Memento Mori (2001)
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|Genre:||Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy|
|Directed By:||Jack Clayton, Min Kyu-Dong, Kim Tae-Yong, Kyu-Dong Min, Tae-Yong Kim|
|Written By:||Muriel Spark, Jack Clayton, Alan Kelley, Jeanie Sims|
|In Theaters:||Jan 1, 2001 Wide|
|On DVD:||Apr 12, 2005|
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Remember the dead...Flixster ate my review of this but I recently found a copy on a flash drive, yay! Released on DVD on the "Tartan Asia Extreme" label, Memento Mori is actually more of a tender romance-slash-ghost story than it is a horror story (it has for instance, little in common with fellow Tartan releases Ringu or The Eye). Set in an all girls' school, the film instead builds suspense (though not scares) on the story of a girl who discovers a diary, containing the details of a secret relationship between two fellow pupils. When one of the girls is discovered dead, rumours begin and before long it appears as if a spirit is out for revenge. I'll readily admit to being thoroughly confused in the first 15 or so minutes, where there's a flood of information and apparent flashbacks and jumping periods in time are shown with little signing to show what is happening and what has happened. I soon caught up though, and was definitely rewarded with my investment in time. Both sensitive and emotionally complex, Memento Mori is a haunting but beautiful film; very restrained up until the last section, before concluding with not the usual supernatural twist but a nicely low-key and moving ending.
A ghost story with some deep metaphors about acceptance and sexual identity.
I?ve been burned before, so that?s why I looked into this movie before watching. And it appeared to be landing more on the high-brow. But this movie really didn?t need to be a supernatural kind of ?scary? movie. Or even lumped into the ABC-horror category. It would have probably been a better movie as a teenage drama about lesbian love with a non-linear mystery narrative. The supernatural stuff isn?t necessary. And that is not a spoiler, that?s kind of how it is sold. And I guess it was controversial when it came out. But I thought the horror stuff would be more prominent. I was more surprised by how well they handled the other stuff.
But, damn that score. It is really annoying during the climax. And some ill placed kung-fu flick sound effects had me laughing. And the movie really killed everything when it was trying to kill everything. But it is a nice story that is stuck in a bad movie.
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