Great Asian Horror Films

In the 2000s, Western audiences gained more exposure to Asian horror films through Hollywood remakes starring western actresses like Naomi Watts, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Jennifer Connelly. Kickstarted by the commercial success of The Ring, the remake machine quickly went into overdrive and eventually sputtered out. Along the way, American audiences came to know certain foreign film titles through association. The American DVD releases of Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-on: The Grudge and Hideo Nakata’s Dark Water were both timed to coincide with the theatrical runs of their remakes.

But there is a whole other world out there beyond those remakes. Hollywood did not get its hands on every noteworthy title in Asian horror.

Let’s take a spoiler-free look at eight genre gems that have miraculously slipped through the cracks of the Asian horror remake factory. With no Western versions to give away their best moments, these eight films offer pure, undiluted scares, shocks, and chills. They are one-of-a-kind.

Read More »

audition remake

Someone wants to produce an English-language Audition remake. The 1997 Ryu Murakami novel was turned into a 1999 thriller by director Takashi Miike. The film became notorious at festivals, and quickly aroused the interest of cult audiences in the US. In the story, a widower uses a staged audition process — ostensibly for a television show — to find a new girlfriend. The woman he chooses, however, has some really serious problems, and things get weird.

No, really. Things get really weird. Audition has two or three impossible-to-forget sequences, at least one of which stands among the more messed-up things I’ve seen in a movie. How will the US version fare? Read more below. Read More »

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino has recorded a list of his top 20 favorite films which have been released over the last 17 years. What’s so special about the last 17 years, or the year 1992? That was the year Tarantino became a filmmaker.

Films on Tarantino’s list include Battle Royale, Anything Else, Audition, Blade, Boogie Nights, Dazed & Confused, Dogville, Fight Club, Fridays, The Host, The Insider, Joint Security Area, Lost In Translation, The Matrix, Memories of Murder, Police Story 3, Shaun of the Dead, Speed, Team America, and Unbreakable. It think it’s interesting that Tarantino mentions that The Matrix sequels ruined the mythology, enough to push the first film off the top of his list. Watch the full list after the jump, complete with commentary from Tarantino himself .

Read More »