Thursday, 27 October 2016

Reincarnation Review 2005 輪廻 Japan

Happy Halloween!
Since it's approaching Halloween I thought I'd sit down to an Asian horror classic.

This entry to the J-Horror collection is directed by Takashi Shimizu(Ju-On: The Grudge/Marebito). While not quite reaching the heights of Ringu and Ju-On, Reincarnation still holds it's own as a fine supernatural thriller.

When a young actress gets a role in a film based on a series of grisly murders in the 1970s, she begins to experience the killings as if they are happening in front of her. When she discovers an 8mm camera that appears to contain footage of the murders, she decides to develop the film, with terrifying consequences.

Japanese subways are always so crowded

Shimizu is great at creating an eerie atmosphere and tension. This is the real strong point of Reincarnation. Although the film might start off a little slow, it gets more and more tense as the film progresses. By the start of the third act, you'll be on the edge of your seat as the story unravels and plot elements running parallel with each other join up to give a thought provoking and compelling conclusion.

Yuka delivers a stunning performance as Nagisa Sugiura, an actress cast in the lead role of the horror film within the horror film. The film seems to be partly influenced from The Shining with the setting of the hotel, some similar plot points and also her acting style adds to this.

Traditional Japanese head massage

J-Horror isn't for everyone. It is much slower paced than American counterparts. And it doesn't have the constant jump scares, although, Reincarnation is quite creepy and does have a jump scare or two. But it's the story that matters, Reincarnation will have you guessing and questioning throughout the entire film until everything clicks in to place wonderfully at the climatic ending.

If you are looking for a Horror film to watch this Halloween, you could do worse.


See this if you liked:
The Ring
The Grudge
Dark Water

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Rules of The Game Review 1999 Hong Kong 新家法

Generic Triad movie but it's brilliant cast and dark themes make it entertaining.

Charismatic Louis Koo is David Chow, a small-time businessman whose successful rise in the triad underworld comes in a deliberate means to an end. He's forced to join the triad of Boss Sing (Alex Fong) in order to bail out his buddy (Edmund So). Ann (Kristy Yang), the girl David loves works at a bar and catches the eye of Boss Sing who attempts to win her heart honestly. A clash between David and Sing seems inevitable.

Rules Of The Game is standard Triad affair. You are getting what it says on the tin. Expect lots of bad-ass knifes getting swung around as nameless gang members are getting chopped and stabbed. The story isn't very original and themes and ideas have been borrowed from other HK gangster flicks. But all this isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you like Triad films then you will like this. It really doesn't glamorise Triad lifestyle at all.

The cast all do a great job. Louis Koo is brilliant as David, full of charisma and comes across as a real bad ass. Alex Fong plays the role of Sing with so much conviction he is almost likeable, even though he commits some horrendous crimes. Kristy Yang lights up her role with charm and innocence. The only real let down is Sam Lee, a brilliant actor that has a role where he doesn't get to shine like his usual self.

Some of the music is fantastic in the montages and the others are downright cheesy. A few of the musical queues are extremely questionable and you have to wonder if this melodrama was supposed to gauge more of an emotional reaction in these scenes.

It all comes down to a conclusion which is half exciting and half a let down. Definitely shocking, but a more satisfying ending is expected after everything that unfolds.

Not the best Triad film, but certainly not the worst. See it for the performances, the wacky story, the violence and have a few beers and enjoy.


See this film if you liked:
Young and Dangerous
Colours of The Loyalty
Jiang Hu (Triad Underworld)