3 days ago
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Allison (Kari Wuhrer) is still trying to protect the Lexicon that she got from the previous movie. This time we are back to having bad angels around. The angel Stark (Tony Todd) is after the Lexicon because the last page will reveal who the Antichrist will be. Stark wants to kill this person so that the final battle between good and evil will not happen. If it does happen then human souls will be allowed into heaven once again. That is something Stark does not want, as he hates humans. Stark has his dead human, Dylan (Jason Scott Lee), tagging along and wants him to kill Allison and get the book. I don't really know why Stark just doesn't do it himself unless there is something against an angel killing a human. If Allison protects the book, life on Earth will eventually end as we know it. If she lets Stark have it, life will go on but no one gets into heaven. Which will she choose?
Even though The Prophecy: Forsaken take place after the events of Uprising, it still manages to be a confusing mess. There is a very short flashback to Uprising of Allison when she first finds the Lexicon, and I do mean very short. On the plus side of this, it does offer sub titles this time of what the priest is saying. On the negative side, this wasn't nearly enough to explain anything to someone who might have picked this up without realizing it was a sequel. At least with Uprising you didn't really need to see the other movies in order to pick up on what was going on. A couple of references might have been lost on the person, but it wouldn't have taken anything away from the movie. Forsaken pretty much just assumes you have watched Uprising. Even though I had just watched Uprising, I was still a little confused about what was going on in this movie. In some ways it feels like director Joel Soisson decided Uprising was going to be too long so used footage left over to make Forsaken. But there is also enough new ideas (well, not really new) and new characters to make it feel like its own movie. With the short run time of 70 minutes, the plot feels too rushed. I thought that Stark was actually Gabriel at first. They could both bring back people who killed themselves. There was just so many directions this movie could have went to fill out the run time, but none of it was explored. We are barely given information about the new characters that are found here. Dylan flips sides so often that is ends up being embarrassing. Sadly the end of the movie gives the feel that there could possibly be another movie. Since it has been nearly 5 years now though, maybe there won't be...at least not with this story line hopefully.
I thought the effects were skimpy in the other films until I watched this one. Some gun shot wounds is all you will find. Again the acting was just okay. Kari Wuhrer isn't given very much to work with here to be honest. John Light returns and is very good, but isn't in this movie nearly as much as he was in the last one. He was given the best lines actually, which was crammed into one scene more or less. Jason Scott Lee was just there. Tony Todd was good, but went over the top a lot. Jason London also returns as Simon for a very, very short appearance. Making her only film appearance so far was Daria Ciobanu. She has a small but important role.
As much as I didn't like The Prophecy: Forsaken, it actually wasn't all bad. Pretty close, but not all bad somehow. There were a couple a scenes that stood out to me. The main one was a church scene with Allison and the now dead Maria (Ciobanu). This turned out to be a creepy scene which made me wish there was a lot more like this scene to be found. Even though each movie has taken a steady decline since the first movie, I'm not completely sorry that I watched them all. After all, it wasn't until these last two movies that they really took a turn for the worst. Not the best franchise of films out there, but not a total disappointment either. As for Forsaken, you might go ahead and watch it if you have gotten this far into the series. If you haven't, no need to worry about it at all.
2 out of 5 Stark is such a bad name for an angel
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Allison (Kari Wuhrer) works in a church in Bucharest, Romania. After a service is over, she notices that the priest had left something behind. While she searches for him, the priest is in a hidden part of the church that he leaves open of course. Once Allison finds him, he is dead on the floor beside a book that appears to be writing itself. With a voice in her head telling her to protect this book at all costs, she picks it up and takes off with it. We eventually learn that the book is the original bible, which is apparently called the Lexicon. The last chapter about the coming apocalypse is somehow writing itself. Allison learns through the ghost of Simon (Jason London) that the keeper of the book holds the fate of mankind in their hands. The demon Belial (played by different actors) knows this as well and wants the book for his own plans. Meanwhile Interpool agent John Riegert (John Light) has teamed up with local police detective Dani Simionescu (Sean Pertwee) to investigate a series of murders where people are finding their hearts missing.
