Pandora’s Box: ‘Bloody Reunion’ (2006)

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Pandora’s Box is an advisory column in which I watch a film based solely on its cover art, or box if you will, and determine whether or not it’s worth your time when you’re perusing the horror section of Instant Netflix. I do no research and watch no trailers, these films are completely and 100% unknown to me. You shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but I intend to do so with these movies. Will I uncover a glimmer of hope for my strange viewing habits or utter despair? We won’t know until I open…Pandora’s Box.


What Grabbed Me

A film that a lot of the staff hasn’t seen for a while and will hopefully one day soon see again is The Loved Ones, based on the premise of a high school girl who kidnaps boys she’s interested in and hosts a prom in her home while torturing them. A film called Bloody Reunion with a handcuffed kid strapped to a wooden chair conjured up some of the memories I had of The Loved Ones. Those were my thoughts about the art that grabbed me. The art of the box itself is just kinda cool and has an aura of dementedness to the type of violence that ensued before and after she was strapped to that chair. Plus it’s an Asian film, so you know there will be violence and blood out of every place it can come out of. At least I think/hope so.

THIRST, Review – Easy Contender for Best of ’09.

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Directed by Chan-wook Park, 2009
Written by Seo-Gyeong Jeong, Chan-wook Park

When I bought my wife’s engagement ring I was in over my head.  I knew nothing about rings, I knew nothing about diamonds and I knew nothing about purchasing a ring with a diamond in it.  She gave me a list of what to look for and I brought it to the first jewelry story I could find, handed it to the first person who approached me and said, “This is what I want”.  What followed was a lot of talk about clarity and color and weight and the things rabbits eat and I remained just as clueless when I handed over my credit card as when I walked in the door.  It’s not that I didn’t care about the details of the biggest purchase of my life, it’s just that the details were outside me.  All I cared about was the milestone it represented.

THIRST is the kind of film I don’t want to say anything about.  I just want to point it out, say, “Yep, this is the one”, and move on until more people have an opportunity to see it.  It’s the first time all year long at a theater that I’ve felt at the mercy of a filmmaker.  It’s the first time in ’09 I’ve felt unequivocally that what I’m watching is a film without peer, which is saying a lot considering how much in love I am with WATCHMEN, THE HURT LOCKER and MOON.  THIRST writhes with a seductive, marvelous sense of discovery that I could only spoil by talking about.  Which is giving me blue balls, because the more I think about it, the more I just want to talk about Chan-wook Park’s best film to date.

I won’t spoil anything beyond what the trailer makes obvious: Kang-ho Song plays a priest who receives a blood transfusion that turns him into a vampire.  Done.  That’s all you’re getting out of me plot wise.  Anyone who dives beyond that is a dick.  I will, however, talk about why I think it’s one of the best films of the year, despite having imperfections at its core.  It’s a flawed masterpiece, not unlike the aforementioned diamond.  It communicates a world to the naked eye, a world that looks perfect, but when the trained eye dives down to a molecular level structural inconsistencies appear.  But who cares?  It’s not about the guts, it’s about what it represents.  This is the one, after all.  You know it just looking at it.  THIRST is a gem to behold, molecular level be damned.

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