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Posts Tagged ‘2006’

Movie Review: The Host (2006) South Korea Gwoemul

November 9, 2010 2 comments

Tail holding a girl in a river.Summary:
In the city of Seoul a haughty American military officer makes a Korean worker pour formaldehyde down the drain, which empties into the River Han.  Shortly a creature mutates and turns into a beast that comes up out of the river and terrorizes the peaceful people living and working beside the river.  The government cracks down on everyone who came into contact with the beast, claiming that the mutation is contagious.  Meanwhile, the beast captures a little girl, and her whole family escapes quarantine and goes in pursuit of her.

Review:
I’ve developed a fondness for foreign movies, but this one was epically confusing.  In fact, I live tweeted it, and my tweets were mostly ones of confusion.  I’m really not sure how this movie crossed over abroad the way it did.  Think of the worst American horror movie you’ve seen in the last couple of years and think about someone bothering to translate it into Korean.  That’s what watching this was like.

First, there’s the main issue of formaldehyde turning only one creature in the whole River Han into a beast.  That doesn’t make any sense at all.  Period.  Then there’s the beast itself.  Although the cgi is very good, how it just doesn’t look particularly frightening.  It can run around on land, swim, and hang by its tail off the bridges.  It frankly looks a lot like a giant fetus running around.  I couldn’t stop laughing.

Then there were just a bunch of odd, confusing moments.  Maybe it was a cultural thing?  Maybe the translation was bad?  I’m really not sure.  For instance, when the beast first appears, someone calls out that it’s a dolphin and gets all excited.  I’m sorry; it looks nothing like a dolphin at any point in time.  Wtf?  Then there’s the main family.  For the longest time, I thought that the little girl and her father were actually brother and sister with a slightly incestuous relationship.  They look practically the same age!  He gives her beer because she’s “in middle school now.”  In fact, the whole family’s relationships with one another were completely baffling.  Then there’s one of the weapons used against the beast that was some sort of inflated thing hanging down from a beam or something, and it, swear to god, just looked like a giant, yellow penis.  Wtf?  There were just too many wtf moments to get into the movie.

The one good thing I can say about the movie is that it reveals quite clearly the anti-American feelings in South Korea.  I’m sure it would be interesting as a cultural study for that alone.  I guess it was also entertaining, ableit in a wtf way.  Given that, I’d recommend it to people with an interest in Korean culture or an enjoyment of bad horror movies.

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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Movie Review: Slither (2006)

August 19, 2010 3 comments

Woman in bathtub surrounded by slugs.Summary:
When an asteroid comes to a small, southern US town, it brings with it alien slug-like creatures who infest a local man.  His wife is the first to notice something askew, but not before the slugs manage to impregnante a local woman.  Can she and the golden-hearted sherriff save the day?

Review:
The two most important things to know about this movie are: 1) It was written and directed by James Gunn Dawn of the Dead and 2) the part of the sherriff is played by Nathan Fillion of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog fame.  Fans of either absolutely must watch this movie, particularly fans of Fillion as there’s nothing quite like watching him face slugs.  That said, I can’t tell if this movie was actually trying to be scary.  It certainly isn’t scary at all.  It is deliciously disgusting and hilarious, however.  It kind of reminds me of Killer Klowns from Outer Spaceonly with slugs and a woman who looks like Cartman at his fattest because she’s so full of alien spawn.  If that sort of thing is up your alley, you’re going to enjoy this movie.

Probably the best part of this movie, besides watching Fillion, is the special effects.  The slugs look totally believable, and as the husband becomes more taken over by the aliens, he looks increasingly like Brundle in The Fly.  Plus the slugs naturally do all sorts of disgusting things and the effects aren’t the type that take you out of the gross-out moment.  

My main gripes with the film are that the husband is kind of miscast.  It’s really not believable that his wife ever married him to start with.  He at least needed a better looking face or something.  Plus his acting prior to all the special effects taking place is kind of iffy.  I also wished the slugs had wreaked a bit more havoc prior to entering the bodies whereupon we can’t see them anymore.  They were cool to look at.

Overall, you’re going to enjoy this film if you enjoy B-level, gross-out horror.  It’s not up the level of The Fly, but it is a fun watch. 

3 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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Movie Review: Shrooms (2006)

August 3, 2010 6 comments

Skull in the forest.Summary:
Five Americans–two straight couples and one single gal–go to Ireland with two sole purposes: take shrooms and land their Irish pal as a boyfriend for the single gal.  Their friend takes them into the forest and aids them in gathering the shrooms.  As they are making the tea, the Irishman tells them the tale of the Black Brother and the Lonely Twin, an evil priest and the boy he tortured at a now abandoned school for troubled youth nearby.  As the night wears on the next day comes, the friends are left wondering if the horrors they are now seeing are the result of an open portal to the supernatural or just a bad trip.

Review:
This was a fun twist on the slasher flick norms, obviously not too heavy on characterizations as I can’t remember most of the character’s names.  I do know the annoying jock guy was named Bluto, because that’s just a hilarious name.  Anyway, the story is told from the perspective of the member of the group who ate a bad shroom and is now having premonitions about people’s deaths.  That part is rather like Final Destination, only in this case we know the person having the premonitions is high, so her believability is even more questionable.

The Black Brother is deliciously creepy.  He alternates between moving on what appear to be broken feet, floating, and crawling down from the trees.  His face is always obscured by his monk-like robe.  The cinematography is pretty good for a B-level horror flick.  The premonition and supernatural bits are just wobbly enough to give the viewer a bit of a high feeling themselves without being too distracting from the story.

The acting is typical of what you find in B level movies.  The actors all have their shrieking down to a science.  They’re good at being scared, which is all that really matters.  Unfortunately, the actor who plays the Irish guy is completely incapable of an Irish accent and manages to just sound British the entire time.  That’s a bit distracting, but oh well.

There is one scene early in the movie that sold it to me right away as a slightly laughable but still creepy slasher flick.  It involves a hallucinated cow who warns Bluto that he’s about to become a “dead fucker.”  I mean, a creepy talking cow?  Total B-movie win!

What really moved Shrooms up from a 3 star to a 4 star level for me though was the ending.  I can’t tell you what it is, obviously, but I can tell you that I didn’t figure it out, and it was legitimately creepy.

If you enjoy B-level slasher flicks with a sense of humor, such as Final Destination, you’ll definitely enjoy Shrooms.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Netflix

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