The Prophecy: Uprising was a little different for me in that most of the movie felt like a set up. One person described the movie as 90% setup with 10% being the ending. It really did feel that way to me while I was watching. There are some reveals along the way, but even the end of the movie wasn't exciting in any way. The only thing I was interested in trying to figure out is who John Riegert really was. I knew he wasn't who he said he was, that much was obvious early on. It was just a matter of figuring out who he was. It wasn't who I thought, and it did make the new war that was being talked about more interesting. It wasn't enough to help the movie itself though. I wasn't all that impressed with the way they tried to tie this movie into the movies that came before it either. We have the ghost or spirit of Simon popping up now and then. Mostly he talks to Allison inside her head, which apparently is nothing new for her since she never once questions it or acts worried about it. Having Simon back was a problem for some fans of the original movie. I am willing to let it go, but it does present a bit of a problem. Another way they tied into the other movies was by an online chat. I thought this was really stretching things though. Dani gets online, I assume so type of police chat room, and asks if anyone has come across murder cases with a missing heart. The coroner from the other movies answers back with answers that were often more cryptic than helpful. I guess we can't have the detective just told the answers, it would make his job too easy that way.
The effects are once again no different than the other movies. I don't know what the budgets were for the other three movies, but I'm sure it wasn't very high for this movie and the next. People get shot and hearts get ripped out again. Nothing all that great I didn't think. The acting was just okay to me this time around. None of the actors did a bad job with their roles, I just wasn't overly impressed with anyone this time around. The other movies spoiled me a little by having at least two actors returning for each movie. That didn't happen this time around, although I believe at least one from this movie shows up for the last film (so far anyway). An actor of note that does show up though is Doug Bradley. He has a small role up until the end of the movie.
One of the things I didn't understand at all was the demon jumping bodies. I guess that is how a demon can stay in the mortal world, instead of having a body for itself like an angel can. What I didn't get at all was why Belial was killing the person he just jumped out of. I understood why he was jumping from body to body. Either the current body was too injured to go on, or he had the chance of taking someone important. The writers do try to explain this with saying that by removing the heart it makes to the body uninhabitable. That was kind of a "duh" moment for me since it obviously does make a body inhabitable considering the person is now dead. That reasoning would have worked better if Belial was being tracked down by another demon that jumped from body to body as well. Did you know that demons can get memories from people through taste as well? You learn something new everyday. I didn't find The Prophecy: Uprising to be near as interesting as the other movies. Yes it still deals with a prophecy in some ways, but it isn't the same to me since they are no longer using actual bible stories to make it feel more real. The fact that they would jump from English to Romanian in a conversation was also annoying with no subtitles in sight. Maybe what was being said wasn't very important to the plot, but I still felt like I was being left out. Unless you are like me and want to watch every film in a series, this is one to skip.
2 out of 5 About time a demon showed up for the party
Saturday, June 26, 2010
As with the second movie in the series, The Prophecy 3 picks up where the last movie left off after years have gone by. Gabriel (Christopher Walken) returns yet again, but as something that he hates - being human. As punishment, God has made Gabriel human so he can live amongst them and learn about them. I never felt that Gabriel wanted us gone per say, he just wanted angels to be God's favorite instead of "talking monkeys." The angel Zophael (Vincent Spano) has other plans though. He does want humans gone, and plans on helping the angel Pyriel (Scott Cleverdon) do just that. Before Pyriel returns though, Zophael has the mission of taking out Danyael (Dave Buzzotta), the son of Valerie from the second movie. Danyael is a young man now, and has been doing some preaching of his own. He doesn't know that he is half angel and half human, but he is about to find out.
