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Tag: Asian films

Movie Review: IMPETIGORE

I’ve only seen two Indonesian horror flicks, so I can’t fairly comment on the overall health and quality of the region’s horror industry. Especially considering how much I truly enjoyed both films. It would be like watching Halloween and Alien as your first two American horror movies and immediately declaring, “This country never makes a bad horror movie! They can’t miss.”

So I have to rein in my praise for Impetigore slightly. Only slightly. This movie is a bit of a banger. It has some of everything. To open, it features a tense slasher / thriller sequence involving a violent man and a woman–our protagonist, Maya–and a toll booth. Later the movie will feature ghosts, a decidedly decrepit and spooky house with its very own and entirely too-populated graveyard, secret-keeping murderous villagers, curses and sacrifices and rituals and more. It’s packed with so much, yet doesn’t feel crammed with all of this content. Somehow there’s sufficient room for it all. It’s quite an achievement. READ MORE

Movie Review: MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU

Good horror movies understand and respect gravity. Okay, this isn’t a hard and fast rule by which to judge all horror films, I’m sure there are some great ones that don’t have any respect for gravity. But watching May the Devil Take You brought this to mind.

By gravity I don’t mean “dignity or sobriety of bearing,” which is somehow the 1a definition on merriam-webster.com. I mean weight and “a fundamental physical force that is responsible for interactions which occur because of mass between particles,” the 2 and 3a definitions, respectively. The fact that certain things are heavy. Human bodies, for instance. If one should begin to levitate due to supernatural forces, it should still look like gravity has some influence over it, not like it’s paper on the wind. READ MORE

Movie Review: AURORA

Aurora is a particular kind of letdown. Its excellent premise and relevancy to a specific national event means it isn’t something you can just run back and do-over in a couple of years to get it right. If a future Filipino director wants to try his or her hand at this, it might have to be one from their next generation of filmmakers.

About that premise: Aurora is the name of the film and of a wrecked ship that sits ominously off the coast for most of the film. Based on the Doña Paz disaster–the deadliest peacetime maritime accident in history, and by a considerable margin–the Aurora‘s wreck causes considerable death and suffering. More than you might initially suspect, in fact, unless you’re like me and you’re already fairly familiar with the Doña Paz and how it managed such a heavy death toll. In that case the film’s ultimate “revelation” won’t be much of a revelation at all. And I say that as a man living half a world away. I imagine for Filipino audiences it must have been even less surprising. READ MORE

Movie Review: FURIE

At a certain, critical point in the film, Furie made me say of its heroine, “She stabbed the shit out of ol’ girl.” A positive review was then all but cemented.

To be clear, Furie is merely a “good” action movie, not a superior one, but that is partly due to its recent competitors. In a world where exists the likes of The RaidJohn Wick, the last few Mission Impossible flicks, The Night Comes for Us and The Man From Nowhere, you might be more apt to nitpick a few things about Furie, such as how its lead actress, Ngô Thanh Vân, doesn’t have a great action movie run. The scooters often used in the chase scenes are also clearly moving at a very safe speed in some shots, and that lack of urgency stands out all the more when the people on these scooter are all wearing helmets. Maybe Vietnam is just so big on bike safety that even in the midst of attempting or averting a kidnapping, all parties involved make sure to first secure some headgear. READ MORE

Movie Review: ONE CUT OF THE DEAD

I know I’m pretty late to the party on this, but allow me to be the latest person to confirm all the praise that has been heaped upon One Cut of the Dead. No, it’s not even a little bit scary, but yes, it’s incredibly entertaining. It’s the good-time bloody zombie movie of the decade; rivaled only by Zombieland, even though the movies end up being quite different. It’s a movie that even people like me, who are largely exhausted by even the thought of enduring yet another zombie story, can enjoy. READ MORE

Movie Review: WHISPERING CORRIDORS

What a strange delight is Whispering Corridors, a movie that haunted my recommendations across multiple online platforms for years. I am so glad, at long last, to have taken time to watch it.

Why I didn’t ever give it a chance until now, I cannot say. I’ve taken a chance on movies with worse reviews, worse looking covers, less interesting blurbs, so on and so forth. For some reason I just left Whispering Corridors behind, stuck in my “Eh, I’ll get around to it eventually” bin. This weekend I finally did indeed get around to it. READ MORE