Satoru Ogura

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Scary True Stories Review


Very Good
Japanese horror, called now J-horror, is inseparable from the early '00s boom in supernatural horror cinema. With blockbuster remakes like The Ring and The Grudge filling the Hollywood coffers, producers have looked far and wide for the next shot of Asian ghostliness they can remake. DVD companies, similarly, have been raiding the vaults looking for any J-horror film with a remotely frightening premise. The nets have now been flung even wider: Supernatural horror films from Korea, India, and Indonesia are (for the first time) being shown in American theatres. Always looking for the "next" wave, talent scouts are scouring the remotest regions of the world for suitably freaky films.

That's not a bad thing. Honestly. In many cases they are able to bring fantastic slices of horror cinema to the U.S. My friend Yam Laranas' brilliant Fillipino horror film (F-horror or P-horror?) The Echo has been well received in the U.S. and is poised for a big remake. Yet with every trend, good product runs out and the crud rolls in. We're subjected to slap-dash productions that weren't even popular in their home countries. They seem to sprout up like noxious mushrooms on the shelves of Tower Records and Best Buy.

Continue reading: Scary True Stories Review

Pistol Opera Review


Bad
A recent article in Entertainment Weekly explains why Hollywood heavyweights from Tom Cruise to Brad Pitt are casting their creative nets across the Far East for new ideas. Who can blame them? In terms of succulent storylines, Asian cinema often appears light years ahead of an American film community knee-deep in sequels or remakes of cookie-cutter television fare.

A perfect example of the no-holds-barred well of creativity bubbling overseas is Seijun Suzuki's Pistol Opera. A sequel to the Japanese director's 1967 cult piece Branded to Kill, the film sets the stage for a wondrous tale of violence, betrayal, vengeance, and death. But while the film is gorgeous to behold, it winds up being strange without being interesting.

Continue reading: Pistol Opera Review

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Scary True Stories Movie Review

Scary True Stories Movie Review

Japanese horror, called now J-horror, is inseparable from the early '00s boom in supernatural horror...

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