In a way I was glad that this story line is now over. Even though Gabriel has been in all three movies, his story has slowly taken a back seat in each sequel. In this third installment he is more of a supporting character instead of the main one. This was too bad really. Nothing against the other actors, but it wasn't the same not having Walken as the male lead. I understood what the main goal was, trying to bring Gabriel back around to the side of good, but I wasn't impressed with the way they did it. The Prophecy 3 lost more points with me from the second one. I didn't like it as well. I would have to say that so far this has been the worst in the series, but that doesn't really make it a bad movie. I was disappointed that the plot went further away from the original plot, in a way at least, but it still wasn't too bad of one. I didn't feel it was explained as well as it could have been, I got a little confused as to what was going on for sure. One thing I didn't really get is why Zophael didn't try to get Danyael to switch sides. He did some fancy talking to get Danyael's girlfriend (played by Kayren Butler) in order to get her to help him, so I didn't get why he didn't put more effort into getting Danyael to switch sides. On the other hand it was nice not having a bad guy doing his best to get the good guy and then deciding to kill him when it doesn't work.
The effects are on par with the rest of the series. More gun shot wounds, and hearts being ripped out. We do get a clearly look at the heart of an angel though. They made it look different than a human heart, which I thought was a nice touch. There isn't a big difference, but you can see it. The acting was too bad either. What I liked about this movie is that they brought back some of the cast from the first movie. I also discovered that Christopher Walken, who does is usual great job with his role, wasn't the only character/actor to appear in all three films. Steve Hytner plays a coroner in all three movies. He was given more to do in this movie than the other two combined. Moriah Snyder returns as Mary for one scene. Sandra Ellis Lafferty returns as well. Sandra played a waitress in the first movie, and returns to that role here. Not a big part by any means, but still nice to see a face that goes back to the first movie all the same. Dave Buzzotta wasn't too bad, even if he did spend most of the movie on the run. I liked Vincent Spano as an actor, but I wasn't completely convinced by his bad guy acting. Christopher Walken does a much better job with it.
There has been some debate over how a half angel could beat a full fledged angel. I think the key there is something Lucifer said in the first movie. In that he said the reason why Gabriel wanted an evil human soul to help him win the war in heaven is because humans have learned more about war than an angel ever will. Of course Danyael also gets some help here and there as well. One thing I never figured out about Gabriel is that he can shush people, wave his hand, and they will fall to the ground. I never figured out if they simply fall to sleep instantly or if he is able to kill someone in that way. If you are also into the whole Bible thing and horror movies twisting it and religion in order to make it more of a horror story, I think you will like the original three in this series. Sure they start to get worse with each sequel, but they are still good movies. Perhaps not the best series out there as far as the first three movies go, but I still enjoyed each one of them. Onwards to the fourth movie, which opens up a new story line.
3 out of 5 Angels can learn of memories through taste of all things
Friday, June 25, 2010
Without giving away too much from the first movie, Lucifer (Guri Weinberg) has decided that there just isn't room in hell for both him and Gabriel (Christopher Walken), so allows Gabriel to return to Earth four years after the first movie. Danyael (Russell Wong), another angel, is on a mission of his own. He lands on Valerie's (Jennifer Beals) car as she is driving as a way to introduce himself to her. With Valerie on her way to work, she is a nurse at a hospital, she takes him there where he recovers. Once he has done that he goes home with Valerie where they have sex. A couple of days later, Valerie finds out she pregnant. Gabriel learns of this plan from Thomas (Bruce Abbot), who has apparently been writing a book of prophecies that he has been getting from visions. Gabriel then finds him a helper in the form of suicide victim Izzy (Brittany Murphy). They set out together to take care of Valerie in a not so pleasant way.
One thing I liked right away about The Prophecy 2 is that it picks up the story from the first movie. It might be years later, but it still picks it up. There is some role reversal going on with the bad guys trying to stop the good guys plan this time around. I was disappointed they couldn't get the same actors to come back for their much smaller roles for this film. Outside of Walken, I didn't see anyone else return. Maybe they didn't want ti return to a much smaller role, or was busy with another movie, but it would have been nice to see the same actors again. The story for this sequel wasn't bad, but it did feel slower than the first movie. They didn't really rehash the plot of the first movie, but they did go over it a little more than I thought they would. I need to remember too that there was four actual years between the two movies. Rehashing the plot does make sense not only for those that may not have seen the first movie, but also to refresh the memories of those that did. Even though I thought it was a tad on the slow side, the story was still interesting to me. It refers to the Bible at least once, with an actual passage from it. The main downside of this movie was the ending. It felt very uneventful. Not a bad ending really, just uneventful for how it looked like things were going to go down.
