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Rating History

Spider Forest
Spider Forest (2005)
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Aka: Geomi sup

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I had the pleasure to see this Korean gem at the FanTasia Festival of Montreal last week and this one happens to be one of the highlights of this film fest.

After the lost of his wife in a plane crash, Kang Min (Woo-seong Kam), a young worker in a Broadcasting station tries to start a new life with a beautiful actress and to forget the drama of his life. However, things change brutally when, in an old house within the Spider Forest, where souls of the dead can incarnate into spiders, Kang Min found the bodies of his girlfriend and his employer, savagely murdered by a stranger. Pursuing the murderer, Kang ended up beaten and almost dead in the forest by the mysterious man. Awaking in the wood, his face covered with blood, he then struggled to find a way out of the forest but then, was severely hit by a car. After being in a coma for 14 days, Kang finally awaked in an hospital, without any memories of what happened except that he saw the murdered body of his fiancÚe laying on the floor of a abandoned house in the forest. Seeking help from a friend in the police, Kang started then to try to remember the order of the events that led him to discover the murder. For Kang and his policeman friend, began then a journey into madness where the only possible outcome is death itself.

Il-gon Song (The Picnic) delivers with [i]Spider Forest[/i] a dark and violent journey into the madness and despair of a man whose wife and late fiancÚe were taken from him mercilessly. [i]Spider Forest[/i] isn?t your typical strait-forward movie but rather a quite confusing experience due to the frequent flashbacks and the non-linear screenplay. In a sense, this thriller may reminds David Lynch?s works with its twisted ending and surreal atmosphere. Even though [i]Spider Forest[/i] isn?t really a horror movie, I would dare to compare this dark thriller to kim?s [i]A Tale of Two Sisters[/i]. This move is sure to give you the shiver!

The cinematography of this film has to be mentioned no matter what. Cheol-ju Kim give to [i]Spider Forest[/i] an unnatural beauty and the surreal lightning adds to the dreadful suspense of this journey. The Spider Forest truly exhales a ghastly feeling and is definitely a place where you wouldn?t like to be all by yourself.

[i]Spider Forest[/i] is a very violent film and so, not for the faint-hearted. The murder scenes are very graphic and, beside a single scene, the violence looks very realistic. I wouldn?t say that I understood this movie entirely. I definitely need to see this again since this is the kind of movie you have to pay attention to the smallest details in order get what happens exactly. Now, if you like your thrillers dark and bloody with a high shock factor, I would highly recommend [i]Spider Forest[/i]. [/left]

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Parasite Dolls
11 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

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When people love too much?

Sawako (Miho Kanno) is an ordinary woman that loves her boyfriend Matsumoto (Hidetoshi Nishijima). But when Matsumoto accepts to marry another woman chosen by his parents, Sawako tries to commit suicide by eating drugs. She survived but her brain is then irreversibly damaged and she looses all sanity. It is just before his wedding that Matsumoto learns what happened to his former girlfriend and it is burdened by culpability that he decides to quit his wedding to see Sawako at the hospital. Seeing her in that awful state, he decided, against all, to take Sawako whit him and to elope, abandoning everything he possesses, in the hope that Sawako will eventually recover. Then starts for them, a long and tragic journey into despair and sadness. Meanwhile, in a park, a woman (Chieko Matsubara) waits for her lover who left her 30 years ago. Will he come today or will he not? Haruna (Ky˘ko Fukada) is a beautiful pop idol that has everything for her. But when she's caught in a car accident and she gets disfigured, her entire world crumbles around her. But for her biggest fan (Tsutomu Takeshige) this might be the only chance he has to come close to her but, for that he will have to make the most terrible sacrifice?

Takeshi Kitano ([i]A Scene at the Sea[/i]) produces with [i]Dolls[/i] a dauntingly beautiful humanist movie. With minimal dialogues, the film tells through incredible images, the faith of those who love so much that they end up hurting themselves, reaching the breaking point between sanity and madness. In this offbeat production, the viewer is caught into a contemplative experience where he can only powerlessly witness the tragic faith of the characters.

This movie isn't about action or strong storyline. There isn't any "plot twist" or climactic event here, just the depressing feeling that there is no way out of the characters' drama. So this movie won't appeal to everyone. To appreciate it, one must not expect any adrenaline rush but just let the beauty of the images to swallow him. Highly recommended.


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Dolls
Dolls (2002)
11 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

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When people love too much?

Sawako (Miho Kanno) is an ordinary woman that loves her boyfriend Matsumoto (Hidetoshi Nishijima). But when Matsumoto accepts to marry another woman chosen by his parents, Sawako tries to commit suicide by eating drugs. She survived but her brain is then irreversibly damaged and she looses all sanity. It is just before his wedding that Matsumoto learns what happened to his former girlfriend and it is burdened by culpability that he decides to quit his wedding to see Sawako at the hospital. Seeing her in that awful state, he decided, against all, to take Sawako whit him and to elope, abandoning everything he possesses, in the hope that Sawako will eventually recover. Then starts for them, a long and tragic journey into despair and sadness. Meanwhile, in a park, a woman (Chieko Matsubara) waits for her lover who left her 30 years ago. Will he come today or will he not? Haruna (Ky˘ko Fukada) is a beautiful pop idol that has everything for her. But when she's caught in a car accident and she gets disfigured, her entire world crumbles around her. But for her biggest fan (Tsutomu Takeshige) this might be the only chance he has to come close to her but, for that he will have to make the most terrible sacrifice?

