Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bloody Reunion (2006)

Fear: 3
Gore: 5
Creepiness: 5
Entertainment: 5
Nightmares: 3

Bloody Reunion is a Korean horror flick centering on a group of young twenty some-things, who reunite with their elementary school teacher at her country cottage. The first half of the movie is slow to build, focusing on the individuals who have come to this cottage and how life is treating them post graduation. As it is revealed, each one of these students in one way or another, has been adversely affected by the way the teacher treated them. The teacher, who is now gravely ill and confined to a wheel chair, does not even seem to remember many of the accusations the students make. Each student was somehow ridiculed by this teacher, and it is with this ridicule, that they blame her for not being able to live normally functioning and productive lives. Even in life, she raises a disfigured child in the basement of her home, never acknowledging its existence and keeping the child locked up from the outside world. By all accounts, she is an evil woman even though she can not recall much of the events that the students speak of due to her illness and weakened state.

So what starts as a slow build up, ends in one of the best slasher flicks that I've seen in recent memory. Calling to mind some of the great slasher films of the 80's, Bloody Reunion has some very ingenious methods of victim dispensing including inventive usage of school supplies as torture devices. The movie keeps you guessing throughout as to who the actual killer is and the ending has a great twist. Bloody Reunion does not fall into any of the cliched elements that many recent Asian horror flicks have fallen victim to. No ladies with long black hair, arms outstretched or eyes peeking through strands of said hair. Instead the film is a good old fashioned slasher flick with some familiar elements and new twists on the overall genre itself.

Posted by: Cortez the Killer

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Cortez pretty much nailed it here. Bloody Reunion could have easily been an American slasher film from 1983 had it not been Korean and 2006. It's superbly gory and certainly made me cringe a few times - eyeball gore ALWAYS nauseates me and there are two pretty gnarly scenes here. The torture scenes are, easily, as gruesome as anything in Hostel, if not more so. I remember being in 3rd or 4th grade and playing the "gross out game" with friends". Which would you rather do: be force fed razor blades or have your eyelids stapled open? Bloody Reunion helps you answer these questions by showing you what you might be in store for.

Cortez is also correct when he points out how the film avoids so many of the cliches that Asian horror seems to stick to. But there is one thing that it has in common with most of them: elegance. Even though this is a gritty film about revenge and torture and blood and guts, it just feels more elegant than most American horror films. The photography, lighting and music are all much more...grown up I think is the word I'm looking for. As though the film was treated like an important piece of art. I get that from a lot of Asian horror and wish it was something US filmmakers would try.

- Complaint Depart.

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