Thursday, 26 May 2011

Three Extremes.

I have been a huge fan of foreign horror films for quite some time now.

I have somewhat of an obsession with horror, and find that foreign films in the genre tend to have subtlety and imagination that most American or English horror is severely lacking in.

I heard about Three Extremes some time ago, and have had a strong interest in it since.

Three Extremes is a film comprised of three shorter films, each by a different director.
I finally got my hands on it and I am incredibly pleased with my purchase.

The first short film, Dumplings, is by a Chinese director known as Fruit Chan.
This was easily the most gruesome of the three, about a woman who is desperate to regain her youthful beauty to attract the wandering eye of her cheating husband.
I enjoyed the film, but I cant honestly say I thought it was brilliant.
The film's horror is almost entirely based on the gruesome elements, and that alone has never really been enough to give my creep bones a twinge (the same problem I had with The Human Centipede).
There is also a feature length version of the film that fans of Dumplings should love to check out!

The second film, Cut, is probably my favorite of the three, though mainly due to a biased opinion.
Cut is directed by Korean director Park Chan-Wook, who also directed one of my favorite films, Oldboy.

I think some people may not like this particular section of the film, as in some sections it comes across much more humorous than either of the other two films on the disc.
The film is about a famous director, who is tied up by a crazed extra who has appeared in all of his previous films.
The extra then makes demands of the director and punishes him if the demands are not met on time.
Some scenes in the film come across, at least to me, as intentionally awkward.
Watching the director stand bending over with his pants around his ankles trying to entertain the extra by waving his backside to comedy music may seem out of place in a horror film, but does a surprisingly good job of amping up the tension.
I would suggest that any other fans of Park Chan-Wook watches Cut if they ever get the chance.
I found it highly enjoyable, and it could possibly even be related to his previous works on the Revenge trilogy.

The third and final film is Box, by very well known Japanese director Takashi Miike, probably most famous for his film Audition, as well as Ichi the Killer and the more recent 13 Assassins.

This film was the only film of the three to really give me the creep factor.
The film is shot with a beautiful, incredibly subtle and subdued tone that does wonders for the horror elements in the film.
The way Miike chose to set up many of the frames throughout the film makes sections look so much more uneasy than with usual horrors, hinting at a full picture rather than showing you the whole horrifying image.
I would find it hard not to suggest this film to anybody with an interest in Asian horror movies.

Three Extremes was a great compilation of films that I found enjoyable throughout.
Anybody interested may like to know that there is also a Three Extremes 2, continuing with three new directors.
I have yet to watch Three Extremes 2, but if it can continue what these first three films started I will thoroughly enjoy watching through it too.