Ringu 1998

Ringu 1998

Ringu 1998If you’ve seen the American version call The Ring and liked it…this movie will make you not like it!  Let’s face it, Asian horror is SO much better than American horror. It seems that, for the most part, Americans don’t know how to do horror without throwing in a lot of blood and guts & sex and nudity.  Asian horror is able to stand on it’s own legs and creep us out without adding any unnecessary content.

I couldn’t find this on Netflix or Amazon but I did find the entire movie, with English subtitles, on YouTube.  As of the time of this post, you can view it by clicking here.

The movie starts with 2 girls sitting together and chatting while the family of one of the girls is at a baseball game.  One girl tells the other a campfire story about a cursed VHS tape…if you watch it, you get a call when it’s over informing you that you’re going to die in a week.  It turns out, however, that the girl she’s telling the story to, Tomoko Ôishi (Yûko Takeuchi, has actually seen the tape and did receive the call.

The relative of the girl, Reiko played by Nanako Matsushima that received the call is a reporter and she starts researching deaths that surround the video.  She makes a brave (stupid?  Yeah, I’m going with stupid) mistake of watching the video.  When the film is over, the phone rings.

Being the reporter that she is, she starts to study the video, looking for clues as to it’s origin and meaning behind the odd things on the screen.

Reiko enlists the help of her ex-husband, Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada).  He views the video, with Reiko, but doesn’t receive a call.

On the video they are able to make out a very strange phrase:

Frolic in brine, goblins be thine

If you play in the sea, goblins will get you.

However, during all of this research, the son, Yôichi (Rikiya Ôtaka)…whom is FAR too young to be left unattended…gets hold of the tape and watches.  Bad parenting x2…well, x4 if you count both parents screwing up in 2 ways.  He’s too young to be left alone and jumping jiminy, why on earth would you leave that tape sitting around for anybody, let along your 1st grade son, to get their hands on?

The two turn up a lot of useful information.  Do they find it in time?  Did they find out enough?

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Black Night 2006

Black Night 2006

Black Night 2006After I finished watching Dumplings last night I wanted/needed (yeah, probably more like needed) more Asian horror fix!  This one did not disappoint!  Again, I watched it on Netflix.

This film is a trilogy of the paranormal.  Although the “creepy” quality was lower than a lot of Asian horror, the movie still totally pulled it off!

The first story in the movie was called Next Door.  A woman, Jane (Annie Liu) has left town after break-up from her policeman boyfriend, Joe (Dylan Kuo).  She comes back during the month of July which is The Month of Ghost Festival.  She is warned, by a man in Joe’s building, to stay inside because the ghosts are out.  She gets to Joe’s apartment and sees him trying to get into the apartment next door.  When questioned about it, he says that he is just playing around.  Jane and Joe enter Joe’s apartment – on their way to his door, he casually drops a set of keys into a plastic bag and drops it over the balcony.  When Jane asks what it was he simply says “Nothing”.  We learn that Jane is a bit dramatic, not crazy, but dramatic.  She wants Joe to say that they’ll be together forever.  He agrees that, starting tomorrow, they will be.  She says they’ll live and die together.

The next day, Joe slips a note under the neighbors door apologizing that he didn’t come back the night before.

Meanwhile, Jane starts being visited by an apparition of a woman dripping with water and, oddly, keeps seeing what’s sort of like a phantom marble.

Joe goes down, the following morning, in attempts to find the bag he dropped over the wall the night prior.  No luck.  BUT, after he goes to work, not quite prepared as he doesn’t have his handcuffs and tells his partner that he left them at a friend’s house, Jane finds the bag he dropped.  It hadn’t dropped to the ground but had landed on a ledge.  She uses a straightened out coat hanger to retrieve the bag and, therefore, the keys.

I won’t give away any more of the storyline as to what happens after she enters the neighbors apartment.

The 2nd story in the trilogy is called Dark Hole.  Dark Hole is about a woman, Yuki (Asaka Seto), is plagued by reoccurring nightmares.  Her boyfriend, Satoichi (Takashi Kashiwabara) suggests she see a psychologist.  She agrees.  Dr. Kawai (Tomorowo Taguchi) puts Yuki under hypnosis and we find out that Yuki had an “imaginary” friend as a child.  How does this “friend” come in to play with deaths of people Yuki has known?  You’ll have to watch to find out!

Aw, the 3rd in the trilogy…amazing!  I love it!  It is called Lost Memory.

Prang (Pitchanart Sakakorn) is a single mother of an incredibly adorable little boy, Sun (Athipan Chantapichai).  She is no longer with Wit (Kajonsak Ratananisai) who is Sun’s father.  

Prang lost her memory during a car accident and is on medication to help her.  She gets little flashes from her past, is visited by a ghost, or two and is haunted by mysterious puddles and streams of water.

Prang goes to visit a friend named Praew (Nutsha Bootsri).  When she arrives she learns that her friend drowned in the pool just the night before.

Slowly the pieces of the puzzle are put together and Prang has to make some difficult decisions.

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Dumplings 2004

Dumplings 2004

*This post contains language*

Dumplings 2004I watched this movie last night, on Netflix.  I LOVE Asian horror films.  This wasn’t your traditional horror film but more of a “the hell?” horror film.  It is not for the light at heart.  It isn’t bloody or gory but the mental mind fuck that you get from it is…whoa!

Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung Chin Wah) was an actress when she was in her early 20s.  During this time she met her, now, husband.  Mr. Li (Tony Ka Fai Leung) was, roughly, 10 years her senior.

As Mrs. Li has aged, her husband has discovered that he prefers women in their 20s (pig) and has affairs.  One being with a woman, a masseuse (Pauline Lau) at the hotel where the Li’s are living while their house is being redecorated.  In an attempt to win back the affection of her husband, Mrs. Li seeks out a woman (Bai Ling), Mei, that makes age rejuvenating dumplings…the highest priced dumplings.  There is a secret ingredient in these dumplings that I won’t give away in this post but you find out early on what the ingredient is.  There are various levels of potency in the dumplings.  Mrs. Li wants the process sped up so she, like any junkie, wants the good stuff.

I understood 1/3 of the ending but 2/3 left me confused.  I understand Mrs. Li but I feel the movie left Mr. Li’s storyline and Mei’s storyline open.  They didn’t leave them open to interpretation but just…kind of left out totally.

The movie has English subtitles, the trailer does not.

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