Archive for the ‘Asian Horror’ Category

1. Although I would not consider ‘Antichrist’ to be a horror film, it is an extremely disturbing film that will leave you with a not so fresh taste in your mouth.  Gainsbourg’s character remains unnamed and is simply referred to as ‘she’ or ‘the woman’.  After losing her son tragically, her and her husband decide to retreat into the woods at their cabin known as ‘Eden’.  Gainsbourg begins showing signs of mental instability, and honestly it all goes downhill from Charlotte-Gainsbourg-in-L-001there.  Her therapist husband tries to treat her himself, but she is so far gone, he can’t even FIND the tip of iceberg that is her craziness.  Whatever women’s studies courses she is taking in school have subconsciously brainwashed her into believing women are evil and it is her responsibility to carry out the evil duties.  Not only that, but she believes she is so evil she mutilates her own genitalia (cringe-worthy scene for sure).  William Dafoe, who plays her husband in the movie, discovers little by little that she didn’t lose her mind from the death of their son, but she had been losing her mind prior.  I can’t even express how much I love this movie and how much there will never ever be a character as horrific as Gainsbourg.  As the movie progresses, we learn that she has systematically been “torturing” her toddler and that his death was way more preventable than the viewer originally thought.  Since her toddler first began wearing shoes, Gainsbourg started putting his shoes on the wrong feet in order to stint the bone growth and cause him severe dysfunction in his walking abilities.  Just being able to digest this fact alone, is nauseating. And to think it only gets worse….. We soon discover that Gainsbourg was fully aware that her toddler was able to break free of the child-proof gate she installed in his room.  The icing on top of the cake of insanity, is when we find out that during the sexual intercourse that takes place between her and her husband at the beginning of the movie, she was actually watching her young toddler climb up onto the window sill and plunge 4 stories to his death.  I’ll just give you a moment to take that all in.  Its sexual perversion and family dysfunction all in one.  And that is only half of her small family she tortures.  The other half, her husband, she hunts down as if he is tonight’s dinner.  She is just such an embodiment of pure evil, destroying everything and everyone (including herself) in her path, that she transforms into literally a monster by the end of the film.  Such a seemingly normal family is destroyed by its wife and mother.  This is scariest to me because she appears so normal in the beginning, and its hard to fathom that she has actually had this evil inside of her the whole time.

2. Takashi Miike may be one of my favorite directors out there, with his truly fucked up sense of gore and filth, so it is no surprise one of audition_xxhis characters takes the number 2 spot on my crazy bitch list.  Who could forget angel-faced Asami? At probably only 90 pounds, she looks as harmless as they come.  Her innocence, her openness, and her shyness are what initially fool the viewer as well as her current flame, Shigeharu.  As Asami begins to reveal more about her past and the abuse she suffered, the viewer finally begins to realize that the angel-face is more like the face of Satan.  This becomes the turning point and Asami transforms from poor girl you feel bad for to crazy bitch you only wish you could get away from.  Judging by her methods of brutality and torture, I think its safe to say that she absolutely hates the male species with a passion.  Laughing and giggling, she just can’t get enough of the pain she inflicts on others and her enjoyment in the torture is enough to nauseate the viewer.  Its easy to fall into her “good girl” trap, but rest assured, its not so easy to get out.

3. The character simply known as the daughter in Greek film noir, ‘Singapore Sling’ has earned herself the number 3 spot on my crazy bitch countdown.  Although this movie is not horror, it displays enough horrific acts that I want to slap an NC-17 rating on this baby.  ‘Daughter’ is the spawn of two extremely disturbed individuals who take pleasure in sexual perversion on more levels than I care to elaborate in this short article.  This bitch is ‘no’ on so many levels, I don’t728_singapore-sling even know where to begin.  This chick is just straight crazy, and I think even without having fucked up insane parents, this chick would have been just as psycho.  Fulfilling sexual fantasies with her mother, eating the guts and intestines of victims she has recently murdered, and finding it possible to orgasm while both playing with a gun and vomiting? This bitch never even had a chance.   As an audience, you don’t even know who the daughter truly is, and the daughter can’t seem to get a grasp on who she is either because she is constantly living her life through various memories and characters she has created. She is completely isolated from all social norms and can hardly even function without one of her “role-playing” personalities coming out. As the film runs its course, it becomes apparent that no amount of medication or therapy could ever make this crazy bitch normal.

