Monday, March 10, 2008

The newspaper of terror? Well, glad they went with Premonition


Subtitles folks, no English on this DVD. So if you are a complete subtitle-ist, then move on, however, if you appreciate foreign film, Asian thrillers, or are border line, and love me to the point that you will allow me to sway your fragile little mind, then read on.
Asian horror film is light years ahead of almost all entries in America's horror field. Now I am sure there is a lot of crap out there in the Asian field, however most of what makes it over, is at least worth checking out. I've been looking forward to getting my hands on this one for a while. Part of what is widely known as the "J-Horror" 6 film collection, through the reading of online comments, and trailers, I was pumped, but boy howdy did my ass have to wait for a while. 

... It was worth it.

This has to be one of my favorite Asian horror/thriller films for one big ass reason, it makes sense. I mean, it starts somewhere, has a building, well constructed story and actually ends with a good, understandable ending. As opposed to some of the other more well known entries in the genre (i.e. Ju-on, or Ringu), which feature more scares for your buck, but, I mean in all honesty, make about as much sense as my third nut. 
This here gem, starts with a family on their way back from a visit to Grandpa's. They stop along the way so the business driven Father can send an email from a phone booth. While in the phone booth he notices a worn newspaper clipping that predicts the death of his five year old daughter. Before he can react a truck hits the car, and his daughter dies. Jump three years forward, the Father and Mother have divorced, the Mother never being able to believe his tale of the "Predicting newspaper". The Father existing through his life, completely guilt stricken. 
Unbeknownst to him, his ex-wife, came across information concerning this "news paper" and is now trying to uncover it's secrets, and hopes that this effort will excuse how she treated her former husband. They meet up, and both begin to explore the trail of this paper, as well as long buried feelings towards each other, and the death of their daughter.
There are more than a few creepy, jump, moments in this film, but more so, this is an intense slow building thriller. More creep than scare, and very involving. The acting is solid, the writing is great. Who would expect a film about an object referred to as "The Newspaper of terror" could not only avoid cheese, but build to an awesome, mind bending (but not to the point of retarded) ending. 
I hit stop on this film feeling very complete, the way only an awesome film experience can leave a true fan of the art. The theme of this film is complex, but simple once you understand... If you were given the chance to save someone, a stranger, would you? Can you change fate? And what are you willing to sacrifice for those you love? All good questions, all explored on film before, but not like this. 
Be ready to jump when that damn paper hits the window... it got me...

A great Asian thriller. A great thriller period... my god it hurts me knowing that at the time this was getting attention over here, Sandra Bullock made a film of the same title... I assure you no connection. At least I don't think so...

Movie scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
Thriller scale 4.5 out of 5 stars

Chuck Boonsweet is out for a good time....

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