Category Archives: Movies

The Nun – Conceptual Review

Welcome to Romania. Beauty resembling the Dark Ages, superstition, tradition, ancient abbeys, untouched lands, religion. As a local I can say we still have parts of the country where you can find these things.

Where the stories of the never ending battle between good and evil are still told at night, around the fire and old books are kept on dusty shelves, bearing ancient knowledge. Old rituals of cleansing bad spirits and a vast set of ceremonies of inducing good into our lives. There are distant villages in which people – old most of them live their lives peacefully – far from the noisy, polluted and mentally-ill big cities.

Yet we have a history written with blood, with legends of vampires and ghouls haunting dark catacombs beneath ruined castles, with places bearing the sign of the paranormal and with shadows that devour your peace and feed on fears.

Just like in the latest installment from the Conjuring Universe – we bear both good and bad adequacies. In a rural part of Romania, a dark shadow is cast upon one particular abbey. The nuns here are terrorized by an invisible shadow and apparently it drives them to lose their sanity and act accordingly. After one of the nuns hangs herself – Vatican sends father Burke along with a yet-to-become nun – Sister Irene (Violet from American Horror Story) to investigate the situation and to make sure the abbey’s land is still holy. Sister Irene is chosen because she had visions with strong links to religious messages from Mother Mary.

The scenes are depicted in a medieval, dark Gothic fashion. The abbey – like an old forgotten tower of witchcraft opens its secrets one by one. It is surrounded by a graveyard in which we are not told whom reside – but the crosses around are meant to keep inside whatever evil was spawned there.

Father Burke encounters the darkness here in the form of an old regret – the death of a young boy whom he exorcised. Sister Irene has a personal date with the evil Nun – a dark spirit taking the form of a religious woman – walking down the dark dungeons restlessly and in seek of anguish and hostility.

I am letting out important parts of the plot and other details in case you really want to see the film. So I am describing the atmosphere of the movie – which bears an autumnal shadowy nuance. The editing was really good – the jump-scares effective – I even got scared once because I was really absorbed into the story. The soundtrack was also good.

The dialogues appeared vague at some point but they didn’t used foul language except once. The director already announced that a sequel is in plan and also another installment in the Conjuring Universe will offer more information about the evil Valak – in the form of the Nun.

thenun

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Ju-On – The Dark Curse

There are a few Japanese horror movies that quite caught my attention over the years and I can state here the Ring, Chakushi Ari and the Ju-On franchises. All of them concentrate of elements of an atmospheric horror genre combined with graphically unnerving scenes for a better effect on the public.

And today I will discuss the first two short movies that helped Ju-On gain popularity and spawned other theatrical releases, video-games, collectibles and other merchandise.

These are Katasumi and 4444444444.

The first two films in the series were so-called V-Cinema, or direct-to-video releases, but became surprise hits as the result of favorable word of mouth. Both films were shot in nine days and feature a story that is a variation on the classic haunted house theme, as well as a popular Japanese horror trope, the “vengeful ghost” (onryō). The titular curse, ju-on, is one which takes on a life of its own and seeks new victims. Anyone who encounters a ghost killed by the curse is killed themselves and the curse is able to be spread to other areas.

Under very tight budgetary constraints, Takashi Shimizu’s films garnered much acclaim from both critics and genre fans for their effective use of limited locations and eerie atmosphere to generate chills.

444.jpg

Katasumi

On a day off – in the back of a schoolyard – two schoolgirls are feeding rabbits. They are presented as Kanna and Hisayo. Stereotypical, standard situation in which one of them is involved in the tasks and the other one brags about this responsibility. At a certain point – Kanna cuts one of her fingers and Hisayo is going to get a bandage. At her return she discovers that the rabbits are dead and the cages torn apart- and her classmate is nowhere to be found.

After this scene we firstly assist to the appearance of Kayako – depicted as a female crawling ghost – making absurd sounds that inspire terror.

Apparently Kayako brought Kanna’s demise and since the movie ends with the villain approaching Hisayo – the end of it is left open to interpretations.

4444444444

Probably even scarier than the first movie – 4444444444 – bring unto the screen the ghost of Kayako’s son – Toshio. A young man happens to find a ringing phone near what seems to be an abandoned building. The number calling is displayed as 10 fours – 4 having bad connotations in some of the Asian cultures. After picking up – he only hears some strange sounds resembling a cat’s cry. Soon after that – he asks if the unknown caller has access to a point in which he can see him. An answer comes.. along with the appearance of Toshio.

So the first two short movies set access to a longer and more elaborate story – and the director, in an interview said that the film that came after these two shorts was based on several short scripts as well. Currently there are 14 films released and the 15th is in production – expected to be released in 2019. I plan to watch them all, some of them re-watch and structure them into another posts.

