Gin Gwai (2002)
Directed by: Danny Pang, Oxide Pang Chun
Written by: Jojo Hui, The Pang Brothers
Starring: Lee Sin-je, Lawrence Chou, Cutcha Rujinanon, Candy Lo, Yut Lai So, Yin Ping Ko
This has been called the most terrifying of all the Asian horror films, which have been so popular of late. It does have some very disturbing parts, I'll give it that. The moaning old lady in the hospital; the woman standing in the corner, demanding to know why the main character is sitting in her chair; the man in the elevator. Unsettling stuff, but none of it really stuck with me. Not like the croaking woman in Ju-on, say, with her oh so inhuman moves.
The film is about a young, blind woman, who get's cornea impants to restore her eyesight. Unfortunately for her, the donor was cursed with a Sixth Sense allowing her to see dead people. It's a good idea, and fairly well done, though I'm not too sure about the technical skills of these Pang Brothers.
First of all, the whole thing looked like it was shot on digital, which it probably was, and though that is an interesting effect, it did create the feel of a teenager's home movie. I know. I was in one.
Then there was the poor synchronzation between the sound and the picture. I thought it was dubbed for a while, before realizing that it was subtitled. (Yes, I really am that slow)
And we can't forget the terrible music. It sounded like the score from a bad '80s movie, which didn't really make the movie seem more professional. Of course, what can you expect with the score creditted to something called "Orange Music". I mean really.
Okay, okay, okay, I shouldn't really give it such a hard time for looking so sloppy. It just really bugged me, and not even the creepy atmosphere could distract me from it.
Back to my merciless nitpicking, if you will, a lot of it was really slow, and it almost seemed portions of it were cut out. I felt like I missed something somewhere.
I'll give it a break and say that Lee Sin-je was really quite good as the main lady, and I really don't think Jessica Alba could possibly pull it off. Oh, I hate her so. She's one of my many punch-monkies.
ANYWAY, this wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had such ridiculously high expectations of it, after reading about how terrifying it was. How it would keep you up all night or make you shit your pants or whatever (neither of which it achieved, by the way. Unfortunately). This led me to realize that the people who review these films nowadays are total pansies. That makes me sad. I read a quote on the box that said something about being reduced to a pile of quivering jelly before the opening credits were over. I mean, come on. These guys are such chicken shits. They remind me of some people I know, actually.
Anyway, this film could potentially be quite enjoyable if you knew what to expect, which this long, excruciating bit of Blammor should help to clarify.
I saw a trailer for The Messengers the other day, by the way. Now THAT looks distrubing. Much cleaner, possibly scarier. It's hard to tell. The trailer didn't leave me shaking in my boots (unlike, say, The Grudge so many years ago), but it did look like it might be better than this. Hard to say. I am ever hopeful.