Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Top 10 Asian Horror Films

Happy Halloween!

I do LOVE a good horror flick, and the best time to watch them is Halloween! So if like me you want to kick back on All Hallows' Eve with some good horrors, then here is some recommendations.

10)The Doll Master (2004/South Korea)

The Doll Master... The scariest doll since Chucky!

The story follows a group of students who are invited to a museum in the middle of nowhere for a private doll gallery and the promise of dolls to be made in their image. You guessed it. The dolls start killing people!

Brought to life by a vengeful spirit the doll starts killing off the guests one by one, as they try to figure out what is going on and how to stop it!

There is a lot more to this film with clever twists and turns! All is not as simple as it seems. And if you wait patiently through the slow burning story you are in for a treat. Great story and ending. Well worth the wait.


9)R-Point (2004/South Korea)

R-Point stands out from a lot of other Asian horrors because of the fact it's a horror/war film.

Set during the Vietnam War. After a platoon of South Koreans go missing in Romeo Point, Lieutenant Choi takes a platoon to search for them. Upon arriving on the island and finding a grave site and abandoned building, they discover that one of the men in their platoon is actually one of the missing men they are trying to find... Brilliant! The film is full of shocking twists like this which make it more of a psychological and atmospheric horror!

Now queue all the soldiers distrust for each other and we end up with a classic Asian horror!

8)Noroi (2005/Japan)
Japan does "found footage" horror. And does it very, very well!

The film is 2 hours long, slow paced and can take a while for you to really get where it's going. But if you have the patience to sit through it then you will be rewarded!

Noroi is filmed as a documentary and it really feels like you are watching a real documentary at times. A very creepy documentary with some subtle yet terrifying images that will be stuck in your head.

The story is pasted together with found footage, documentary, home video and video clips from TV game shows. This keeps it fresh and interesting and helps it flow better and takes away limitations you would have from other found footage films.

This is one to watch without knowing too much about, so i'll leave it at that. Check it out especially if you are a fan of handheld films, or were before the over saturation.


7)One Missed Call (2003/Japan)
The first film on the list to be directed by Takasahi Miike! And the first film on the list to have an American remake. Avoid the remake and stick to the original!

Part Horror, part Mystery. People are recieving missed phone calls from an unknown number, the voice mail is oddly made from two days in the future... And is from yourself screaming in terror and agony. Two days later... you die!

Of course the message then gets passed on to your contact list so all your friends are next! It takes one girl and guy to team up to investigate where these phone calls are coming from and try and stop it, while they race against time before they recieve the call!

Sounds like a typical J-Horror, nothing too original here, but very fun and scary! Also has a really creepy ring tone that I used for a while on my own phone. Eeek!


6)Three Extremes(2004/Hong Kong/South Korea/Japan)

3 short stories told by 3 brilliant directors from across Asia! These are very versatile and intriguing horror films which go from weird, to weirder to weirdest.

Dumplings directed by Fruit Chan is a slow burning, sick and twisted film. Not scary but disturbing.

Cut directed by Park Chan-Wook is a confusing and sophisticated  torture flick. Very well made!

The Box directed by Takashi Miike is the scariest out of the bunch. Weird imagery and dream sequences with lots of what the hell moments.

A good 3 movies in 1 horror film which has something to please everyone.


5)Ju-On(The Grudge)(2002/Japan)

The curse of one who dies in the grip of a powerful rage.

One of the best films I have ever witnessed for creating an unsettling atmosphere.

A home-care worker goes to work in a house occupised by an old lady who is bed-ridden and terrified of something in the house. After exploring the house the home-care worker discovers a door shut with duct tape... In which hides a little boy and his cat.

Queue some of the creepiest and scariest scenes ever recorded for film. It's great at suspense and building up the scares, it will have you jumping all over the places and hiding your face. But, it also has a great story which is told very well.



Kiri Kiri Kiri

This is Takashi Miike's masterpiece!
A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special movie audition, arranged for him by a friend to secretly find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Over an hour of this film is essentially a drama. It has a long, dramatic and interesting build up to the horror you are about to see! And boy is there a lot of! The last half hour is outstanding and really makes the film come together.

Audition also helped inspire the American film Hostel... But don't hold that against it! Check it out.


