Release Date: October 28th, 2005 (NYC-Quad Cinema) by Lions Gate Films.
The Cast: Kyoko Hasegawa, Atsuro Watabe, Mai Susuki, Bai Ling, Pauline Lau, Tony Ka Fai, Leung, Meme, Miriam Yeung, Lim Won-Hee, Gang Hye Jung, Lee Jung Goo, Lee Byung-Hun.
Directed by Fruit Chan, Park Chanwook, and Takashi Miike.
In Cantonese, Japanes, Korean, and Mandarin.
BASIC PREMISE: A collection of three short horror films: Dumplings, Cut, and Box from different directors.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Dumplings, the first of the three horror films, provides the viewer with disgusting visuals and sounds as a chef (Ling) cooks special dumplings for a married woman in search of eternal youth. As she chops the mystery meat, director Fruit Chan creates a certain eerie atmosphere with sound effects that suggest darkness and evil lurking among all the colorful ingredients. The chef doubles as an abortionist, but what’s both sickening and surprising is how she combines the two jobs. By the end of this short film, you will think twice before biting into a dumpling.
Cut, the next film, has plenty of gore and squeamish moments, but also an interesting and surprising plot. Director Park Chanwook’s deceptive yet foreshowing first scene shows a man sucking the blood out of another man’s neck, which ends up being a scene being filmed for a movie. When Ryu (Byung-Hun), the director, enters the film set later on, he learns that he sees his wife with thin metal strings attached all around her like she’s a puppet while she sits in front of a piano. After getting beaten up, he wakes up chained with a long rope to a wall. As the plot develops, dark secrets come out of every character—including the crazy madman who chained him in the first place. Eventually, Ryu even discovers a third victim. The most excruciating scene to watch is when the madman cuts off the wife’s fingers one by one. However, surprisingly, the madman’s mental torment far surpasses his physical torment in terms of shock, disgust, and, above all, pain.
Takashi Miiki’s Box , has very little gore but has plenty of chills to spare. The complex plot involves twin sisters, a ghost, and a mysterious box. The initial scenes are very similar to scenes from Ju-On: The Grudge, with strange sounds and shadows. The visually-stunning cinematography beautifully captures chilling yet somehow poetic moments. The blurred line between reality and fantasy often distracts from the movie’s smooth flow, especially with a few strange cuts from one scene to another. However, the confusing ending fails to pack a punch.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: At the end of all three short films, it is thought-provoking to consider the true meaning of “horror”. Mental horrors and physical horrors have their differences, but they both affect one another at the same time.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: A trio of horrifying and creepy films! The chilling images and sounds will give you nightmares for days!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run), as long as you’re a true horror fan.
The "T" Menu