4. Psychological horrors always seem to introduce you to characters that are just completely off the wall in every single way.  Marie is no marieexception.  As much as I don’t want to give away the ending, I will try to keep this spoiler-free.  Marie is seemingly normal to the audience, the other characters, and even herself.  She goes to spend a weekend with one of her college friends, Alexia, at her family’s home on a quiet farm.  A stunning string of murders in Alexia’s house, her whole family and even her dog, shows her that her and Marie are NOT alone, and they have some unwanted company in the house. *SPOILER ALERT*: Marie is the killer. I bet you didn’t see that coming…… A seemingly normal college girl kills Alexia’s whole family with her split personality in order to get closer to Alexia and have her all to herself.  Its one thing when a bitch is just straight crazy, but then its a whole different (and more horrifying) story when a bitch doesn’t even know she has a second personality, especially one that has a knack for brutally killing.  As the story progresses and Marie’s alter-ego comes out to play, you see what a creepy love-struck individual she really is.  My favorite part is the ending of the movie, when Marie finally admits her love for Alexia.  In a haunting fashion, she declares that she will never let her go.  The last scene, where Marie is in a psychiatric hospital with Alexia watching through the one-way mirror, is definitely the most eerie scene in the movie.  I may have already spoiled this movie enough, but its not til you get to the end of the film, in that last scene, where you really realize what a nutcase Marie is.
lucie5. For the fifth crazy bitch in my “Craziest bitches in horror” countdown, I have chosen Lucie from French splatterific masterpiece, “Martyrs”.  As the survivor of severe psychological, emotional, and physical abuse as a child, Lucie obviously had no chance of any type of normal adulthood, especially considering she spent the rest of her childhood in an orphanage after escaping her abusers.  She is still haunted by images and memories of her abuse and that eventually drives her to complete madness.  The hallucinations she experiences push her to insanity and she realizes she must kill her abusers.  The moment she decided to get revenge on her abusers was the moment that this bitch completely LOST IT.  I mean, here she is with a gun, brutally shooting up an entire family, all while her hallucinations are as vivid as ever.  Finally, she just reaches her breaking point and slits her own throat in front of her best friend.  Judging by the rest of the movie, it is heart wrenching to even think about what Lucie must have had to endure as a child and it becomes obvious as to how she lost her mind.

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Thirst

Posted: March 8, 2013 in Asian Horror

thirst-park-chan-wook

There is truly nothing in this world to me like a vampire film, in the sense that once I hear the movie I am about to watch contains vampires, I take off running and don’t look back.  Basically, vampires are NOT my thing and I will usually do anything necessary to make sure I am not forced to sit through one.  I would say ‘Twilight’ has a lot to do with ruination of the once feared vampires, but for the most part, I haven’t seen any truly good vampire movies out there that have kept me interested in the vampire movie subgenre.  I decided to put the next 2 hours of my life in the hands of fate and tune into Chan-wook Park’s ‘Thirst’.  Fate was beyond generous to me and this ended up being one of the greatest movies I had seen in some time.  I have a history with Chan-wook Park and have always had great love for everything he has directed, so I figured if he was going to do something with vampires, it couldn’t be any worse than the vampire garbage that is already out there.  ‘Thirst’ is the story of a priest who is infected with a virus that subsequently turns him into a blood craving maniac.  Priest Sang-hyeon is trying to hold on to the morals and beliefs that have led him into priesthood and rather than killing others for blood, he spends time at his local hospital stealing as much blood as he can.  Quite the hospitable vampire, right?  Soon after being infected, he meets Tae-ju and instantly falls in love with her.  The beginning of the movie is slow, really really slow to the point where I almost wanted to turn it off.  This event though, is the turning point and, in my book, where the movie really begins.

Tae-ju is the complete opposite of Sang-hyeon, in that she really is evil.  She does have her redeeming qualities, which is what makes him fall in love, but she is just a basketcase of naughty and watching the relationship between the two is like watching the chemical reaction between oil and water (my inner chemistry geek is finally making an appearance).  The irony of the film is what gets me the whole time; a priest is infected with the vampire virus and does everything he can to get blood without killing and ends up falling in love with a woman that is seriously the embodiment of Satan all why trying to repress his sexual urges for her.  He loves her so much, that he infects her with the virus so they can live together forever.  This is where the movie began to get mushy gushy (in a fucked up gory covered in blood type way) and I realized that it was more of a romantic horror, which is honestly the only type of romance I will watch.  Crazy Tae-ju loves her newfound powers and cannot get enough of the killing.  More than drinking blood she cares about finding new and exciting ways to kill people.  Seeing as Sang-hyeon has been involved in the church his whole life, this causes a huge conflict for him and their relationship.