3)Tale Of Two Sisters(2003/South Korea)

This has had the Hollywood remake treatment. I forgot the name of it, but avoid it and watch this very intelligent, very frighting original!

Two sisters return home to stay with their father and cruel stepmother.. after spending time in a mental institution! Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother's obsessive and unbalanced ways, they are
haunted by the tragedies of deaths from within the family.

This is very well told. There are some very good scares in this one. But it's the story and characters that really grab your attention. It's a rollercoaster full of twists and turns! And one that as soon as it ends, you will want to rewatch it again. Awesome mind blowing ending!



What?! The Ring isn't number 1?

The fight for first and second place was a tough one! Very tough. Thought about it for a long time but I just honestly feel that number 1 on the list scared me more! Don't get me wrong though, Ringu is a masterpiece.

The story centres around a videotape. If you watch it you die in seven days! A TV journalist teams with her ex-husband and investigates the death of two teenage girls. She discovers a lot more than she bargined for.... Sadako!

The image and look of Sadako is very well known by now. It's been used it countless other films and even spoofed in comedies. But most people will know her from the US remake... Which was actually a pretty decent remake!

This film terrified me when I first seen it, and the brilliant ending was planted in my brain and made me scared of my own TV for a long time. It's that good!



Would you like to meet a ghost?

Yes.You guessed the number 1 film on the list... well probably not actually.

Japanese university students investigate a series of suicides linked to an Internet Webcam that promises visitors the chance to interact with the dead.

Nothing to unfamiliar for a J-Horror, almost like the Ring in a way. Set on the internet it's something we can all relate to, otherwise how are you reading this blog? The internet can be a scary unfamiliar place as we see in this nearly incomprehensible horror tale.

Pulse has a very lonely dark setting and atmosphere. It's a gore free chilling film which will leave you thinking long after the credits have finished. Don't worry if it takes you a few watches to know what's going on as it can be truly baffling. A real horror masterpiece in the genre which must be seen by everyone!


There you have it! My top 10! It was a very tough job narrowing it down to 10 and putting it into order. Still a few films I might have got in the wrong order but i'll leave it at that.

I hope you all have a good Halloween and watch some good horrors! These are some suggestions that shouldn't leave anyone disappointed. Did I miss anything out? Let me know!

Trick or Treat?!


Monday, 22 October 2012

Sadako 3D Review (The Ring 3D)

Sadako 3D

96 min - Horror - 12 May 2012 (Japan)

Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Writers: Kôji Suzuki (novel) & Yoshinobu Fujioka (screenplay)
Stars: Satomi Ishihara, Kôji Seto and Tsutomu Takahash

Firstly let me get this out of the way, I didn't get to see this film in 3D. I'm not really a fan of 3D. But Sadako 3D really needs to be seen in 3D if you get the option! I will touch on that more later.

Sadako 3D is in The Ring series of films, although many probably won't acknowledge it with the original trilogy. Sadako 3D is directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa and is based on the novel 'S' by the creator of Ring, Koji Suzuki. There a few similarities and many, many differences.
Akane is a high school teacher who hears a rumor from her students that there is actual footage on the Internet of someone's suicide. The footage is said to drive anyone who sees it to also commit suicide. Akane does not believe the rumor at first, but when one of her female students dies after viewing the footage, she and her boyfriend Takanori are fatefully drawn into the horror that has been created by the man who appears in the suicide footage, Kashiwada. Kashiwada's intention is to create chaos in the world by bringing back Sadako and the power of her curse. Now Akane has to fight against Sadako and Kashiwada to save the lives of herself and Takanori.
... I'm really scared.

Sadako 3D is a completely different style of Horror flick from the previous Ring films. The story telling is different, the style is different, the pacing is different and the scares are very different.
While the original Ringu films were scary in a slow suspenseful way, like most Japanese horrors. Sadako 3D tends to lean more towards the Hollywood style surprise scares. And it is full of them! I will honestly say this film made me jump on quite a few occasions.

Can you remember the ending to the original Ringu film? Of course you can, it's one of the most iconic horror endings and images of all time. Sadako 3D tends to run with that and over use it by having Sadako come out of every screen possible, phone/laptop/TVs. Nothing is safe. Even the giant plasma screens you see around the busy streets of Tokyo aren't safe from Sadako and her long hair and gruesome hands.