Not a whole lot for effects yet again. A few gun shot wounds, and angels get their hearts ripped out. We don't actually see this, but we do get to see what an angel's heart looks like. I was disappointed that we only see the shadow of angel wings. I would liked to have seen them. The acting isn't bad, but again doesn't live up to the first movie. Christopher Walken does his usually great job. I liked him better in the first movie actually, but I think that had to do more with the script than his acting. Jennifer Beals does a good job, but isn't really given a lot to do. Brittany Murphy wasn't Clueless good, but I still enjoyed her acting and seeing a movie she was in I had yet to see. Eric Roberts shows up in a small role as well. This made some people mad, not that he was in the movie, but because of who he plays - Michael. Glenn Danzig also has a small role, but be warned a lot of people miss him even when they are looking for him.
I may not have thought The Prophecy 2 lived up to the original film, but that didn't really surprise me much. Rare is the sequel that ends up being as good as or better than the original. With not a lot of action sequences, and not a very good build up of suspense, I knew it was going to come down to the ending of the movie. It does set things up for the next movie, from what little I know about it so far. Still, the direction the plot was taking the movie I was expecting something big. That never happened, at least in the way I was expecting it to. Not a bad movie overall though. If you liked the first movie, I see no real reason you won't like this second one. Onward to the next sequel!
3 out of 5 Wondering if I could have wings and still swim
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
As I always do, I got The Prophecy again in order to watch it before my write up. If I depended on my memory, this post wouldn't be very long then. I'm glad I did because I had forgotten a lot of the movie. I often say that ghost stories are my favorite kind of horror movie. I believe in ghosts to some extent, so a movie about ghosts can get to me easier than some of the other sub genres of horror. Actually horror movies where they kill off kids is my favorite, but that isn't an official genre as far as I know. Anyway, if I had to name another favorite sub genre, it would have to be horror movies that use religion. Pull a story that has something to do with the Bible, or some other religious story, and it might get to me as well. I admit that I'm not the religious type of person. I haven't been to church for a service since I was a little girl. Doesn't mean I don't believe, but it does mean I don't take it as seriously as a lot of people I know. Still, I can see some of the things writers come up with using things out the Bible to actually come true. Give me a movie like The Prophecy or The Seventh Sign and it gets me thinking about things. That is never a bad thing in my book.
It isn't just the religious them that has made The Prophecy a favorite movie of mine though. The plot of the movie is what really managed to draw me in. It is one that you have to pay attention to, and it also makes you think about what is going on as well. It sounds like a simple plot really. Gabriel is an angel looking for a very specific soul to take back to heaven. He needs this soul in order to tip the balance in his favor for a war that is happening there. Another angel, Simon, is trying to prevent that from happening. He hides the soul in a young girl, with Gabriel hot on the trail. Add in a few humans trying to stop this as well, and then have Lucifer show up, and you have the makings of an interesting story. The plot is explained and most questions are answered through the course of the movie. If you aren't giving the movie your full attention though, it is easy to lose track of things, or not completely understand what is going on. What is the war in heaven about? What will this soul do to turn the tide? When does Lucifer want? All this and more is what makes the story so interesting to me.