To be honest, this is not one that goes down in history for fantastic gore.  If anything this is little to none, which is why I was surprised I loved this movie so much.  The story is such a good one, I would recommend this to anyone.  I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say it is amazingly beautiful and is pretty much the perfect ending for the story.  The characters are all great and sometimes the plot is just down right crazy.  All the aspects of the movie are very captivating and I really don’t have any complaints on how this movie could have been better.  Obviously the more gore, the better, which I guess technically is a complaint, but I would still give this movie 5 out of 5 stars.  It is a beautifully dark and bloody romance, and Chan-wook Park truly steals hearts as a director.  No excuses, you need to watch this movie!

Ichi the Killer

Posted: February 6, 2013 in Asian Horror

ichi

So…. when I said I was watching “Ichi the Killer”, I lied.  I had actually watched it a couple weeks ago and I was at a loss as to what to rate this movie, what to say about this movie, and how to even go about recommending this movie.  It took me a while, but I am 100% confident in this review and I am gonna go ahead and say…. I’ve found myself another 5 out of 5 star movie!!! Going into this movie, I was already aware of how batshit crazy Takashi Miike was (I’ve seen “Audition” numerous times), but I guess I neglected to remember his obsession with torture porn (or at least thats what I like to call it).  Rather than being a horror, I would have to say this is just an extremely violent, obscene, and brutal psychological action flick.  The plot centers around Ichi, who is seriously about as fucked up and weird as they come.  His father adopted him when he was young and has basically been brainwashing him with false memories in order get him to kill off anyone his father has a problem with.  That is only half of the equation.  Kakihara is an equally insane villain who is out to seek revenge on whoever took out his boss Anjo and the 300 million yen that has suddenly disappeared.  In essence, this reminded me of a Quentin Tarantino flick, only an Asian version (which automatically means it has to be 1000x more fucked up).

Between Kakihara’s victims and Ichi’s victims, I would have to say I was on a blood and guts overload.  Not to mention Ichi’s sexually-repressed fantasies which also made me want to vomit (but in a good way).  This movie was the real deal, and it did not mess around.  To continue with the plot, Kakihara goes on to kill and brutally torture members of a rival Yakuza gang because he thinks they are responsible for killing his boss.  When he finds out its actually Ichi, he becomes strangely obsessed with finding him and being tortured by him.  I guess you could say Kakihara is just as fucked up sexually as Ichi is, except he enjoys having immense pain inflicted on him instead of getting off to others being tortured.  Right about now, the plot of this film is bordering the line between  freaky horror elements and straight up uncomfortable sexuality.  Embrace it, Miike is a genius.  As the graphic nature of the scenes get more intense, the viewer learns a lot about Ichi’s father and his abilities to brainwash others.  The movie turns into a bit of a mindfuck and you are stuck wondering how everything got so crazy all of a sudden.  This movie might be a lot to handle for first-timers of the Asian gore category, but for someone who has seen a few, this film is one of the ultimates.

My love for the film mainly stems from the mind-bending plot and the crazy ass characters that I still can’t seem to get out of my head.  Each of Miike’s characters are so unique that their lives tell a story you have definitely not heard in other horror films.  None of the characters possess the least bit of a conscience and for the most part, everybody is absolutely mad. On top of that, the plot takes a lot of interesting twists and turns and its ultimately a journey through Miike’s insane mind, which I loved.  You gotta think, if Miike was able to imagine this stuff for a movie that came out 12 years ago, what kind of unspeakable things are going through his head now.  I would have to say “Ichi” was definitely ahead of its time with its absolute craziness and heartless brutality, along with over-the-top characters and an amazing plot.  This movie really knocked me on my ass and took me on a journey I was not expecting.  There is not one concept in this film that is remotely OK.  Everything is just absolutely fucked up and there’s no way you can enjoy this film and claim to be a totally normal person.  I would recommend this to my gore and splatter fans, because this movie is just totally gruesome.  This movie is definitely not for everybody, considering how disturbing it is.  If you are OK with admitting that you have a few screws loose in your head when it comes to the type of horror you like, then I think this movie is for you.  Otherwise, you might want to stay away.  When it comes to Takashi Miike, don’t bite off more than you can chew because it will most likely result in you vomiting.

