Sunday, 28 August 2011

Asian Horror Films

So I have been delving into Asian horror films over the past week or so and I have to say, the ones I have watched have been pretty incredible. So far I've watched 'Shutter', 'Juon: The Curse', 'Juon: The Curse 2' and 'Noroi'. Out of these I found 'Shutter' the most impressive. 


The film follows a young couple who accidentally hit a woman crossing a road in their car. Out of fear, they decide to leave the woman. Soon after, the couple begin to see the woman turn up in photos they have taken, a long with a number of other spooky goings on. The film plays out as they attempt to discover who the woman is and what she wants. While the film may at first appear to be another 'vengeful female ghost' picture from Asia ala 'Ringu' and 'Juon', it is in fact one of the scariest films I have seen in a long time. Definitely not for the faint of heart. It has a conclusion that I think may be devisive; some will find it really creepy, others might find it funny. I found it creepy.

' Juon:The Curse' ( not to be mistaken for 'Juon: The Grudge';the third film in the series) follows the numerous residents who have lived in a house stained by a great tragedy. 


This 'curse' passes from person to person with many coming to a sticky end. I found this film incredibly interesting. First of all it is really low budget, it is shot on pretty low grade video, but the tension and direction really make this one shine. 'Juon: The Curse 2' isn't as interesting, but stall has some good creepy moments as we learn more about the history of the curse. What I really enjoyed was that the films used a non-linear narrative that wove all the characters together well. A great example of making an impact on a low budget. 

The last film I watched was 'Noroi'. 


This is a documentary horror in the same vein as 'The Blair Witch Project' and 'REC'. It's a mixed bag. In some ways it's the most effective documentary horror I've seen,and in other ways it doesn't hold up. The film is once again set in Japan where a paranormal investigator is followed by his trusty cameraman wherever he goes. Don't expect this to be like other 'camcorder' horrors; it's not. 

'Noroi' takes place in many different locations, mostly in full sunlight, and uses a variety of sources such as TV shows, CCTV, and of course the investigator's footage. It is very slow ( deliberately so) and plays out more like a procedural detective story than a horror at times. Make no mistake there are some VERY creepy moments, and the story is quite compelling, but it does have some problems. It's probably more for a patient audience, but I still really enjoyed it. I thought it had gotten past the problem of logic that most documentary horrors are plagued with ( WHY ARE YOU STILL HOLDING THAT CAMERA? RUN, GET HELP, etc.) but unfortunately, right at the end, it undid that good work with a scene that, while creepy, had no logic as to why a character was holding a camera and not helping someone. 

So far, I've really enjoyed this foray into Asian Horror, does anyone have a suggestion of a good one to watch?

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