Archive for September 6th, 2009

Scared (2006)

A group of young college freshmen go on a trip to the Thai forests to bond together. When their bus has to cross a rickety old bridge spanning a river, it gives way and the bus plunges into the river. Some die during the fall. The remaining survivors go and look for help. But there’s somebody in the forest bumping them off one-by-one. Will anybody live long enough to find help?

This was a very good Thai teen slasher movie. It’s not perfect though. The plot is disappointing, unoriginal and the characters are horribly one dimensional but I still loved it. Some nice gory, creative and gruesome deaths on hand and it doesn’t take a genius to know who the killer is. There’s a wonderful twist right at the end which I didn’t expect. The girls in the movie are pretty cute looking too. Recommended for gore/slasher fans who like a fast paced movie with a high body count and nasty deaths.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Grotesque (2009)

Banned in the UK, this disturbing Japanese movie finds a new young couple after having a drink and a meal in a restaurant attacked on an empty street from behind using a hammer by a weirdo who takes them to his basement where he chains both of them up and subjects them to sexual abuse and humiliation before viciously torturing them in various gruesome ways by using for example a chainsaw. He’s doing this as he can only get sexually aroused by watching people’s will to survive in the most extreme situation.

This is probably one of the most sickest films I’ve ever had to see. It’s obvious the director only had 1 thing in mind – to shock and horrify viewers and he does that to good effect. This movie is unrelenting in it’s sadism and violence. The ending was also fairly ridiculous. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone – it’s vile, gory and disgusting. By banning this notorious movie, it’ll only make people even more curious to check it out. The British Board Of Film Classification’s reason for not granting this a certificate is that it could psychologically harm viewers. I think it’s up to us as individuals what we can or cannot see and not the BBFC. They’re treating adults as children. You might get a kick out of watching Grotesque if you like torture porn movies but otherwise steer well clear.

Sadako’s Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

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The boys at Suzuran High are back and this time facing an even bigger threat from the thugs of Housen Academy who are after revenge for the death of one of their own at the hands of Suzuran pupil Sho Kawanishi. He was sent to a correctional facility but is now free again. When several Suzuran guys are brutally attacked, Genji decides the only way he can take Housen on is by a united front from everybody at the school. Can Genji unite the various factions under his leadership?

I loved the first Crows Zero movie so I was so looking forward to seeing the sequel. It did not disappoint me. It’s even more violent than the first and featuring a massive rumble between Suzuran and Housen. Seeing both camps staring at each other from a distance before the big fight reminded me of Braveheart! Shun Oguri slips effortlesly back like he never went away as Genji, the leader at Suzuran. Takashi Miike, no stranger to directing violent films did a good job here. The ending leaves me in no doubt that another sequel could be on the cards.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Unlucky in love and in life female public office employee Na Young-ju is nominated to enrol at an English class so that she can deal with all the foreign people as there is nobody that can speak with them. It is there she meets the shallow Park Moon-su, a cocky shoe shop worker who thinks that he’ll be able to pick up any women with English chat-up lines and be able to communicate better with his sister who lives in New York. Na Young-ju who is nicknamed Candy in the class falls for him but Park Moon-su (nicknamed Elvis) only has eyes for his Australian classroom teacher Cathy. Will true love prevail for Candy?

A great little Korean rom-com. Na-yeong Lee is hilarious as Candy who struggles to learn English. It’s rather predictable as you’ll have a feeling that both Candy and Elvis will end up together in the end but it’s still a rather funny movie The two leading roles have a great chemistry with each other. The director also implements some cartoons highlighting what Candy thinks of herself and the people around her which I thought was a nice touch. As with other Korean comedies you’ve got to have a dramatic sub-plot and this has one about a family being split apart due to them being poor. If you’re after a fun movie to watch then this comes recommended with plenty of laughs in it.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Jiney is a beautiful young photography student who isn’t satisfied with the work she’s creating. One day there’s a car accident near her home and Jiney feels an urge to photograph the aftermath and especially the dead body lying across the road. This obsession grows further by wanting to see more deaths and even asking a man in an open-air market to kill some chickens in order for her to photograph them. But after shooting a suicide she realises that what she’s doing is wrong and with the aid of her close friend (and lover?) she tries to get over this obsession. But there’s somebody else out there who knows of Jiney’s fascination in death. Events take a turn for the macabre when a snuff videotape arrives on her doorstep with a woman chained to a chair being brutally beaten to death by a masked freak and when her friend is also kidnapped and subjected to the same treatment, Jiney must face her demons head on.

I enjoyed this Hong Kong movie. It was different from other Asian horrors as it’s quite unsettling and morbid. An intriguing look about a young woman’s unhealthy interest in death. I liked the way they took us on Jiney’s route to madness which had not been helped by the abuse she suffered as a child and a mother that thought she made the stories up. The two sisters (Race and Rosanne Wong of HK singing duo 2R’s) are great in their roles and I’ve always liked the work of the Pang Brothers. If you want to see an Asian horror with a difference then Ab-Normal Beauty is well worth having a look.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 out of 5

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Death Trance (2006)

In an unknown land, a lone warrior who’s searching for the ultimate fight has stolen a precious coffin from a temple. The coffin might contain something inside that could bring about the destruction of the world. Now many people are after the stolen coffin and that’s exactly what the warrior wants. If they want it, they’re gonna have to fight him to get it.

Borrowing some elements from Django, Lone Wolf & Cub and Versus, this is a great fantasy actioner which doesn’t know at times whether it’s meant to be serious or funny. You might think the movie is set in the time of the samurai until you see motorbikes and a rocket launcher! It’s got some fantastic OTT martial arts sequences backed up by a metal soundtrack and excellent special effects. The pace of the movie is frenetic with some kind of fight happening every 5 mins or so. I’m not sure if the ending is left deliberately open for a sequel or not? It’s a mindless popcorn flick which delivers on action so if you’ve got 90 mins to spare then take a look at Death Trance.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 out of 5

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