This is were the film would look good in 3D. It's really shot for 3D with lots of hands stretching out straight to touch you and objects flying directly towards you. Seeing it in 3D could really add to the scares! A gimmick, yes. But if used correctly it can be a clever gimmick.

However, this outing is also extremly flawed. It doesn't have the same atmospheric feel as the other Ring films. It's more aimed at the teenage audience with their "idols/popstar" cast. Even Sadako looks like some kind of Japanese popstar when you see her as a normal girl. Watching the trailer, it never gives you the chills once that pop song kicks in! However this has obviously worked in terms of the box office, Sakdako 3D has done very well with 1,500,000,000 Yen ($19,228,500 USD), more than half of the box office was made up of teenagers, and a sequel has been announced for Summer 2013.

The other big flaw is after Sadako comes out of the screen and is in the real world. Without ruining it for anyone, they have changed her look drastically. And it kills the momentum of the film. After this point, any credit or scariness Sadako 3D had is pretty much gone. The creepy Sadako we all remember is gone, and is replaced with something that just looks stupid!

So, see Sadako 3D if you enjoy horrors. But don't expect a classic. And don't expect it to live up to the other Ringu films in the series, because it doesn't. However, I think this will still entertain most J-Horror fans, flaws and all.


Trailer below, with English subtitles:


Now for some light hearted fun. Japan might not do horrors like they used to... But something they do brilliantly is promotion for films! Check out some of these photos of live promotions going around Tokyo for Sadako 3D.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Tom Yum Goong 2 news! Tony Jaa is back!

Tom Yum Goong 2

After some production delays, Tom Yum Goong 2(The Warrior King 2/The Protector 2) is getting released in Thailand in May 2013. It officially went into production August 2011.

This is the first time since 2005's Tom Yum Goong that the director Prachya Pinkaew has been reunited with Tony Jaa and Panna Rittikrai! It's a solid team! Here's hoping that the script is good and we end up with a better effort than Ong Bak 3.

Also exciting news about this film is it also stars Jija Yanin from Chocolate and Raging Phoenix. She is possibly the best female martial arts star of all time and she has all the potential in the world! Looking forward to seeing these two team up, and this film is sure to put her on the map!

No idea why this is being shot in 3D. But who really cares as long as the film lives up to the potential we all expect! Bring it on!

For those unfamiliar with Tony Jaa, check out this video to see some of his awesome fight scenes and stunts!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

70 Free Korean Films On Youtube!

Do you like free films?

Do you like Korean films?
Of course!

Do you want to watch 70 classic Korean films for free?
...... Come again?!

Every now and again something brilliant gets uploaded to youtube, like Bed Intruder or Gangnam Style. But something even more interesting is The Korean Film Archive which has uploaded 70 full length Korean films from 1949-1996! Completely free to watch, and completely legal! So check them out!

Full List Of Movies And Length:

A Hometown in Heart (1:17)

The Hand of Destiny (1:30)
The Widow (1:15)
Yang san Province (1:30)
Piagol (1:48)
Holiday in Seoul (1:31)
The Wedding Day (1:17)
Madame Freedom (2:05)
Hyperbolae of Youth (1:34)
The Money (2:03)
The Love of Marriage (1:34)
The Bell Tower (1:36)
The Flower in Hell (1:26)
Nameless Stars (1:46)

A Romantic Papa (2:11)
Mr. Park (2:18)
A Drifting Story (2:04)
Soil (1:41)
Five Marines (1:58)
A Bonanza (2:07)
A Dream of Fortune (1:55)
A Coachman (1:38)
Mother and a Guest (1:42)
A Petty Middle Manager (1:45)
Evergreen Tree (2:23)
Under the Sky of Seoul (2:03)
Seong Chun-hyang (1:59)
Princess Yeonsan (2:15)
Aimless Bullet (1:48)
The Sea Knows (1:48)
Kinship (1:22)
The Barefooted Young (1:57)
The Seaside Village (1:33)
Horse-year Bride (1:33)
Early Rain (1:40)
Flame in the Valley (1:19)
Love Me Once Again (1:28)
The General’s Mustache (1:40)