Takeshi Kitano ([i]A Scene at the Sea[/i]) produces with [i]Dolls[/i] a dauntingly beautiful humanist movie. With minimal dialogues, the film tells through incredible images, the faith of those who love so much that they end up hurting themselves, reaching the breaking point between sanity and madness. In this offbeat production, the viewer is caught into a contemplative experience where he can only powerlessly witness the tragic faith of the characters.

This movie isn't about action or strong storyline. There isn't any "plot twist" or climactic event here, just the depressing feeling that there is no way out of the characters' drama. So this movie won't appeal to everyone. To appreciate it, one must not expect any adrenaline rush but just let the beauty of the images to swallow him. Highly recommended.


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Gusha no bindume (Hellevator)(Gusher No Binds Me)(The Bottled Fools)
11 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Aka ?Gusha no bindume?
Aka ?Gusher No Binds Me?

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In an underground dystopian world erected from over hundreds of levels, the young student Luchino Fujisaki (Rukino Fujisaki) defies the law by smoking a cigarette which is considered a felony. Making things worst, because of that cigarette, Luchino will be responsible of a major fire that will cause many deaths. Along with a young mother, a microbiologist, a teenager and the operator, Luchino embarked in an elevator that will, in the end, bring her from the 138th level up to the first one in what will proved to be a nightmarish journey into madness, murder and chaos.

Hiroki Yamaguchi delivers with [i]Hellevator: The Bottled Fools[/i] a bizarre but yet incredible film reminiscent of other Japanese independent, low-budgeted, fucked-up production like Tsukamoto?s [i]Tetsuo: The Iron Man[/i] or Fukui?s [i]Robber?s Lover[/i] and [i]964 Pinocchio[/i]. But, [i]Hellevator [/i]succeeds where the others may have failed, proving to be a thoroughly entertaining flick and a caustic satyr that works on so many levels without being over-obscure and ultimately ridiculous like the aforementioned movies. Some might think that the film suffers from an almost non-existent budget but I do think that what they did is pretty awesome; giving even some fantastic shots.

In the end, this highly stylish movie that basically take place entirely in an elevator, reminds some surreal films like Jeunet?s [i]City of Lost Children [/i]or Gilliam?s [i]Brazil[/i] but is much more violent and disturbing. Definitely, this movie isn?t fore everyone but I you like dark comedies spiced with a good amount of blood then you should give [i]Hellevator[/i] a try!

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Gin gwai (The Eye)
11 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

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[size=2]Since she was 2 years old, Wong Kar Mun (Angelica Lee) is blind and has learned how to live without sight. But now, things are about to change because she is to have a cornea transplantation that should give her sight back. Of course, for someone who has no memory of any images (she was just too young when she lost her sight) the sudden recovery of a vision isn?t an easy thing. Now she has to re-learn everything and to train her brain to work along with her brand new eyes. Since she can?t recognize what she sees, everything seems alienated to her especially when she start to realize that she can see things that others can?t. Things start to get very scary when she realizes that those strange visions are in fact the spirits of dead people. Why does she see all these dead souls? What do they want to tell her? Would she be able to learn how to live with the foresight of ill-events?

The Pang brothers ([i]Who Is Running?[/i]) deliver with [i]The Eye[/i] a chilling yet stylish thriller spawned from the new Asian horror vague post-[i]Ringu[/i]. Angelica Lee gives an outstanding performance as the young woman who discovers the visible (and invisible) world. She is accompanied by other great performances like the one given by the young Yut Lai So as the lovely Ying Ying. Maybe one miscast actor, Lawrence Chou as Dr. Wha Lo seems way to young and not really believable as Mun?s psychiatrist. One thing that put The Eye ahead of most recent Asian horror flick is the beautiful cinematography and the strong score that gives this Hong Kong/Thailand movie more style than most other titles that come out from Japan or Korea. If the story may remind us Shyamalan?s [i]The 6th Sense[/i], The Pang brothers succeeded to give us a beautiful piece of art and a chilling thriller that has nothing to envy to any other production.

This Thriller doesn?t rely at all on easy gory shots. Yet, even if there isn?t a single bloody scene (not a single drop of blood is seen) the Eye is sure to scare the hell out of you with its subtle yet terribly effective combination of spooky imagery and chilling music. Really one of the best horror movie since a long time. No wonder why an American remake of this film is already in production. Don?t wait to see the numbed down American version, go see this one instead!!!

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