Horror Boom’s Ten Scariest Asian Horror Movies Ever Made: #9: “Three Extremes” (2004)

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Straight up: do not watch the first segment of this movie, Fruit Chan’s “Dumplings”  if you’re pregnant (this may even be a bad movie for men whose wives/girlfriends are pregnant—though there is beautiful Bai Ling to look at). In fact, if a list existed of terrible movie choices to watch when ‘expecting’, I’m pretty sure it’d be in the top 10, along with Inside. Don’t eat while you’re watching it unless you have a very strong stomach. Though if you DO decide to eat, just make sure you are not eating …dumplings.*

Here’s the trailer for Three… Extremes:

Here’s a scene from “Dumplings”, though it could be spoiler-ish and isn’t exactly crystal-clear quality…

There’s a clip of the disturbing final scene on You Tube, but not only will it spoil the movie, it’s not as disturbing out of context. Just watch the entire film, it’ll earn the pay off.

Don’t expect much from the Park Chan-Wook segment, which is the only piece of cinema he wrote and directed that wasn’t spellbindingly above-par. I guess even the most talented, skillful, and hard-working among us drop the ball once or twice in their careers. Most reviews—by fans and critics alike—point to “Cut” as the weakest of the three films.  The fake-out opening was great, there was a twist or two, but it became a little too torture porny-y for my tastes. I’ll have to check and see if his longtime DP collaborated with him on this one, as it didn’t have the usual beauty and composition nearly every shot of a Chan-Wook Park film has.

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The Miike segment (“Box”) managed to scare me the most -and there was barely any blood. Replacing gore (though there is some disturbing imagery, it’s nothing compared to Miike’s usual bloodbaths), is a creeping dread that builds and builds until you get to a scary mental place where, if you’re not covering your eyes, you’ll want to. I’ve had to cover my eyes in two other features directed by Miike, but for different reasons. During the intense torture scenes in Imprint (the “censored segment” from Showtime’s Masters of Horror series) and Audition,**  I was covering my eyes out of squeamishness. In “Box,” I was covering my eyes because I was actively frightened of what I *might* see. Just the goddamned screen cap below from the trailer makes me feel uneasy.

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*Especially ones that crunch delicately when you bite into them.

**it is worth noting that Imprint‘s torture scene is definitely harder to watch than the notorious torture scene in Audition, though the latter’s sequence did make me briefly wince and cover my eyes protectively. If there’s anyone out there that can watch Imprint and remain perfectly calm and composed inside and out through the entire running time… then I don’t think I want to meet that person at all, let alone in a dark alley.

 

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Horror Boom’s Ten Scariest Asian Horror Movies Ever Made! – #10: “Coming Soon” (2008)

So, a couple of years ago I made a list for the IMDB of what I consider the ten scariest Asian horror films ever made. By the way, do you know how hard that was at the time,  to only pick ten?  If you think it would be easy, you either 1. have not watched as many Asian horror films as the average horror fan, or 2. you are made out of steel with ice-water instead of blood running through your veins, and no movie you have ever seen in your life has ever scared you, even as a kid.

Since I posted this list, I’ve seen more Asian horror movies than I have leading up to the years posting the list. So, there’ll probably be an addendum of an extra five (or ten) posted after this series of ten separate posts is complete.  I’m going to have to just cut and paste the goddamned list because the only way to save it that the IMDB has is as a MS table-spreadsheet, which doesn’t translate well (even if it didn’t delete all my copious notes on the movies. You may want to check back, because sometimes I can only post when it’s 3AM, all the lights are off except my laptop, and I’m the only one awake in the house (even the cats are asleep), and when I was scanning the entire list tonight, I felt my heartbeat speed up just reading my descriptions and flashing back to the most nightmarish, blood-curdling scenes and moments.  If you’re a restless sleeper that needs to sloooowly power down in order to relax enough to fall asleep, do you REALLY want to recall the big reveal in the last five minutes of Parkpoom Wongpoom‘s Shutter (2004) vividly when you’re trying to mellow out?  My point is,  I don’t want to do an image search for, say, Spiral unless it’s light out, so there’ll be more added to these posts later (plus trailers).

#10 – Coming Soon (2008, Thailand)

Fuck everything and run!

Fuck everything and run!

 I replaced Cinderella with this title–unfortunately, I hadn’t stumbled across it yet at the time. I saw the trailer for Coming Soon (the English title of this little gem) and I ended up watching it online, at night, on my laptop. Funny coincidence, I didn’t sleep too well that night! I almost did something I’ve only done with two other titles on this list, which was to reflect that perhaps I should quit while I still have a chance of calming down and watch the rest of the movie in daylight. This plot was so tight, though, and filled with surprises (not just giant jumps–it was excellent storytelling and a script with a simple, yet brilliant, idea) that I was glued to it. Thai horror movies do NOT fuck around, and this is a perfect example. From the second the action starts (in this case, a movie-within-a-movie) to the last sudden GOTCHA! right when you thought the movie was about to fade to credits, the makers succeed in their goal–scaring the living shit out of you. Those lucky enough to see it on the big screen in Thailand must have had a very memorable movie-going experience –most of the movie is set in a multiplex movie theater.

And here’s that trailer…