Friday, November 14, 2014

[Movie Plot] If it's in a word, or if it's in a book you can't get rid of the...

Before I watch a horror movie, I make it a point to check its ratings from websites like rottentomatoes or imdb. So I happened upon this recant horror/thriller flick called "Babadook" which garnered at least a 7 out of 10 stars by movie critics. I don't know about you but anything more than 5 stars is good enough for me.

The story starts out really weird. It shows a woman, presumably in her late 30s, thrashing about in her car. The glass window breaks and then there's a bright light ahead. There is a man in the driver's seat. He looks solemn and unperturbed by the woman's unusual predicament. 

The car and man soon disappear, and the woman slowly falls back on bed. All these were happening in slow motion. 

Then the woman wakes up to her kid standing by her bed, telling her that he has had a bad dream. 

As the story develops, we learn that the lady, Amelia, is struggling to cope with life after losing her husband in a car crash. In a twisted kind of irony, the husband was killed driving his pregnant wife to the hospital. To make things worse, Amelia works in a nursing home where she deals with near-deaf patients and organizes bingo every other evening. Fun times!

Amelia's 6-year-old son, Samuel, is basically the kid from 'The Omen', just a lot noisier. I have to warn you that you're in for a lot of screaming and tantrum-throwing for the first half of the movie. (This kid is an amazing actor because you'll fucking despise him).

One night, Amelia allows Samuel to choose any storybook that he would like for her to read. It's called... yes you guessed it: Babadook.

She reads the whole book to Samuel, not realizing that by doing so, she's acknowledging the existence of creepy McAss Babadook. After that, the more you try to get rid of it, the stronger it gets.

So what in the actual fuck is "Babadook"? I don't want to spoil it for you but it's pretty damn obvious if you pay enough attention to the movie (I didn't, so I cheated and read the comments).

Anyway, according to the storybook, Babadook shacks up in the closet and stalks little kids. Amelia freaks out and burns the book but that same book later reappears at her door, untouched.

Amelia's emotional turmoil took a turn for the worst as Babadook slowly wills her to kill Samuel. 

So despite all the positive reviews on this film, I'm not going to be a hypocrite and agree with them because I don't. 

Imho, 4 out of 10 stars for this hipster horror flick.


Weirdest shit for me though, is the way Babadook declares its presence. The closet door creaks open and the house blacks out, which sounds about normal, until Babadook voices out hoarsely; 


But you know what I really think Babadook is?

It likes (to eat) kids. It moves around stealthily, almost animal-like. It can evolve into a stronger entity. It can only say its name. 

Isn't it obvious?

A Pokemon. Babadook is a fucking Pokemon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

[Movie Review] Hungry Ghost Ritual

So a friend recommended me to watch Nick Cheung's horror flick, "Hungry Ghost Ritual" because she heard it's good stuff. And besides, films that star Cheung are 80% of the time pretty good.  Before I went on to stream the movie, I checked out the trailer and frankly wasn't impressed at all. But I thought I should give it a try since it's Nick Cheung's directorial debut film...

The title itself is already appealing... I mean "Hungry Ghost Ritual" is something a horror movie buff would find interesting. I'm a big fan of western horror films too but so far only asian horrors have left deep impressions on me. I was hoping this one would be somewhat similar to HK horror, The Eye because when it comes to Chinese superstition horror, there can't be a lot of differences in terms of setting and back story.

Anyway, the film tells us about Zhong Hua (Cheung) who returns to his hometown (Malaysia --WHAT?) after his publishing business in China fails. His father, a Chinese opera troupe master, then got warded for heart attack and Zhong Hua is forced to take over the troupe as they prepare for 7th month performance. As soon as he becomes troupe master, strange things begin to happen to him and the people around him.

The film is separated into two parts --the past and the present. The past talks about Zhong Hua's father and how his wrongdoings are tied back to the present where his son keeps experiencing paranormal occurrences. It has a lot to do with karma, cos it's the children (Zhong Hua and stepsister Jing) who have to pay for what their father has done in the past.

Zhong Hua and Xiu Yin (troupe member) at the hospital, discussing about the future of the opera troupe when an elderly staff wheels in a dead body. LIKE, SERIOUSLY? I'm no expert on hospitals, but I'm pretty sure they separate lifts for staff and for the public. Can you imagine being in a lift cramped with people and a dead guy, and then the weight limit bell sounds and you're like "oh man guess I have to take the stairs since the dead guy can't walk." 

That's not all too. The old lady who is in charge of the body gives Zhong Hua and Xiu Yin creepy stares and then randomly advices them not to wander around cos it's the Hungry Ghost Festival. IMHO the scene can be pulled off way better if the old lady gives the pair some back story about the dead guy. At least that will creep me out. The couple eventually gets off the lift and the old lady continues to cockstare them from the doors until she FLOATS BACK INSIDE.... I wish I made that up.

The scene where Zhong Hua watches the CCTV clips and realises he is being possessed. I honestly don't really know what is going on here cos the streaming is so low quality lol. If I'm not wrong, he then also sees a female apparition coming up the stairs through the live CCTV cam and that the apparition is slowly approaching his door........  

This is when Xiu Yin is possessed and Zhong Hua hurries to go get the help of the troupe members. But when they get back, Xiu Yin is apparently okay. "I'm fine. It's just a disease I've had since I was a kid." she says. What, you mean tumbling around on the floor with your limbs twisted in inhumane ways and your eyes rolling to the back of the sockets ARE SYMPTOMS OF A CHILDHOOD DISEASE? You win lor.

I'm just gonna briefly talk about the scenes in the past since I'm not really sure what it's really about. Cheung's father used to favour this Chinese opera performer (Carrie Ng) but when she hurts herself, he gives up on her and appoints another troupe member as the lead. Unsatisfied, she does everything to get back on stage including sleeping with Cheung's father but she soon finds out that her efforts are in vain because Cheung's father is also romantically involved with the newly appointed performer. Desperate, Ng sets the whole stage on fire and kills everyone. Later, she commits suicide.

Back in the present, the whole troupe is possessed (possibly by the ghosts from the old troupe) and Zhong Hua eventually stabs himself in a bid to get the spirit of Ng to leave his body. Zhong Hua's father survives the ordeal and the final scene shows him performing on stage in front of his dead children and troupe members. Karma's a bitch, beb.

Also, I tried to Wiki the whole plot but nothing came up(* ̄m ̄)

You can give this movie a miss lah: 2 out of 5 stars, sorry Nick (flying ghosts, really?).