spideyj: (Crazy Danny)
I've been watching a lot of movies here. Two or three a week, usually. Mostly Japanese horror. So I thought I'd post about a few of them here, so you can play along at home if you want.

This week:

Cube - strange and interesting movie from Australia Canada (I'm a dope, thanks [livejournal.com profile] threeleet), recommended by my former roommate.
Ju-On 2 - this is the Japanese theatrical sequel (there are actually 6 Ju-On movies. Two TV movies, the first of which is one of the scariest movies I've ever seen, two Japanese theatrical releases, and two American theatrical releases). It wasn't bad, but a little silly. It's full of the usual Japanese horror movie tricks and the bizarre timeline we've come to expect from Ju-On.
The Family Stone - A surprisingly enjoyable comedy about an uptight career girl (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her struggle to fit in with her boyfriend's liberal close-knit family. Their sometimes stifling closeness and openness with each other reminded me quite a lot of my family, unsurprisingly.
Rinne ("Reincarnation") - Another Takashi Shimizu film (director of Ju-On), this one involving a haunted hotel. It was quite reminiscent of The Shining in many ways, though the media involvement is a different take. A young woman is cast in the lead role in a movie about a a gruesome murder spree that took place in a hotel in a peaceful little town in Gunma prefecture (the multiple shots of the torii at the end of the main street in the town were interesting), only to find people disappearing all around her, reminiscent of the original murders. Apparently many of the cast and crew are somehow connected to the original victims. Is she possibly the reincarnation of the young girl whose role she's taking in the movie? The twist wasn't terribly surprising to me, but it was beautifully shot and very atmospheric.

Pray - a couple kidnap a young girl in order to collect the ransom and pay off some debts. They hide out in an abandoned school and spooky things start to happen. A fun movie, lots of good scares and a cute lead make for an enjoyable Japanese horror film.
The Booth - A radio DJ works for a night in a haunted sound booth. Or is he being haunted by his own skeletons? Satisfyingly creepy and psychological, and I was amused to realize later that I recognized an actress from this in another movie I saw.
Black Kiss - a rather complex suspense thriller (this one has the actress I saw in The Booth) involving twins, voodoo, creepy leather zombie ninjas, obsessive love, all taking place in the heart of Tokyo. Difficult to follow with my lack of detective movie Japanese, but very stylish and cool. (And full of gruesome murders!) (The original Japanese title was "Synchronicity")
Zoo - an anthology of five stories, somewhat creepy and disturbing, all focused on the issue of human relationships - family, lovers, friends. One of the stories is a beautifully animated lyric about a robot living a pastoral life. (A few more details about Zoo here)
Gurozuka (a bit here as well) - Another Japanese horror, this one featuring an all-female cast in Blair Witch-esque slasher film. Extremely creepy, it actually gave me nightmares.
Mizuchi - cheesy and unremarkable Japanese horror, this time it's the water that's cursed, causing people to commit suicide by popping their eyeballs.
Shikoku - The title of this one is a bit of wordplay - it's the name of one Japan's smallest islands, but here it's written with the characters for death ("shi") and country ("koku"). With elements from Shinto mythology and many shots of a lovely village in Shikoku, I quite enjoyed this movie and it really made me want to visit Shikoku.
Death Note and Death Note 2 - I believe I mentioned these before. Fun dark fantasy involving shinigami (death spirits) based on a comic book series. I saw these at the theater.
The Returner - Japanese sci-fi action movie, full of Matrix-like effects. Entertaining and silly.

There are more, but I can't remember them at the moment. I'll try to post about them a bit more regularly. I believe I've made a sizable dent in the horror section. I'm actually surprised that I've watched so many movies - I really thought I wouldn't watch movies unless I had someone to watch them with.

I actually watched two movies today because I woke up with no voice this morning and so I couldn't go to work. So I stayed home, did laundry, finished my book (Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima) and watched a couple of movies.


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