Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Korean director Kim Ji-Wun's beautifully shot horror film A Tale of 2 Sisters is a compelling, albeit somewhat confusing tale of a dysfunctional family dealing with the return of 2 sisters upon recovering from a rare and unknown illness. The presence of any supernatural forces is quickly played down here, rather employing more implicit methods of intimidation that are by far the more scary and effective.

Whilst we seldom associate beauty with horror, the latter preferring subjects of grotesqueness and fear as bedfellas, A Tale of 2 Sisters succeeds in the cinematic marriage of the 2 with its elegantly staged camera work; often indulging in long, aptly paced shots of the largely vacant household interior as it takes relish in plunging the viewer headlong into the suffocating reek of the morbid tension, until the silence finally claws and screams for a release. The informed colour palette adds further strength to the mood and visual style with saturation jacked up to almost superfluous levels; blacks in the film are graded so intense they threaten to suck you into an endless, horrifying void, whilst the reds and ochre so vivid you can almost lean forward and smell the coppery reek of blood. At the end, the images will leave you fairly disturbed, but its intrinsic beauty will beckon for your attention more.

Certainly one of the more classy and calculated horror flicks I've watched of late, once again vindicating Korea as a filmmaking powerhouse.

Friday, August 22, 2003

The Medallion Sucks.

I haven't seen such hogwash in a long long time. Now there was this HK movie couple years back starring Leon Lai called Bullets of Love that came close, but The Medallion sets a whole new record for traumatic cinematic experience.

This is so bad, its not funny.