Saturday, October 18, 2008

Memento Mori (Wispering corridors 2 or Yeogo goedam 2) - (South-Korea, 1999)

Memento mori, by directors Tae-yong Kim and Kyu-dong Min, is often categorized as a horror movie, but in my opinion it isn’t at all. It is a story about the relationship between two girls who are being disliked by the other students, Hyo-Shin (yeh-jin Park) and Shi-Eun (Young-jin Lee), in a school for girls. Their feelings towards each other are much more than friendship and together they keep track of a diary.
This diary has been found by Min-Ah (Min-sun Kim) and she is started to get interesting in this weird, almost baroque like, book of feelings. It seems all happy in the beginning but rather soon a sad feeling approached her. And than everything changes, Hyo-Shin kills herself by jumping of the roof. Why did this happen? Soon Min-Ah feels a cold hand on her body and a girl who is whispering ‘memento mori’ (remember to die) in her ears.
This film can be seen as society related. Who has great achievements in school and thinks like the rest (of the society) will be successful in their future career. To be different means to walk another path with less support of society.
Like most Asian mysterious movies, this one has a complex storyline as well with many flashbacks and will leave you with unsolved puzzles. The feeling is a bit sad, even the loving emotion between the two girls has something strange, almost morbid.
The camerawork is just great, an interesting innovating style which consist of a mix between unsteady shaking scenes and beautiful quiet scenes of a girl just standing on a roof. Just like the camerawork, the musical score is also impressive. Beautiful churchlike music with a rather interesting Kyrie Eleison.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

An Oriental black magic / Gong Tau (Hongkong, 2007)

It has been a while since I watched a voodoo-like movie with needles and voodoo dolls (Gong Tau). But A Oriental black magic is taking me back to this kind of horror.
After watching it for about ten minutes I already thought it would be a bit over the top. The camera work is a little irritating I have to say. Much ‘scare’ effects in sound and camera work as well as the overacting of some characters give it the feeling for a B movie. The score isn’t really interesting but typical for this kind of movie. Besides of this, I continued watching it andjust enjoyed the ride.
The story is rather interesting (without being really scary) with the following theme: ‘what is worse than pain? It is to never know what pain is again’. A woman is cursed with Gong Tau and the story is about the why, what and how of her tragic fate.
It truly can be called a horror because it is really filled with gore. When you like corpses stuffed with really disgusting insects and/or animals, this is your film!
This one can please some people but it is not my liking of a movie should be presented and I just
think it is rather bad.

Still, maybe it is not the best horror film, there are some admirable scenes to watch for having a good laugh. In fact Gong Tau takes you back to the Hongkong black magic films of the 70's and 80's. Ifyou are into these kind of films (dark, sometimes a bit sensual horror), just watch it!