Three Extremes is a compilation film of 3 shorts by 3 masters of horror, Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, and Chan-wook Park.  I’m not sure whats going on between me and my connection to the film, but its definitely not there.  I decided to give this film 2.5 out of 5 stars because I simply could not stay interested.  There could be many contributing factors to my rating; maybe I didn’t pay enough attention, maybe I wasn’t in the “scary movie watching” mood, maybe I’m on overload with the scary movies, maybe I’m sick and tired of reading subtitles cuz damn American movies don’t excite me at all.  No matter what “excuse” I come up with, there’s really no way for me to justify my 2.5 rating other than the movie just wasn’t interesting enough.  I expected that at least one of these shorts would be scary and having me jump out of my seat.  Instead I found that the shorts were strange and disturbing (which I love obviously) but didn’t have enough umph to it to make me feel passionate about writing about it and recommending it to others.

The thing I like about Asian films is that they tend to be more risque and mind-blowing than movies I have seen from other countries.  The acting in this film was good, the plots were good, and the gore was spot on.  The shorts were creepy in all the right spots and the visuals were very striking.  Even though I would consider this film good and recommend it to lovers of Asian film, my issue with the movie was that I didn’t feel a connection to it.  I’ve only seen one compilation film before and I loved it.  This film though, I didn’t feel like I had enough time with the characters or the stories to make a connection and have it make a permanent mark on my brain.  I honestly think if the shorts would have been made into full-length movies I would have liked them more.  There was not enough action and suspense in the shorts to make them exciting and truly great.

If you are into Asian horror, I would say watch this movie.  Otherwise, I would say skip it.  There are way better shorts out there that get the job done in its 30 minutes or less running time.

As much as I want to say “I Saw the Devil” was perfect and give it 5 out of 5 stars, it was literally just a hair short of perfect and I decided to rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.  This crazy Korean film shocked and wowed me.  When I watch a gory movie like this, I want the pain to be realistic, the characters to be likable, and the plot to be original and enthralling.  I found that this masterpiece knocked the ball out of the ballpark on all 3 of my expectations.  Soo-hyun is a nice guy with a pregnant fiance, Joo-yun.  Joo-yun’s car breaks down amid a snow storm and serial rapist and murderer, Kyung-chul is the first one to show up on the scene.  The first thing that struck me as surprisingly brutal was Joo-yun begging the killer to spare her and the life of her unborn child.  I’ve noticed that in American films they don’t do this, but in foreign films they go there.  They take the audience to a place of just pure discomfort.  Women being raped and murdered on-screen is nothing new.  But when films take it to the level where the murder goes from immoral to completely “you are Satan” status, it takes the audience to a new type of uneasiness.  There is something just so purely evil about killing a pregnant woman that immediately Kyung-chul’s persona is set for the rest of the film.

When Soo-hyun decides he wants to take revenge on Kyung-chul for the murder of his fiance, he opts out of capturing and murdering him, and instead takes revenge to a whole, new horrific level.  The entire movie is basically a game of cat and mouse, each round getting more bloody and brutal as they continue.  Director, Kim Ji-woon redefines revenge and puts on a hell of a show doing it.  It goes a little something like this: Soo-hyun captures Kyung-chul, literally beats the living shit out of him to the point where I don’t see how this dude is going to get up, and then leaves him abandoned in random areas so that he must wake up and fend for himself as he tries to make his way back into his house and back into his life.  Soo-hyun does this over and over and over, with each capture the violence is even more shocking, to the point where I thought Kyung-chul must be some bionic man or something to withstand the pain and live to tell the tale.

In a way, this film reminded me of “No Country for Old Men” in that the killer is beyond sociopathic and there is not even a shred of humanity that is detectable.  Kyung-chul withstands an absurd amount of pain yet feels absolutely no remorse for his actions and continues to capture and rape women.  This made Kyung-chul one of the most intriguing and horrific characters I’ve ever seen on film.  The way that Soo-hyun decides to torture Kyung-chul also defines him as both heroic and completely sadistic.  On one hand, Soo-hyun doesn’t intervene until Kyung-chul has already captured his victims and begins raping them.  If Soo-hyun intervened sooner, this could have been avoided though.  At the same time, he comes to the rescue mid-rape and tears Kyung-chul a new one in front of his victims.  I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I think I like it.  I’m sure it is every victim’s dream to witness first-hand their attacker getting the fucking wind knocked out of them and then some, and the way Ji-woon directs the film, it makes the audience feel as if justice is being done for more than just one victim.