It was funny to me watching it this time because I seem to remember the movie being more bloody than it actually was. I guess this was just my memory playing tricks on me. After all, I have watched a lot of horror films since I last watched this one. One thing that was clear to me though was the acting of Christopher Walken as Gabriel. He makes a good bad guy in just about every film he has had that type of role in. Having watched more of his films now, I noticed the way that he delivers some of his lines in this movie in the same way as his other films. If you don't like his acting, I'm sure it will annoy you. Eric Stoltz and Viggo Mortensen have smaller roles in the film, but no less important. Eric play Simon, while Viggo gets Lucifer. Viggo really stands out, and nearly steals all the scenes that he is in. Throw in Elias Koteas as an almost priest that turns into a police detective, and Virginia Madsen as a school teacher into the mix as well. While not as good in acting, I can't leave out Moriah Snyder as Mary, the girl Simon hides the soul in. It was Walken and Mortensen that sold the movie, as far as acting, for me though.
Like any movie out there, no matter how good it is, The Prophecy does have some problems. It might be too deep of a movie for some out there. Using Gabriel as the bad angel doesn't fit well with a lot of people, but it is just a fictional story after all. There is nothing in the Bible about Gabriel outside of him being a messenger. I agree with other people that believe Gabriel is used as the bad guy here, and in other movies, because not as much is known about him as there is about the other angels that are named. This was more of a nick pick than anything else, but I found it annoying how the school teacher was always leaving her students alone. Sometimes she would even leave the school completely. I know she could have asked someone to take over for her off camera, but it was still annoying to me. A car seemingly shows up speeding down a dead end alley for some reason, which was also a bit annoying.
Those small things aside, watching this one again reminded me why I liked it so much, even if I didn't remember it as well I had hoped I would. Not a whole lot of effects to be found, but I liked the angel with no eyes. That was very creepy to me. In truth, The Prophecy didn't need a lot of special effects to be affective. The story and acting helps take care of how creepy things can get. If you haven't watched this one yet for some reason, you need to. I think the fact that it has managed to have four sequels (that I know of at least) speaks for itself. Are they as good as this first movie? Probably not, but I aim to find out!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Neil Stryker (Rob Taylor) is a drifter who gets picked up by a friendly guy named Walter (Greg Gosser). Walter offers Neil a place to stay and to clean up, which Neil accepts. Once there, Neil quickly discovers he isn't the only one there. Being a loaner, he doesn't take well to the others, even though they are trying hard to make him part of the group. After nosing around, Neil discovers that the place is actually a cult. After trying a few times to get Neil to join on is own, they decide to tell him to join or else. Since the cult isn't willing to just let him walk, and also that fact that Neil has some action hero in him, it is safe to say there will be a lot of deaths soon.
Evil Cult starts off kind of weird with Neil fighting like a mad scientist type guy who happens to be Rob Taylor as well. Even though the movie ends in much of the same way as it begins, I failed to discover what the mad scientist had to do with anything. I guess it did set him up to be an action hero type of guy at least. From there it gets into the main story. One of the things I liked about this movie was that it is filled with strange scenes. Not all of them work, but there were enough to keep me interested in this movie. To be honest, I felt like the weird scenes happened to be the only thing going in its favor. There are touches of comedy, Neil has plenty of funny one liners, and some of the other characters can be funny at times as well. I just never knew how serious to take things. There is an area in the building where the leaders of the cult don't want anyone in. Of course Neil feels the need to investigate this area. The leaders know he is in this area, but they never do anything about it except complain to themselves. This confused me a bit to say the least. I wasn't sure how serious to take it. The weird scenes that didn't work was due to bad effects or the scene was just too out there to really work.
Some of the effects didn't work, mostly thanks to some bad CGI work. I assume in some cases CGI would be cheaper that practical effects, but I rather deal with bad makeup instead of bad CGI work. Not all effects were bad though, and some turned out to be very gory in nature. We get a laser that turns someone from living flesh to bone in one flash. A head explodes. You can also find a lot of cutting and shooting as well. I was actually impressed with the flesh to bones effect. It may not have been the best out there, but it was well done considering this is a low budget film. The acting was just okay to bad. Rob Taylor does a pretty good job with his roles. Some of the supporting cast was pretty bad at times.