 

The Ritual – Conceptual Review

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

In the Norse mythology there are various numbers of Gods and Goddesses – that according to the ancient stories touched these lands and left behind tales of greatness and also despair.

In a time when information was immortalized on runes and pieces of wood, leather and even weapons – there were worshipers who – more or less – chose a path to describe their own personality. Their stories circulated orally from generation to generation but soon – with the development of writing and using collections of papers to comprise a certain genre of written work – books about their culture and mythology began to appear.

In movies we mostly see those who worship an ancient God that is evil, demands sacrifices and human slaves. Can’t say it isn’t catchy…

Netflix’s “The Ritual” brings forth one of these kinds of stories. After a tragic incident – 4 old friends decide to remember their lost partner by going hiking in the untouched lands of Northern Sweden.

The-Ritual-poster-1
There are some scenes that describe the beauty of the Northern Europe which are simply breathtaking. The mist above the old forests, the colors of the painted ancient hills and rocks, the vastness of natural formations, you almost feel like belonging there.

After deciding to take a shortcut through the forests – they end up in a wooden house where they discover a pagan altar – which not only seems totally wrong – but induces notes of black magic. Throughout the ages – the Nordic people used sea magic, dream magic, military magic and other genres which were required at a certain point. Above all – magic was used to perform incantations that were meant to bring positiveness and high energies into the shaping of their destinies.

“The Ritual” tells another story. Being in the same cabin with the altar – the forces there are able to enter their minds and by recreating their worst nightmares – takes over their fears.

The movies is constructed as a investigative journey – in order to find a way out of the woods. At a certain point – the deity living among the old trees reveals to them. Not only it reveals but starts hunting them as well.

It needed them to bow down and accept its greatness… as seen later in the movie. The thing about evil deities is that they have this desire to be acknowledged, to be worshiped, to be put on a pedestal, to receive offerings, have the inferior races understand its greatness.. But since it is materialized and somewhat humanized – it has its flaws and limits. It knows that it isn’t indestructible – so the creature uses manipulation to obtain power. It can’t get out of the forest- its powers are limited to the tainted collection of trees.

It is a story of survival – and it is well constructed.

As usual – Netflix brings forth another jewel for the screen. I highly recommend the movie.

Ring: Kanzenban

Koji Suzuki’s novel “Ring” not only captivated with its originality and the tension described in its pages but also managed to reach visionaries who wanted to present the story with a full-live action motion. There are many adaptations, sequels and prequels describing the universe of this dark world depicted in the “Ring”.

And because I am a huge fan of the books and the movies – and since my books somehow dissapeared – hmm – I began watching the movies – starting in a chronological order (and sometime later I’ll want to order the books online – cuz I really need them).

First movie ever made regarding “The Cursed Tape” was Ring: Kanzeban or Ring: The Complete Edition. It is the most accurate adaptation of the first book. Seeing it was like reading again the entire book with a speed that not only let me recall memories and how I felt when reading, but also attaching a visual metaphor to the meanings, passages, phrases and words I still remembered after reading the novel.

Ring+-+Kanzenban The timeline in the movies respects the timeline described in the pages of the novel. After discovering a liaison between 4 strange death, in which 4 teenagers died of a heart failure, a journalist starts investigating their last actions. It happens that he discovers information about a secret trip to a cabin resort – where they have encountered a strange tape.

Yes.. The almighty cursed tape  🙂

There was a time in which there were cursed videos popular on Youtube.. and I would spend time watching them and analyzing their messages and they appeared straight-forward… but then again I never died – but my shoulder hurts like a motherfucker today… Must be the cold.. or Sadako resting on my shoulder….

The book is written as a cryptic investigation in which each clue matters for finding the next piece of the puzzle. Having a film visually presenting the investigation – it’s quite a bonus in understanding the depth of the story.

Detailed Information:

Ring: Kanzenban (Japanese: リング 完全版 Hepburn: Ringu: Kanzenban, lit. “Ring: The Complete Edition“) is a 1995 Japanese horror film based on the book Ring by Koji Suzuki. Unlike that of the later film series the characters remain largely unchanged and in comparison other films made of this novel it is the most accurate in relation to the original text.

The film premiered on the Japanese television station Fuji TV on August 11, 1995 as Ring. When released on home video in Japan on VHS and LaserDisc, the film was released as Ring: Kanzenban with a few changes. The film has only been released in Japan, and has not seen a home video re-release since 1997.

Director:    Chisui Takigawa
Writer:       Joji Iida, Taizo Soshigaya, Koji Suzuki
Producer:  Ryunosuke Endo, Hidehiro Iwadera, Noriyasu Ueki
Stars:          Katsunori Takahashi, Ayane Miura, Yoshio Harada

Additional information on the cursed tape.

Ringu: Kanzenban on IMDB.

For those who want to watch the movie – there are several option on finding the film on various online-movie sites and also on Youtube. Enjoy.