Of course I have to talk about the gore, and be honest about the fact that yeah, I flinched a couple times.  Some of the gore and torture was just heart-wrenching.  If a director thought of it and put it on film, chances are someone out there, in this world of 6 billion crazy fucking people, has had the same exact thoughts and has maybe even carried out the same methods of torture.  Everything about the actions of the characters was heartfelt and I felt like I was watching real people and real reactions instead of actors and fake blood.  The reason I deducted .5 of a star was merely because of the emotional ending.  I am not one for emotions, I am DEFINITELY not one for emotions; and the fact that Soo-hyun just breaks down crying at the end was very hard for me to watch.  I can’t imagine the grief of losing a fiance who I found out was pregnant only AFTER she was murdered.  As much as I liked the film, the ending was too emotional for me and it made me feel extremely depressed towards the end and made me focus more on her death than the fact that Soo-hyun exacted the revenge on his killer and totally fucked up everything with his murderer’s family.  I guess, basically, I’m so used to just feeling a complete adrenaline rush at the end of films like these that I forgot that the whole reason for the bloodbath was revenge.  The ending reminded me that there was grief and heartbreak behind Soo-hyun’s actions and it wasn’t just another pointless gorefest like most films today.  With that being said, obviously I need to work on being more emotionally connected with films rather than relying only on the gross out factor.  I would definitely recommend this film because it is overall badass and besides, foreign flicks are usually the best, are they not?

Dream Home has to be one of the most vomit-inducing nightmare-wielding masterpieces I have ever seen.  I definitely gave this movie 5 out of 5 stars.  Director Pang Ho-cheung uses his creativity to enthrall the viewer in the film’s huge gross-out factor.  The gore and brutality of this film is almost out of this world.  Cheng Lai-sheung has saved up money her entire life for her dream home in Hong Kong.  As she finally gets ready to buy it, the sellers decide to take it off the market and basically she goes apeshit.  She goes on a murderous rampage and pretty much brutalizes and kills the shit out of anyone she feels like.  This isn’t just your average slasher film, or like any slasher film for that matter.  The killings in this movie are inhumane and almost hard to watch.  The human mind is an interesting place; especially Ho-cheung’s mind.

Aside from the gore, this movie did more for me to give it 5 out of 5 stars.  The plot was extremely original and there were a variety of characters and personalities that added to the storyline and made it unique.  I found that all the characters were bearable, which is unusual for me considering I hate just about everybody.  Everyone was complex and had backstories that added to the plot.  The story moved along nicely and there were many strange and original twists and turns.  I can’t help but proclaim the originality of the film.  The summary makes it sound a bit strange, but actually watching it is a whole lot stranger.  The fact that Cheng is killing random people she has never even met is almost forgotten because the killings are just so brutal and intense that they seem personal.  Each murder is unique, creative, disgusting, innovative, and of course, filled with blood.  Just watching the movie makes you question the director and what the fuck was going through his head when he decided to put all this sick shit on film.  The acting is superb and ultimately the storyline is good enough to keep the viewer engaged.  This is definitely a slasher film you need to see!

You know that feeling when you waste an hour and a half of your life and you realize you may never get those precious 90 minutes back unless time travel promptly comes to your service? Yeah, that just happened to me.  The Thai film, Sick Nurses, was a complete waste of my time and I rightfully gave it 1 star out of 5.  The plot goes something like this: A seemingly humungous hospital with a questionable staff of only 1 doctor and 7 nurses is where the majority of the plot takes place.  The nurses use dead bodies to profit financially and the rest of the story is a smorgasbord of inconsistencies and blood.  If it wasn’t for 90 pound Asian chicks that make me question my heterosexuality, I would have just turned it off.  I guess you could say some of the acting and scenes were typical of what you would see in Asian horror films; meaning some of the shit that went down was just batshit crazy.  If I could make sense of the movie I would, but from what little I was able to understand about the film, it was mainly about hot Asian chicks and blood.  The screen production of the movie was obviously very-low budget, but that was the least of my worries as I numbly sat through this horrifically boring film.  Some of the blood and gore was cool, meaning there was both a vomit and a birthing scene, and the use of paranormal forces and ghosts in the movie made it bearable for me to watch in the background as I sat on my ass and blogged.  Ultimately the movie had no plot, no characters of substance, no real meaning, and finally no recommendation from me. Skip it!