One thing that annoyed me badly about Evil Cult is that we get supporting characters that stand around and watch the action the biggest part of the time. Neil teams up with another guy, but this guy mostly just stands around and cheers Neil on. I couldn't help but think maybe he should jump in there and help out instead of just standing there. Even though Evil Cult is one of those movies where one person takes on most of the movie, it didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would. Rob Taylor not only is the star of the movie, he also co-wrote and co-directed. I might have been impressed with some of the things Evil Cult had to offer, but in the end it didn't work for me. How as this a horror movie? Mostly it wasn't. It did offer up some zombies towards the end at least. They had some interesting ideas here, but it didn't work as well as I had hoped it would.
2 out of 5 Thinking of starting my own cult? Who is with me?
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Martin (William MacDonald) is a man with a mission. He has been hunting down humans that have been taken over by some kind of parasite. Martin is tracking a couple of women who he believes have been taken over. He watches them as they get a guy to leave a bar with them. Before the women can do anything though, Martin cuts off one of their heads. Instead of going after the other one right away, he disposes of the body. Somehow he is still able to catch up to the other woman, but gets hit by a car before he can do anything. Ben (Bryce McLaughlin) and his girlfriend Julie (Courtney Kramer) happen to be in the car that hit Martin. They want to take him to the hospital, as he is obviously hurt, but Martin talks them out of it. Instead of taking Martin back to his home like he asks, they instead take him to Julie's place. Once he is well enough, Martin tells Ben and Julie a wild tale about the people he has been killing, about the drugs he has been using, and basically tells them that they are screwed since they took him to their place. Will they believe him?
Shelf Life, which describes what Martin feels how long you have to live once you know the truth, is a low budget film from Canada. I had a feeling it was a low budget movie before I ever put it in the DVD player. Even though it started off a little confusing, I hung in there with it. I'm glad I did because it is different enough to be interesting. We never get a good look at what it is that Martin is fighting. We do see something at times, but I was never sure if that was what it was, or just part of this creature. It would have been nice to see it more clearly, but I understand why this wasn't done. They do make up for this in other ways in their effects at least. Even though I found the story a little interesting, it did tend to drag a lot at times.With Shelf Life being a full length film, I was expecting the story to pick up by a certain time. I did do this, but shortly after it started to slow down again. Maybe this was to help pad the movie some. I do know it got padded with a lot of talking at times. The bar scenes are especially bad about that.
The effects are never great, but there are a few that turned out fun. The worst had to do with CGI effects, but thankfully they didn't throw in very many of those. A lot of heads got cut off, along with hands and even feet. The body parts didn't look all that real, but they did give us a lot of blood. Blood didn't just pump out, it poured out. The helped make up for the effects not being all that good. The acting was also a bit of a mixed bag. William MacDonald does a good job with his role most of the time. There were places I thought he was great in, and other places I had to wonder why he was acting the way he was. Bryce McLaughlin and Courtney Kramer were okay at best. What hurt some was that some of the actors in the supporting roles were better than the main characters.
What made Shelf Life interesting to me was Martin. They made him into more than just a guy killing for what he feels is the right reasons. The drugs come into play because he thinks they make it easier for him to find the humans that have been taken over. They also hint heavily that he takes them because killing humans, even if they are no longer completely human, is taking a toll on him. Some of the bar scenes I think are there to show us he is more than just a killer. That was fine, but I still feel it could have been cut back on some. I didn't hate Shelf Life but I felt it could have been a lot better than it was. Maybe with a slightly shorter run time would have helped out some. This isn't a bad movie for being low budget, but it didn't completely work for me.
On a slightly more personal note: my computer decided it didn't want to play with me anymore yet again. Even though I probably shouldn't have done so, I got myself a lap top to use in place of it. I plan to use this more for my writing that my desktop. I hope by using this for my writing, it will save some wear and tear on my desktop computer. Now lets just hope I don't run into a lot of problems with this computer. I will, hopefully, be getting more reviews up now.
