Thursday, October 25, 2012
Top 5 Horror FilmsAsian Cinema Film Vlog Foreign Horror Films
( I basically repeat myself so either watch or read my post, or both!)
Let me just say this, I'm not a huge horror film watcher. I don't even like watching those parody films like Scary Movie (2000). But when I do, I watch it for the sake of knowing the roots of horror films and to witness it's developments in the genre. Although the sheer sound of windows cracking can make my bones jump out of my body and my judgement of the genre is probably not trustworthy, I've selected five films that truly gave me the worst nightmares and possibly the runs (tmi) just in time for the Halloween season. I'm not talking about classic horror films like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973) and these films aren't even on the list of top 50 scariest horror films. So how can you trust my judgement? I guess you can't but I assure you that any films that makes me want to pull my eyes out, stab a knife into my stomach, and generally crap on myself, is a film worth seeing. In no specific order, these films are some of scariest films (mostly foreign) I've seen in my life.
1. Don't Look Now (1973)
A married couple grieving the recent death of their daughter is in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from the beyond. I watched Don't Look Now in my film class and I don't know if it was such an appropriate place to watch as I wanted to hurl myself towards the projection machine to stop the film from continuing. This particular horror film is rooted in realism that shows the aftermath of a couple's struggle when their daughter dies in a horrible way. The film entails one of the most passion sex scenes I've ever seen that conveys their emotional connection and disconnection from each other and the world. The true horror comes in the very last minutes of the film, that made me convulse with pure terror. You will never see the color red the same way ever again.
2. The Descent (2005)
My friend Farah suggested that everyone watch The Descent so I thought I would give it a try. A group of girlfriends go on a caving expedition that goes horribly wrong when the explorers become trapped and discover theres no way out. Neil Marshall's business partner realized that there hasn't been any horror film with an all female cast. Defying conventions, casting females gave an extra punch of vulnerability to the characters and of course, drama. I wonder if they villainized Juno because she was an American and part Asian? I wonder if she had an affair with Sarah's husband? Whatever the answer, there are certain questions that went unexplained. But with this much knit tight build up, who cares about the character development! Save your lives! I had absolutely no expectations for the film and kept thinking of another film when I heard The Descent. Have no expectations when you see it and this ride will be a hell of a lot more fun. Apparently when it was released in the US they cut out a minute from the end because the American market favors a more hopeful ending. But if you see it, watch the English cut. So much better.
3. Audition (1999)
When I think of the master of Asian horror film, no other than Takashi Miike comes to mind. Before pushing the boundaries of horror even further in Ichi the Killer (2000), with Audition, he took a more realistic approach. A widower takes an ffer to auditon girls in order for him to find a new wife. Be emotionally prepared to see this film. I don't expect anything less than a psychologically, bloody, fucked up stories from Miike. The already twisted film took another unexpected turn down its warped hole when the audience is confronted with a sack. When you realized what the contents of the sack is, you'll wish your mommy was there to hold you. This is by far one of the most mentally warped film I've ever laid my eyes on.
4. Trouble Everyday (2001)
I have no idea how I came to watch it but at times, I regret that I did, every day. Trouble Everyday got a baffling 44% on Rotten Tomatoes but I still think it's valid horror film to witness. It is a horror tale that juggles sex and blood creating an quite an appetite for these two key things in the characters of the film. Vincent Gallo fits perfectly into this poetically maddening world. Without explanation, the film unfolds expressively and after gathering clue by clue that you fully understand what the hell is going on minutes from the end. this film doesn't follow horror film convention and is more art-house, it gives the fresh look to the genre. If anyone else watches this film, please tell me what you thought so I don't feel completely insane for being scared.
5. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
A Tale of Two Sisters is based on an old Korean Folk Story which has been adapted many times by the Korean media but it wasn't until Kim Jee-Woon's 2003 attempt that truly gave it's native people an adaptation worth watching and praising. After the death of their mother, two sisters move back into their homes to face their evil step-mother and a supernatural being. This is essentially a ghost story. But unlike most ghost films out there, it is not the ghost that gives the audience the biggest scare but the eerie atmosphere that pumps the suspense to an all time high. Kim directs this psychological thriller which the upmost style: every angle, every piece of furniture, every setting is a cinematographer's wet dream. I was shielding my eyes half the film and I was still scared out of my mind. Less is really more. The lack of dialogue and the imagery of things within the tainted house drove my insanity and imagination swirling down to the darkest place in my mind. After withstanding the unbearable suspense, the pay off it undeniably rewarding. There was an American remake of A Tale of Two Sisters called The Uninvited (2009). But it's obvious that the film is a piece of crap.
So those of my top 5 horror films. After compiling my list, it became evident that all these films were about females with a dark past. 3/5 films on this list deals with characters losing a loved one or having been through horrible circumstances. Since the beginning of the Horror film genre, the victimization of women have consistently been the focus of these stories. I don't know if it's a good thing or not. Is the torment of women more entertaining or is the complex and emotional aspect of women give insight to a more engaging horror? Something to definitely contemplate. Whether you watch these films on Halloween or not, please share any other horror films that you think is underrated.