ghost

Empire of Passion (Ai no borei) (REVIEW)

“Empire of Passion” is a Japanese film about a young man who becomes infatuated with an older married woman, who then eventually rapes her and convinces her to help him murder her husband so that they can be together. They strangle the husband and toss his body into an old well. Eventually the ghost of the dead husband comes back to haunt them and their lives begin to unravel.

The Haunting of Helena (REVIEW)

The Haunting of Helena

Christian Bisceglia and Ascanio Malgarini, the directors of “The Haunting of Helena,” definitely graduated from the Guillermo Del Toro school of horror. All of Del Toro’s filmmaking elements are here – a European setting and images that bring up a fascist past, a ghostly child lurking, tons of ominous music and shots of old statues in the rain. Unfortunately, "The Haunting of Helena” never seems to put it all together into one cohesive movie. There are some cool scenes and a few very effective images here, but in the end you don’t feel like you’ve seen a complete film.

Last Kind Words (REVIEW)

I guess I need to learn to pay better attention to what I'm renting because I grabbed "Last Kind Words" while I was in a hurry, and from glancing at the box, it wasn't quite what I expected. I was pretty interested when I saw Brad Dourif (Rob Zombie's "Halloween," and "Halloween 2," etc) was in a movie about someone who finds corpses hanging in their woods at night. Unfortunately, what I didn't realize that this wasn't really as much of a "horror" movie, as much as it is another "Twilight"-esque teenage romance set within a horror movie framework.

The Awakening (REVIEW)

“The Awakening” is a fairly standard, yet enjoyable, ghost movie that stars some pretty familiar faces, including Rebecca Hall (“The Town,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “The Prestige”), Imelda Staunton ( The “Harry Potter” series) and Dominic West (“300,” “The Wire”). Rebecca Hall plays “Florence” an author and skeptic who debunks ghost sightings and exposes charlatans who claim to be able to contact the dead. She is invited to a boys school to investigate a ghost haunting that has left one boy dead and the rest of the children terrified.

R-Point (aka The Ghosts of War, Arpointeu) (REVIEW)

R-Point

I can’t honestly say that I’m a big fan of Korean films, and “R-Point,” my most recent foray into Korean cinema is certainly no exception. Almost all of the Korean movies that I have seen seem to be at least half-an-hour too long, have meandering plots, and bizarre tonal shifts that I think end up really hurting them. Even Korean films that I’ve enjoyed like “The Host” and “I Saw the Devil” are no exception, as they both share these flaws.

Mama (REVIEW)

Mama marks the feature film debut of director Andrés Muschietti. Inspired by his short film of the same title , Mama revels in archaic horror tropes; favoring the terrors of primordial nature, feral humanity, madness, ghosts moaning in the night, and the return of the repressed. The film is drenched in fiercely aggressive shadows, tightly framed locations, and more than a handful of scenes involving scuttling figures climbing across floors and walls.

Kuroneko (Black Cat) (REVIEW)

In "Kuroneko", a woman and her daughter-in-law are raped and murdered by a roving band of samurai. After their death the woman and her daughter-in-law swear their loyalty to the devil in order for them to be able to return to the world as cat-like ghosts and kill every samurai they possibly can. They then lure unsuspecting samurai to their home, deep in a bamboo forest, where the daughter-in-law proceeds to get the samurai drunk and seduce them. When the samurai are at their most vulnerable the mother and daughter-in-law reveal their true forms and kill them.

The Dead Want Women (REVIEW)

"The Dead Want Women" opens up with a lavish party inside of a Hollywood mansion, hosted by the actress Rose Pettigrew who is famous for her work on silent films. Rose leaves her guests at the party and heads to her basement, through a secret passage, to join some friends for an orgy that is extended so long it could probably be called soft-core porn.

Ugetsu (REVIEW)

Kenji Mizoguchi has frequently been grouped alongside Kurosawa and Ozu as one of Japanese cinema’s premiere auteurs. His films are often noted for their eloquent long-take tracking shots, social realist subject matters and their sincere yet brutally honest portrayals of women and the socio-cultural forces of repression that they encounter. Though Mizoguchi had a long career making studio silent films many film critics regard the films he made in the 1950s as his paramount achievements.

Hide and Go Kill 2 (Creepy Hide and Seek) (REVIEW)

To say that I hated the first “Hide and Go Kill” would be a bit of an understatement. Not only was it a horrible movie, it was easily the worst film I’ve reviewed in my tenure here at BGH. It’s a truly awful, unredeemable film. Unfortunately, it’s also the first of a two part series. Thankfully, the second film in the series is better than the first. However, the difference is marginal and the second film is still a virtually unwatchable mess.

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