Wow, an update after several weeks of radio silence. Sorry everybody, work has been increasingly demanding lately. Also, I’ve been playing through Michigan, which has not proven very post-worthy.
Anyway, I thought I’d tell you guys about some horror movies I watched recently.
- Pulse (Kairo) finally came out in the US. I guess they are remaking this movie, but I have no idea why–its themes of isolation and loneliness are so amazingly Japanese that I can’t see the movie translating to white, American, English-speaking actors well at all. Anyway, like everything from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Charisma, Doppelganger), I can easily and without hesitation recommend this film. Be warned that the movie is sort of social commentary wrapped in a horror context, and the narrative is convoluted to say the least.
- Session 9 is an American horror film that somebody recommended to me because of its
Silent Hill-like atmosphere. I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised to find it a mature, subtle, psychological horror movie in the vein of The Shining. It’s not nearly as competent as Kubrick’s seminal film, but it hits a lot of the right notes and is very careful not to spoil the horror with too much information. The ending sort of misses a beat here or there, but generally I think it’s one of the best American-made horror movies that has come out in a long time.
- Testuo II: Body Hammer and A Snake of June are both weirdo films by weirdo director Shinya Tsukamoto. Tsukamoto’s claim to fame is the original Tetsuo the Iron Man (and also he was the ultra-buff old guy in Ichi the Killer), but unfortunately Tetsuo 2 isn’t as good. Actually, it’s incredibly similar to the first movie, but the story is a little more clear and it’s in color. I rather enjoyed Snake of June, though it isn’t really horror: it’s about a stalker forcing a woman to act upon some of her fantasies that are too racy for her husband, and the film only contains one giant animatronic penis scene, which is a record low for Tsukamoto.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve had the chance to see lately. What have you guys been watching?
Tetsuo 2 isn’t so much a film but as one big arty companion piece to Tetsuo. But either way, it lacks the low budget frenzy of the original.
I went to see Sympathy For Lady Vengence recently. If you’ve seen Oldboy or Sympathy For Mr. Vengence then you’ll know what to expect. The last half hour twists into something immensely dark yet funny at the same time as the film questions the auidence’s thirst for the worst kind of revenge. Why should the heroine commit such an act just to please someone else?
A bit like the end of Ichi The Killer where the final showdown is not what you want…
Awesome film. I preferred Oldboy though. Session 9 is one of the those films that was sadly overlooked cos it went straight-to-video.
I’m glad to see someone else discovering “Session 9.” I also picked it up because of the “Silent Hill” angle.
I just watched “One Missed Call 2.” Not as bad as a lot of sequels, but nothing new. The original is better.
Watched Jacob’s Ladder, In the Mouth of Madness, and Dellamorte Dellamore recently. I’m fairly certain you must have seen the first two, but possibly not the third. I’d recommend picking it up, as it’s very entertaining and keeps you on your toes mentally.
Yes, in the US Dellamorte Dellamore is called Cemetery Man (apparently us Americans are too dumb to deal with foreign words in our film titles…. ugh), and I like that movie a lot. Jacob’s Ladder is one of my favorites of all time as well. In the Mouth of Madness… I think I saw that in high school, but I can’t remember it at all.
i was rather annoyed by the critic’s blurbs on the cover of Kairo. it really wasn’t scary at all, having only a few minorly creepy moments. for lack of better comparison, its The Ring meets The Stand.
Tsukamoto on the other hand usually produces interesting movies. check out Tokyo Fist for a few Tetsuo-like moments intermixed with a kind of Fight Club meets Raging Bull minus all the shine and polish of american cinema. Bullet Ballet is also interesting, although the entire premesis i was expecting kind of deviated in the last 20 mins of the film. I’m trying to find the japanese version of Rod Boy (the kind of pet project that led up to Tetsuo 1) but it only seems to come with the expensive dvd pack of both Tetsuo movies. blah
There was a Second One missed call?
I liked the first one.
I just watched KOMA by Lo Chi-Leung.
I dug that too.
I also got Ju-Rei, the Uncanny, a short and rather enjoyable flick and at times very spooky if you can stomach the fact that it is a total ripoff of the Grudge.
Ever since the Musicland stores shut down I’ve cleaned up on alot of asian films. Mostly Korean.