The frenzied pace gives some life to an otherwise just "ok" plot, with some not particularly interesting characters.
I don't mind style over substance, but here some of the editing virtuosisms, pushed the bounds of parody and self indulgence.
To top it off, i found the finale to be forced melodrama, but that's required by law in this type of Korean thrillers.
At first glance it seems futile to lump this in with Park's previous feature The Handmaiden (which I'm realizing I didn't review back in 2016, and thus this is going to be a sort of dual entry), as they are very different movies. The Handmaiden is sexually graphic and violent and daringly lurid, Decision to Leave is stately and chaste and no more violent than your average TV mystery. Still, both are metabolizing various and related cinematic and literary influences:…
1st Wayne Wang
One part B Noir, one part proto-Jarmusch/Linklater talkfest, one part meditation on cross-cultural identity, cross town. The first film by an Asian-American filmmaker to get any form of decent distribution, Chan is Missing seems to be a cheerfully shaggy dog tale, on the surface at least. Yet it's hard to ignore the more sombre elements underneath, especially the conversations that emerge around what it means to be Chinese-American. There's almost something Rivette-like in the narrative, for the…
2nd Bob Clark (after Deathdream)
An endless drip, drip, drip of misery, of good intentions perverted, of men who just want control and don't give a damn about how they get it. Of phone calls taunting or unsatisfying, a relentless barrage of the world's chill wind and the reminder that some people are simply beyond help, having crossed into sheer malevolence long long ago. Of filthy breathing, neglectful parents and the promise of an ignominious death. Of a body endlessly rocking.
A truly nasty piece of Christmas cinema.
Clark in Order:
2. Black Christmas
It won’t be everyone’s cup of misery, but it’s certainly mine. Here is another crowning work by Martin McDonagh and his cherished collaborator Collin Farrell. Rarely does an actor-director duo so charismatically embody the best parts of the working relationship. This is not In Bruges (2008), because only that movie is that movie. Likewise, only The Banshees of Inisherin is this movie, another unimpeachable triumph. It comes as a return to form for McDonagh who last made the lightly Oscar-baiting…
1st Bryan Forbes
Today was my Nana's funeral, and I felt the appropriate way to say goodbye would be to watch one of her favourite films, one I'd never seen before. I wonder what she saw when she watched this, what parts of her life she found within the walls of Myra's house or in her marriage with Billy. I wonder if she saw herself in Myra, in some way, or was she more interested in criminal psychology, the mechanics…
1st Seth Holt (followed by Danger Route, The Nanny and Blood from the Mummy's Tomb)
Oh, I'd forgotten how GOOD this film is. And coming back to it after so much research, so much watching of other films roughly around the same time and on the same subject, I have to say that I think this is probably best. It's a VERY close toss-up between this and Nightmare, but I think this edges it, just for Holt's supreme control of…
Twisty, a little cynical, a little spooky. A modestly sized portion of a satisfying, inexpensive dish. When I saw Diabolique, I admired the hell out of it, I just wished it had been more fun. This was fun.
Love the way Daisoujou put it: "it doesn't aim high enough to feel exceptional, yet it pulls off virtually everything it is doing flawlessly. Sometimes we need a little unpretentious piece to relax with."
I knew very little about it going in, and that worked out great for me. Highly recommended.
Ridley's Informal Halloween Horror Movie Marathon 2022: Things Might Get Weird!, Film 24 of ?
The "old dark house" gets an update to the 21st century with a concept that proves to be quite intriguing on a glance: how much do you really know where you're staying at when it's not your own home? Here, the AirBnB element manages to grab you immediately as even past the setup of our heroine finding out the place she's renting out turns out…
Lately, my son has been refining his aesthetic of the kind of movie that he considers a "genuinely scary movie." He has a few touchstone movies which he uses to try to get this across — The Descent is one, for example — and I keep saying, "Okay, there's only one The Descent [or The Ritual, or Hereditary], tell me the qualities you're looking for." There's the setting, the pace, the characters, the lore... when all the indices line up…
TG Roulette 2: The Second Story WK/ weeks ago
No Swayze here, nothing against the guy, but his 80s action flicks aren't going to knock my socks off, and Steam sure wouldn't recommend it. Instead, he and I have a connection in horror, and he's brought me towards several underappreciated horror flicks over the years, this movie is another added to the pile.
The initial moments reminded me of another Aussie flick I've seen recently, which was Wake in Fright.…
1st Tony Williams
A little gem of Aussie horror that exudes a profound sense of melancholy. The first two thirds are exceptionally plotted, building on recurring visual motifs of water (either as rain or as bathwater) and red (blood, a red MGB, a red beret) to slowly evoke a sense of disorienting dread at events unexplainable and forces malevolent. It's been compared to The Shining, and certainly the singular location and the notion of inherited madness feels very close to…