Saturday, 24 May 2008

Horror Talk.

Shutter, that horror film that deals with ghosts and whatnot, hit the cinemas a couple of weeks ago. It's another one of those Western remakes of an Asian horror film, because for some reason it is always decided that the Western audience ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO SEE THIS FILM! But in English. With white people in it. Anyway, the original Shutter was a Thai film, which pretty much proves that they (whoever 'they' may be) have broadened the term 'popular Asian horror film' to actually include movies outside of Japan.

Thank god? Well, not really. The original Shutter was about a photographer, who, after his girlfriend hit-and-runs, is haunted by the victim of the accident (who was actually his ex-girlfriend). Ghosts in photographs, vengeful spirits, etc. So given how closely most remakes follow the original film, you'd think it would be about the same thing, right? It is, sort of. Except for some reason, they decided to set the film in Japan and use the standard (or what has come to be the expectation of Japanese horror) ghost-girl-with-long-hair.

I'll be fair, I haven't seen the remake. I did see the original, which was disappointing especially since so many people told me it was one of the most frightening movies they had ever seen. But if I go to see a remake, haven't seen the original, was told it was a Thai film but get presented with Japanese horror archetypes, I'm going to have to recheck those facts. It's more than a little misleading. Incidentally, the Shutter remake was directed by Masayuki Ochiai, who is obviously Japanese.

I dislike remakes. I'm unkind about them in the sense that I don't see them as the movie industry trying to showcase the kinds of movies that other countries can put out. I see them more as 'You don't have your own ideas, so you're going to take the idea from a film from another country because only a few people in the Western realm would have heard about it'.

Take The Departed, for example. Very few people I've spoken to who have seen that film knew that it was actually a remake of Infernal Affairs, which, in my honest opinion, was far better. Infernal Affairs didn't rely on sex and swearing (and that much violence) as The Departed did so often. It's possibly one of the things that I will never be able to shut up about.

Anyway, saw [REC] at the Spanish Film Festival with Jordaan yesterday. The whole thing reminded me of a certain videogame, but I thought it was very well done. It certainly wasn't as corny as I thought it would be (and it gets a prize for making me go 'OH FUCK' at one point without using a jump scare!), but the ending wasn't as frightening as I was led to believe. It was well-filmed (haw haw) and well-acted too. But I guess it made me laugh a little too much, especially during the parts that were meant to be scary. [REC], I give you 8.5/10.

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