Asian Horror (Cont'd)

(Back to Part 1)

Loft

I discovered the other night that several Kiyoshi Kurosawa films are free with Amazon Prime, including one I’d wanted to see for years but could never find, Loft. I watched it tonight and liked it, but I was hoping for something as good as Pulse or Cure and it didn’t meet that standard.

Amazon also has a 2016 Kurosawa film called Creepy that I will probably get around to seeing soon.

The Wailing

I found this one a few months ago at the library, and it was pretty entertaining. The story tries so hard to keep you guessing that I’m not sure it ultimately makes sense. But maybe it does. One of my favorite things in this film was its depiction of rituals with dancing, noise, and bright colors.

3 Likes

I don’t really watch horror movies pretty much ever, but I’ve always wondered if Asian horror movies were a genre or if they were all influenced by the same things or what, I guess cause people always talk about them in that way.

I honestly couldn’t sit through The Wailing, I gave up halfway but I don’t remember why. Maybe I should finish it

Eh, probably not. It’s one of those things were I feel like I was missing too much cultural knowledge to understand what was happening. Probably like if you watch The Exorcist without being Catholic, eh? I think you called it before the exorcism scene which is pretty good tho

I stopped early in the director’s previous film, The Yellow Sea, and I have been meaning to get back to that because it’s supposed to be very good, although outside the scope of this thread.

2 Likes

Claire just because you’re catholic doesn’t mean you’re the only person who understands The Exorcist

2 Likes

I’ve never seen it tbh. I just think the old joke that it’s only scary to Catholics is really funny.

3 Likes

Yeah but everything’s scary to Catholics.

8 Likes

It’s not one of my very favorites (I listed those in the previous thread that I linked above), but I was glad that I came across it. If I were to choose one Korean horror film to recommend (of those I’ve seen), it would definitely be A Tale of Two Sisters. Like The Wailing, that one can be confusing at first, but unlike The Wailing, it comes together in the end to form a clever story with all of the earlier scenes making sense in context.

While there’s some overlap, there do seem to be distinct qualities. I’ve personally seen very few Western horror films. What I like about the Asian ones is the focus on atmosphere and the surreal/supernatural rather than sudden shocks for effect or violence for the sake of violence.

I probably started thinking of Asian horror as a separate category after coming across the Snowblood Apple site years ago. I used that site as a guide to try to guess which ones I might want to see after being introduced to the genre by the remake of The Ring.

I’ve also never seen The Exorcist, though I enjoyed the book (and its sequel).

2 Likes

I used to spend so much time on Snowblood Apple!

2 Likes

I discovered a lot of stuff via Snowblood Apple. I didn’t know it was still around. Pulse was one of those movies, and it remains one of the few movies I still find kind of spooky and unsettling. Unfortunately, I haven’t really liked anything else I’ve seen by that director. Apparently, he also did Sweet Home, which I need to see if I can find with English subtitles somewhere.

I recently got around to re-watching Bio Zombie again, with the dub and the “Engrish” (as the DVD calls it) subtitles that I originally saw the movie with in the early 2000s. Everything about this movie is terrible, but it’s goofy fun and the ridiculous dub helps. Versus, if I recall correctly, had a pretty entertaining dub, too.

I also re-watched A Chinese Ghost Story (which, I’m guessing at this point will never have decent subtitles), and it’s still amazing. You’d think it’d be easy to sell people on a period piece about a debt collector who falls in love with a ghost and eventually fights spirits with a ghost-hunting, rapping Taoist priest, but everybody I’ve suggested it to has been disinterested. Fuck them, I guess.

Sick Nurses is pretty fun despite being a gory, incomprehensible mess. A lot of Freddy Krueger-esque kills based on their personalities and obsessions.

3 Likes

I just rewatched A Chinese Ghost Story too. It’s brilliant! Have you seen any of the sequels or remakes or anything? I recall someone saying 2 was actually good, but I can’t remember if that’s true or not.

Oh if you like that check out the first Zu Warriors movie. I forget what it’s called exactly. It’s got the same great combo of wacky antics and very elaborate special effects

2 Likes

I liked 2, but I haven’t seen it since the first I saw it, which was around a decade ago. I remember there was a cool scene where they fought a monster. I haven’t seen the remakes or anything, I think part of what makes the movies appealing was that goofy 80s patina.

Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, I’m guessing? Apparently, it influenced Big Trouble in Little China, so I’ll have to check it out. Also, the 2001 movie has demons called “Amnesia” and “Insomnia”. If I were a Sailor Moon villain, I’d want to be called Insomnia.

I finally got around to seeing Uzumaki the other night. I’m not sure why it took me so long, since the comic has been a favorite of mine for many years. I think I had the impression that it might be too silly and the effects too cheap-looking. But I liked it.

Although I was familiar with the story and knew what to expect, the playful filming and editing almost made me forget that it was a horror film at times. I think this might have even helped make the gory scenes a little more shocking.

That new black and white animated Uzumaki adaptation is supposed to be coming out this year. I hope it’s good.

2 Likes