Post by Mike Morbid on Jul 23, 2017 21:10:16 GMT -5
Sorry this is late, it has been a busy weekend.
Good evening and welcome to another Friday Frightmare. I am Mike Morbid, your curator of carnage. It is Friday night on St. Patrick’s day, and I imagine some of you are already deep in spirits. What a perfect time to expose you to some movies that mess with your mind. So, while your mental defences are still low, let me draw back the curtain and cause some trauma to your id.
The Incredible Truth 2013
This is more a whodunnit thriller than a horror movie, although it does have a light touch of the supernatural. A Chinese woman with a traumatic history in Japan, Wei Ling, must travel to the land of the rising sun to search for her friend. She barely has time to catch her breath before people start departing the mortal realm at the hotel where she is staying.
Ling is certain that the killings have something to do with her missing friend. The fate of the chum in question looks rather unpromising when Ling sees her spectral presence. It seems she has a bit of psychic ability that helps her sense things. We also see a series of flashbacks that gradually reveal what happened the last time she was here. These revelations do not paint her in a sympathetic hue.
There is suspicion at first that she is the responsible culprit, but before long it seems to be unlikely. When she finally starts getting to the core of the mystery it puts her in jeopardy. This leads to a bit of action at the end where we finally gets some answers.
This is a Chinese film, so you will be reading subtitles as you watch. For many people this will be a deal breaker. I don’t mind them if the film is interesting. Unfortunately, this movie cannot make that claim. These characters just weren’t interesting, and most of them were very unlikeable. There are several scenes that weren’t needed, and some things happen that seem to be leading somewhere but then are never referred to again.
There was one part that I thought was very well done. An incapacitated woman lies helpless while someone she loves is being murdered only feet away. You only catch glimpses of the killing. Most of the scene shows her anguished face as she listens to it happening. Even though she has been thoroughly unpleasant up to that point you can still sympathize with her helpless despair.
The epic climax was decidedly not epic. If you have any desire to watch this movie, you may want to skip the rest of this paragraph if you don’t want anything spoiled. The main killer turns out to be a very minor character that you would have missed if you had blinked during an early scene. Oh, did I state main killer? Yes, there was one this person wasn’t responsible for, but it was the key inspiration for the rest of the crimes.
My verdict? Skip this movie, and watch Prom Night again. It has a similar theme, and even though you’ve seen it 42 times already, it will be far more entertaining than this not so incredible truth.
Wei Ling is played by Christy Chung, who has a lot of variety in her heritage. She was born in Canada, her main language is French, and she has a Chinese father and a Vietnamese mother who are both from Vietnam.
The Perfect House 2013
This is an anthology film. A couple are looking at a house they are interested in buying, and three things that happened before are shown in separate stories. Their realtor has a rather eccentric idea of how to sell a house. Her technique is very interesting to the husband, but not so much to the wife. Eventually she leads them to the basement, which is where we find out what has happened with several of the previous owners.
In the first part a family are taking shelter in the basement during a severe storm. Saying they are dysfunctional would be akin to saying Godzilla has a passing interest in smashing buildings. The father and his daughter seem rather close. The son might as well not be a part of the family. The mother, who at first I thought was the grandmother, has a rather stern hatred of everything the others do. Before long the power goes out, and then the lantern extinguishes, and then the candle’s flame is caught in a breeze. Every time darkness falls someone in the family decides to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the others.
In the next story we are introduced to a woman in a cage. Her captor soon brings down a roommate for her and puts him in an adjoining cage. The unfortunate sap soon finds out the weekly schedule. Every Tuesday the man upstairs brings down another victim. On Wednesday he feeds the woman. On Thursday he videotapes the murder of the new arrival. On Friday he rapes the woman. The gent is in luck, though, as he gets to choose how he’ll die, although all the options are unpleasant. The helpful suggestion the woman gives him for the type of demise is the highlight of the chapter. There is soon going to be a change in the routine, though.
In the finale, the man of the house has taken issue with his next-door neighbours and has decided to settle his grievance before he moves. This leads to a struggle for survival that borrows heavily from Saw and Hostel. While the second story was my favourite, this is the one where the stakes are the highest. There are cruel decisions to be made, and one family member has to go through a lot of suffering in a desperate attempt to save a loved one.
Although it is never really explained, I guess the house either calls evil people, or it turns them evil after they live in it. It is an average splatter flick which will satisfy fans of the genre but won’t show them anything new. The second story has a sadistic sense of humour, and the villain is one of those almost likeable jerks. Yes, he is a serial killer who treats people like scum, but he has style in the way he does it. I wouldn’t watch this movie again, but I did get some entertainment from it.
It seems Mother Nature was not a fan of The Perfect House. During days of outdoor shooting it rained, and on the days for interior shots it was sunny.
This was only the second time I recall seeing this film, the first being about fifteen years ago. I didn’t much care for it then, but my older self has grown to appreciate it.
Here is the premise. A group of brilliant medical students are fascinated by death, and want to find out what, if anything, happens when people meet it. Their secret method of investigation would not please the medical community, though. Each in turn terminates their life, hoping that the others will be able to resuscitate them after increasingly longer periods of time.
They are successful and have profound experiences during their vacation from breathing. However, when they come back something comes with them. Shades of past wrongdoings are now visiting them, and this does not lead to sunshine and lollipops. One of them in particular really has a hard time with his unwelcome guest. When the others find out just how he is getting those ‘sport injuries’, they are rather regretful for deciding to take part in this experiment.
This is quite a spooky movie. You are never quite certain if they are actually experiencing these things, or if they have suffered brain damage while they were under and are now having hallucinations. Even the physical attacks are ambiguous. Perhaps the guy is just doing this to himself. At the end it is sort of determined how real it is, but even then it is not completely certain. That does not take away from the power of the imagery of what they experience. I found what part involving a dog in a subway very creepy.
Everybody has done things they regret, have hurt people and wish they could take it back. Being haunted by these these wrongdoings on a regular basis would be very unpleasant. You were too busy to drive Aunt Edna home and she got run over by a diesel truck while walking home? Now she is here to show you at length how she feels about that. In my mind a haunting would be much more traumatizing if it involves something you did in error or poor behaviour that ended up hurting someone.
The solution they come up with makes sense and seems fitting. At the end one of them has not yet resolved his wrongdoings, and I certainly don’t envy him the efforts he will have to make, especially as many of the people involved don’t even know he did and are unlikely to be very pleasant about it. That is a sequel that I would be interested in, although I imagine there would be many unpleasant and awkward scenes in it.
Orange and blue lights have a significant part in the film, but I’ll leave it to you to find out the significance.
Now then, for a movie suggestion. Let’s see, maybe The Unbearable Likeness of Being... no. How about Twilight, no, I can’t do it, that would lead to past misdeeds haunting me. Let’s see, how about... Jacob’s Ladder. It is a haunting and thoughtful look at something extraordinary that is happening to a Vietnam veteran. The ending is one of those resolutions that people have many different ideas as to what it means.
It is time once more for us to part ways. You likely have some revelling to do, whereas I have to visit some old friends. It is going to be difficult finding a shovel this time of night. If I evade notice, or if I make bail, I’ll be back next week to tell you of three more night frights. Fare thee well.
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