1 Litre of Tears [imported from JapFun blog]

[so.. I know it is a lame ass idea to import stuff from an older blog, but some of these articles I wrote were very important to me, so I want them to be on this blog as well]

J-dorama or simply japanese drama.

One of the best j-dramas ever made is 1 litre of tears. After watching it, I read a lot of posts about this drama and it seemed that everyone who watched it was impressed.

250px-1_litre_of_tears(DVD cover-source: wikipedia.com)

1 litre of tears is presenting the case of a girl, who at the age of 15 finds out that she has an incurable disease: Spinocerebellar Degeneration. As wikipedia.com learns us, this disease is one of a group of genetic disorders characterized by slowly progressive incoordination of gait and often associated with poor coordination of hands, speech, and eye movements.

We see all the symptoms in this drama. Doctors and specialists in neurology were consulted during the making of it.

There are 11 episodes plus a special one, which tell us the sad story of Ikeuchi Aya. During these episodes we learn about the help and the obstacles she faced, her feeling towards the others and the feelings of the others about her.

This drama is based on a real case. Kito Aya [July 1962 – May 23, 1988] had this disease. During her life she wrote a diary, which was published in 1986. Aya just wrote about life, about goodness and hope. About 1.800.000 copies of her diary had been sold.

1_litre_of_tears-book(The book cover-source: wikipedia.com)

Episode List:

1- The beginning of my youth
2- 15 years old, sickness that steals up
3- Why did the illness choose me?
4- The loneliness of two
5- A disabled person’s notebook
6- Heartless glances
7- The place where I am
8- 1 Litre of Tears
9- I live now
10- Love Letter
11- Far away, to the place where tears are exhausted

And the special episode:
1 Litre of Tears: Memory

300px-Ichi_Rittoru_no_Namida(The Ikeuchi Family-from the drama)

……………………………………………………

useful links
1 Litre of Tears – Wikipedia
1 Litre of Tears – D-addicts
1Litre of Tears – The book
View this drama online at DramaCrazy

Blair Witch (2016) – Trailer

I’ve been a fan of found-footage horror movies because of one title – Blair Witch Project.

I’ve seen it countless times, twice only this year. It is original, it is deep, it is shocking, brilliant, a masterpiece of a film. And this fall, a new movie immersing in the tense universe of this idea will hit the big screens.

The Blair Witch is back, darker and powerful then ever.

Disturbed #1: Notions on insanity

Disturbed! will be a series of articles in which I will exploit my interest in the dark genres of literature, music, film, comics, manga and anime, audio productions and everything that you could possible imagine having a dark feeling attached to it.

Disturbed. Altered. Broken. Troubled. Bipolar. Nervous. Wrecked. All these notions can be attached to your person, when you are seeing life with a different applied perspective. Some call these things a path to mental illness, some call it their existential pattern, some call it art.

hqdefaultFrom the artistic perspective – the notion disturbed – creates an eerie dark atmosphere within a fictional environment where sad, sadistic, evil things happen. And when is the border between sick and art getting dissolved? I wonder myself sometimes, when I am watching something very gory and unsettling – what makes this of me if I enjoy it? Am I disturbed in some way, it is a sign that I am with half of my brain non-functional?

The answer depends on who is offering it. Some might say yes, some might say no. I really don’t think I am insane but I have a very dark side, a shadow growing inside me on a rocky temple of sadism. I like gory stuff, blood, death, pain, everything that takes you out of the ordinary and places you in a realm of despair. Therefore I seek these things. In art. In productions that make you doubt your own sanity.

I am a horror maniac. It is a daily ritual. At least one sick thing a day. If I’m not listening to some creepy melody I watch something or I read. It is in my nature. I was like that from a very young age. I remember as a kid I was fascinated with dark movies and stuff. I remember one time I knew about a horror movie with wild rabbits killing people to be broadcasted after midnight and I waited for my grandmother to fall asleep, pretending I was sleeping too and then I watched the movie…otherwise she wouldn’t let me see it :)).

There are tons of films, independent shorts, games, comics, manga volumes, anime series, podcasts where individuals like me can dwell in the sick pleasures of horror. It is a genre that captivates and seduces, a genre which can be very enjoyable or very unacceptable. Deals with fear, deals with the dark corners of the human psyche. Deals with everything that is beyond normal.

Like this thing I found on youtube today. Watch it at your own risk. It is sick and not easily digestible.

This weekend was relaxing. I saw Tag (Riaru Onigokko) – a Japanese horror movie from 2015 which deals with the perception of world through multiple personalities, a short disturbing film about some aliens called Mara Mattuschka, The Collector, The Bunny Game – movie about a psychopath that kidnaps a hooker and plays with her mind and both parts of Inner Depravity.

Took my dosage of what-the-fuck. 😀