Saturday, April 08, 2006

Black Night

When I can sit through a horror genre film and actually poke fun at its stupidity, then you know that there really is nothing to be afraid of. While the attempt is good, the delivery is pretty bad. The acting's mediocre at best, and the ghouls look extremely cheap.

A Pan-Asian production, we see three different stories, each done with a different director helming the production. What I disliked about the movie is it's passing off 3 distinct horror shorts as a feature length production. They tried to have a unifying theme / element throughout, and it turned out to be the rehash of Ju-On/Dark Water. It's time horror filmmakers know to move on. Not everything must be from puddles of water and little boys you know?

"Next Door" is the Hong Kong portion, directed by Patrick Leung. We see a love triangle being formed between 2 girls and a guy. Well, make that 1 girl, 1 guy and 1 vengeful female spirit, who probably deserved to die in the first place for engaging in kinky sex games involving handcuffs. The ending's pretty ridiculous, and drew laughter rather than terror. What's worse, the characters can't seem to decide what language to speak in. From Cantonese to Mandarin, then to a mixture of both in the same sentence, it suggested that the filmmakers are suffering from lingua-schizophrenia (ooh, did I just create a new term?). The twist in the end is plain blah, and the little marble boy served no purpose other than to create cheap scares.

"Black Hole" is the Japanese section, directed by Takahiko Akiyama. This one provided better scares with its horrific eyes-hollowed-out ghosts and special effects, but the storyline's a plain bore, about an aquarium usher having her past memory wiped out due to some early childhood trauma. It's psycho-analytical blabber which should have shut up and let the scares do the talking. Again there's a little boy involved, and again, a body of water plays an important element. But we don't really care much about it now, do we?

"The Lost Memory" is perhaps the best amongst all three. Directed by Thai Thanit Jitnukul, at least it had a relatively stronger storyline, one which tried to tug at your heartstrings as it dealt with family - an estranged husband and wife, and their child. It talks about promises, and the seeking of closure and forgiveness. But it reeks of Ju-On all over again, and the little boy looked like a Hulk reject with his green skin. Perhaps the only scary factor was the loud fall onto the toilet bowl. Really made you feel the pain.

From Reincarnation to Black Night, this week's dark offerings are a joke, a meek attempt to make some moolah. Don't get conned - either watch something else which is worth your time, or wait for the right horror movie to come by. The little boy in Omen666 looks scary enough though - hold onto your hell money for 6/6/06.

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