Starring: Hasegawa Kyoko / Mariam Yeung / Lee Byung-Hun
Director: Takashi Miike, Fruit Chan, Park Chan-Wook
Studio: CJ Entertainment
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About This DVD
"Three, Monster," a compilation of short films by East Asian directors, is probably the most aesthetic of horror films to open in theaters this year. The three directors who participated in this project - Park Chan-wook of South Korea, Takashi Miike of Japan and Fruit Chan of Hong Kong - figure out ways to not as much terrify the audience as attempt to disturb them on a psychological level.
The films of "Three, Monster" all work from the same premise - that the source for the horrific lies not outside but within the individual. The results have somewhat of a biblical feel, with the directors casting their interpretations on greed, envy, desire and other deadly sins that can transform people into monsters.
CUT (by Park Chan-Wook)
The most original and polished of the three is the first. "Cut," directed by Park, is a continuation of the revenge theme that the filmmaker has been exploring in his recent films. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Old Boy. The short film, however, takes a slyer approach than his features, and gives center stage to the black humor Park only hinted at previously.
"Cut" is a literal theater of cruelty, in which a failed actor credited only as the Terrorist (Yim Won-hee) holds a director (Lee Byung-hun) captive at a film set, a recreation of the Directorís own home. There, the Terrorist has elaborately tied up the Directorís wife, the Pianist (Kang Hye-jeong), in front of a piano, and a random child on a sofa. He then gives the Director a choice - either strangle the innocent child or watch as he chops off one of the Pianistís fingers every five minutes.
It may seem odd that Park would find humor in such a situation, but the director does so with gleeful abandon. The situation is taken into absurd territory, revolving mostly around the game between the Terrorist and the Director, and aside from the unnecessary twist at the end, the film succeeds in keeping the audience in uncomfortable laughter throughout.
BOX (by Takashi Miike)
The director fills his surreal narrative about a young woman writer with such evocative images as a circus act starring twin teenage dancers, bleak walks through the snow and repeated dreams of being buried alive. It's certainly beautiful to look at in a melancholy sort of way.
directed by Takashi Miike of Japan, tackles mythical and dreamy theme of horror that haunts Kyoko (Kyoko Hasegawa), a successful and renowned beauty.
The main character is trapped in a web of claustrophobic scenes, which chug along at a painfully slow pace, with Kyoko confined to a solitary and secrecy-laden life.
On the surface, Kyoko has ambivalent feelings toward her editor who has a crush on her. But she hesitates to open her heart to him because of a traumatic childhood experience.
Deploying techniques that can be defined as a minimalist fantasy, the film shows what really happened. At the tender age of 10, Kyoko accidentally caused her twin sister Shoko - a rival for the affection of their surrogate father Hikita - to be burned to death.
Stricken by grief, Hikita vanished shortly afterwards. Adding to the tangle, the editor looks exactly like Hikita. Meanwhile, Kyoko has been struggling to fend off the recurring dreams and memories of her twin sister.
DUMPLINGS (by Fruit Chan)
Less elaborate but perhaps more frightening than "Cut" is Fruit Chan's "Dumplings." The story, about a woman (Yeung Chin Wah) who tries to recover her youth by eating dumplings made of aborted fetuses, seems like something that could unfortunately occur in our youth-obsessed society. The short film, which includes excellent performances by Ling Bai, as the ruthless dumpling vendor, and Leung Ka Fai as the husband who chases after young women, falls short of meaningful social criticism, but its close resemblance to our world makes it more disturbing than any ghost story.
Under Fruit Chan's re-telling of Lillian Lee's well-etched characters, comedy actor Miriam Yeung is inducing frights instead of laughter this time as she portrays the darker side of human nature. As the ageing, insecure ex-starlet Ching Ching, Miriam is determined to turn back the hands of time seemingly at any cost - to regain the passion of her typhoon husband. She goes to find former mainland doctor Auntie Mei (Bai Ling) not for surgical reasons - but for her "special" dumplings. The mysteriously carefree Auntie Mei steams, boils, and serves little delicacies for Ching Ching to swallow (and gulp, once she finds out the secret ingredients) down. Although not quite mouth-watering, can these pinkish, crunchy, chewy and juicy "special dumplings" really be the foundation of youth for Ching Ching? Or are they just a mass of fetal tissues?
|Audio Format:||DD 5.1 EX Surround, DTS|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)|
|Languages:||Korean, Cantonese, Japanese|
|Country Made:||Hong Kong|
|Running Time:||40 / 40 / 40|
- Making of Film
- TV Spot
- Music Video
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