Woman of Fire (1:40)
The Midnight Sun (1:40)
An Iron Man (1:33)
Yeong-Ja’s Heydays (1:47)
Devil! Take the Train to Hell (1:34)
Leoh Island (1:51)
A Woman After a Killer Butterfly (1:57)

Good Windy Day (1:58)
Does Cuckoo Cry At Night (2:00)
The Ball Shot By A Midget (1:42)
Parrot Cries With Its Body (2:02)
People of Ko-bang Neighborhood (1:51)
The Woman of Fire 82 (2:01)
Spinning the Tales of Cruelty Towards Women (1:44)
Carnivorous Animal (1:50)
The Oldest Son (1:48)
Mulberry (1:51)
Eoh Wu-dong (1:55)
Hwang jin-ie (1:59)
Our Joyful Young Days (2:04)
Gagman (2:03)
Chil-su and Man-su (1:48)

Black Republic (1:41)
The General’s Son (1:48)
Portrait of the Days of Youth (2:14)
The Road To Race Track (2:20)
The Marriage Life (1:37)
Sopyonje (1:53)
Rosy Life (1:34)
The Tae Baek Mountains (2:44)
The Day A Pig Fell Into A Well (1:56)
Festival (1:46)

If you watch any good ones or can recommend any then let me know, as I doubt I will be able to watch all 70!

Monday, 15 October 2012

A 'Young And Dangerous' Remake In The Works! Young And Dangerous Reloaded

I'm back with a bang!
Young And Dangerous: Reloaded
Shocking (and exciting?) news! Wong Jing is doing a reboot of the popular 90's Triad movie franchise! Except no Andrew Lau directing this time.

For those not up to scratch. In 1995 Andrew Lau directed, and Wong Jing produced a film called Young and Dangerous. Y&D follows a group of young gangsters in the Triad Society in Hong Kong through their adventures, success and dangers. This film made many stars including Ekin Cheng who played the main character Chan Ho Nam, and Jordan Chan who played his best friend Chicken. It also starred many Hong Kong house hold names such as Francis Ng and Simon Yam.

This proved to be very popular in Hong Kong. So much so that it generated a long line of sequels, prequels and spin offs. To my count, 6 main films and 7 spin offs... although some are just obvious cash ins... And don't have a lot to do with the series. These films were among the ones I first started watching when I got into Asian Cinema and they really inspired my love for Triad flicks.

Original... and best?

If you haven't seen these films I would highly recommend it! The main films are all worth while, ranging from good to great, and can be picked up in a complete box set on websites like ebay for about £20-£30.

Anyway... On to the reboot! Wong Jing looks like he has cast Triads who go to the gym more often than the originals. I don't know which one is more realistic for modern Triads, but the original looks more like what I imagine. Or what I see hanging around China Town looking a bit dodgy! In Reloaded, Him Law is portraying Ekin Chen's role of Chan Ho Nam, and Jordan Chan's role of Chicken with be potryated by Oscar Leung. Wong Jing has also promised audiences that he will provide more sex and violence to give the audience what they want. This looks more obviously true now after Oscar Leung shot a bed scene with 2 hot models... on the first day of filming! Wow, fast mover.

Chicken back on the streets in Hong Kong... Lock up your daughters

News and videos have already started coming out from the set and filming locations. On October the 13th a night time fight scene was filmed in Mongkok, HK. Chicken(Oscar Leung) was fighting with a rival gangster Philip Ng for one of the scenes in which he takes a bit of a beating, including getting hit with his own trouser suspenders 20 times! Ouch! Which left him visibly bruised and red.

Sounds pretty badass to me! Check out the video below for some of the filming and action...

Personally I think this looks promising!

Well this is definitely one to keep your eye on! I will post more news and updates as I hear/see them.
But in the mean time check out the original series! You won't be disappointed!

TemptAsian is back...

After a long hiatus I decided to bring this blog back for the good of Asian Cinema fans everywhere!
I was recently on holiday in Japan. Until I post my first new blog, I'll leave you with this snap from the vacation.

Stay tuned! I'll be posting real soon!

 P.S. I am the white guy.