2 out of 5 Glad I never got a worm inside of me
Friday, June 11, 2010
A salt storehouse near the sea is rumored to be haunted. As two school girls walk home from their job, one of them encounters a woman and child ghost, and passes out from fright. A guy gets and email and it opens to a picture of the salt storehouse, and then a woman with long black hair and a bloody eye begins to walk towards him. What do these things have in common? That is what police detective So-young (Song Yun-ah) is trying to find out. A small group of friends are being killed off, and So-young is trying to figure out why it is happening along with her new partner Hyun-ki (Lee Dong-Wook). It has something to do with a crime that happened ten years ago, in which one of the friends went to jail for. Can they figure out what happened? Or will the ghosts of mother and child get their revenge?
Arang is a movie from South Korea that has to do with an old legend that it seems everyone in South Korea knows about. Arang is something of an updated version of the old legend. You don't really need to know the legend in order to enjoy the movie though. I knew nothing about it of course while watching, and still thought it was a good movie.Once the credits start though, we see a sub title that says "The Legend of Arang." This made me wonder what this was, so I looked it up and found this:
"The Legend of Arang tells the story of young Arang, the daughter of a local official. A servant conspires with Arang’s nurse to rape the girl when she is alone in a remote area, but Arang struggles enough during the attempted rape that the servant kills her and buries her corpse. Arang’s father, despondent at his missing daughter (whom he thinks has only been kidnapped), resigns his post to search for her.
But each of his successors dies of fright after their first night in office, when Arang’s ghost visits them with her story and a plea for vengeance. When the first "good man" is appointed, he survives through the night, and awakens determined to right the wrong. He presses the nurse and servant to confess, whereupon they reveal Arang’s corpse, still mysteriously preserved many years later. A shrine in the Miryang area of Korea stands today as memorial to her story, and she is celebrated for her virtue and posthumous persistence."
This legend is not told in the sub titles, just the name of the legend. It gives away the plot of the movie just a little bit, but it helps with understanding why people in South Korea like this movie so much. I thought it was a good mix of police detective work mixed in with a ghost story. The ghost story part of the plot was slightly under used though. We see it at the start, and here and there while people are being killed, but they never get back to it like they did at the very start of the movie. Even though I would liked to have seen the ghost story used more, it is my favorite sub genre in horror after all, I admit that by not using it much, it became and a very effective tease. There isn't much for character development, but we are given a reason to what motivates our main character. Arang is slightly different in that instead of someone that is being haunted by a ghost turning into a detective in order to stop it, we are given an actual detective who isn't being haunted (at least not by a ghost). I liked this since So-young was young enough to remind me of myself a bit. It also made me wonder if her name might have been a play on words.
There wasn't much as far as effects went really. Think The Ring as far as some of the frightened faces that might show up, not as extreme though. The acting was perhaps the best part of Arang for me. Even though it was a sub titled movie, I was still able to enjoy the acting. The characters is what interested me the most. A somewhat young police detective who is looking for someone. Her new partner transferred from forensics to the violent crimes unit. This struck me as odd at first, but after thinking about it I decided it isn't such a big stretch after all. Forensics work is detective work, just a different kind of detective skills.
I still read where a lot of people are getting tired of the long black hair over the face type ghost. It does add some mystery, since you can't see the ghostly face. Plus I feel since that is the hair color most Asians have, we won't see it be changed up very often. One thing that did confuse me for a while was the fact that there were two ghosts, a mother and her child. It is explained, but the age of the child is never explained so that still confuses me some. They wrap up the story nice and neat, for the most part, with flashbacks to help explain some things in case we didn't catch on earlier. I can't say that I had everything figured out by then, but I was on the right path at least. If you like this type of story though, I highly suggest you seek it out. Some reviews point to the movie Shutter (which I have not yet watched as of this writing) as the better movie and plot. Others seem to feel that while the two movies are close in plot, it is unfair to compair the two. As for me, I felt that Arang was a nice surprise. Not a movie I thought I was getting to get sucked into, but I did. And not that this review is done at long last. I think I will head to the theater to watch a movie. I promise I won't be gone as long though!
4 out of 5 You won't find me as a police detective!