and he feels he is going to be the next. When Tun and Jane continue doing research, they finally discover that there is a strongest connection between Natre and Tun and that his neck pain and the incidents with the pictures might be connected somehow.
Acacia is a 2003 South Korean horror movie directed by Park Ki-hyeong and starring Shim Hye-jin and Kim Jin-geun.
Mi-sook and Do-il are a couple who wants to conceive a child but they can not. One day Mi-sook meets a six year old boy in an orphan and they decide to adopt him. The kid looks somewhat strange and mournfully quiet, but he soon finds a place in their hearts and they welcome him in their family. The boy, however, seems to have an unsettling connection to an Acacia tree they have in front of their house. When everything seems to be going well, it suddenly turns out that Mi-sook is pregnant. Her mother immediately ignores the kid because she thinks he is not her real grandson. When the baby is born the kid starts to act more strange and he even tries to kill the baby. All the tension soon will take the family to an unexpected breaking point.
A Tale Of Two Sisters is a 2003 South Korean horror film directed by Kim Ji-woon, and starring Im Soo Jung, Moon Geun Young, Yeom Jeong-ah, and Kim Kap-su.
One of the best Korean horror movies I have seen to date.
The movie starts in a hospital where a patient is being questioned about the incident that took her into the hospital. As the movie continues, we see a car approaching a provincial well-taken-care of house, where the father of our two sisters is waiting for them. Once they arrive they encounter their stepmother who looks lovely, sweet, and motherly; however our two girls don't seem to care about this display of parental love shown by their stepmother; instead they seem upset and mean to her.
Tensions between the stepmother and the sisters become more constant, driving the stepmother to moments of apparent insanity. During dinner we can see how things are beginning to be more complex and also how one of the girls has to be given some pills for reasons yet to be revealed.
The set of events to follow are completely unhappy and frustrating for both the parents and the sisters as they experience some sort of haunting. Doors start opening by themselves, hands and human figures appearing out of nowhere and yet more shocking moments. The two sisters start supporting each other due to the amount of creepy moments and their suspicions about their stepmother being playing wicked tricks on one of the girls.
The last third of the movie becomes completely dramatic as it goes slowly towards a totally twisted climax. Everybody's real intentions and role within this plot get revealed and the viewers are rewarded with a very neat explanation of the events that happened in this house with this tormented family. It becomes impossible to tell what happens during the last minutes of the movie without the risk of spoilers.
This is, in my opinion, a very well-acted horror-drama. Both girls acting is wonderful and basically all actors are brilliant in their characterizations. The atmosphere created by the great coloring of the picture gives a sense of constant dreaming that kind of put the viewer inside the plot itself.
Undoubtedly, one of the best South Korean movies, A Tale Of Two Sisters is a film that every Asian Horror aficionado should have in their collection. Clearly a piece to be admired for acting, setting, picture and directing. It is visually stunning and overwhelming for all senses.
In Japan, 2LDK stands for an apartment with 2 bedrooms, a living-room, a dining-room, and a kitchen.
Starring Maho Nonami and Eiko Koike, and directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, 2LDK is a Japanese thriller released in 2002.
Lana (Nonami) and Nozomi (Koike) are two young actresses that share an apartment in Tokyo. They both auditioned for the same role in a movie. While they wait for the director's call, their thoughts about each other and how upset they feel about living together start emerging. As their anger grows, a raging battle for the survival of the strongest unleashes.
This is not really a horror movie, but more like a thriller. The beginning of the movie is quite slow as we see how a sense of discomfort grows inside the only two characters in this movie. Their dialogues are not a real reflex of what is happening in their minds, but we, as viewers, get to hear those thoughts which is a key element in the understanding of what is going on with these two girls.
As the movie progresses, we witness how these women start provoking each other in an inexplicit but conscious attempt to create an appropriate moment to release their fury and the negative feelings they bear for the other.
A missing beverage and a spilled bottle of perfume are the starting points for all hell to finally break loose in this tangled plot.
What comes next is a clash in which each girl gets to hit and be beaten up in all kinds of possible ways. The acting up this point is almost perfect and every actress performs at best.
This unusual conflict contains not only a great deal of fist but also drowning, electrocution, chainsaw and basically everything they have at hand.
At the end, after they have taken their anger to the maximum, the most ironic and unexpected event brings the movie to its climax.
This movie is, in my opinion, a must see. If you think it is impossible for a movie to be stared by only two human characters and a parrot, you have not seen 2LDK yet!