Director: Dae-wung Lim
This is my last entry in the foreign movie challenge. Sadly, I didn't get one in every day like I'd planned, but I still had a pretty interesting week of movie viewing. Today's choice was a Korean movie called Bloody Reunion (also known as "To Sir, With Love" though I'm not really sure why. Bloody Reunion actually fits the story better). It's an interesting movie with elements I've never seen in an Asian horror movie. It is about a group of people who go to visit with their old elementary school teacher, who is very ill. Their teacher, Mrs. Park, was apparently horribly cruel to them when they were in school, and they all came back to see just how she could live with herself knowing what she'd done to them. Mrs. Park had a deformed son who the children were all scared of when they were young (and whose deformity also caused her husband to commit suicide). When the group starts dying in grisly ways, it seems that the deformed child of Mrs. Park is the only one to blame.
There were many good things going on in this one. First and foremost, the gore. This is the most gore I've seen in a serious Asian horror film. There are those that are meant to be silly, and they are almost always full of gore. But the more serious ones, the ones meant to actually frighten, usually rely on jump-scares and an eerie atmosphere. In that way, Bloody Reunion was very different. Also, it was a slasher movie! I have never seen an Asian slasher movie, so that was refreshing. The rabbit mask. Mrs. Park's son wore a bunny mask to cover his deformed face. It sounds kind of silly on paper, but it was actually pretty frightening. I also liked the character development. Each of the kids' stories concerning Mrs. Park were interesting and I was able to relate to them. Each of them felt put down by her; they were made to feel as if they were not good enough, and they grew up trying to change themselves to fit the image she had set in their minds. She ruined their lives. The story was a good one, but that's nothing new with Asian horror. And I must say: the kills. This little rabbit-man was truly vicious! He looked to be small, but he definitely was not weak.
The only bad thing I could say about this was that it didn't go into very much depth about the horrible things Mrs. Park did to her students. They each gave a vague speech about what happened to them, but I would have liked to see more. One student was told that she was too fat, and she grew up to become obsessed with her image, and she eventually spent all of her money on plastic surgery (which left her with a pair of messed up eyes). One was made to feel lousy because he lost a race, which caused him to focus his energy on becoming more athletic; this caused an injury that would effect him for the rest of his life. One girl who was poor gave Mrs. Park a homemade gift that she only laughed at because it wasn't as good as money, though she didn't seem to have any lasting difficulties because of it (I could be wrong, though). And one student seemed to have been sexually abused by Mrs. Park. They were easy to relate to, I just would have liked more description so that I could have felt that more. It's a very small point, and it didn't take away from the movie's overall entertainment.
I also didn't care very much for the ending. It was somehow good, yet disappointing at the same time. All the way through the movie, I was thinking "Hey! This is different" because I'd never seen an Asian horror movie quite like it. But at the end, it was just another revenge story. The story was good, and it explained a lot of things that had happened earlier. I didn't hate it, but I was hoping for a full-blown slasher movie. Also, at the end, the deformed child seemed to have disappeared. The ending had a twist that didn't involve him, but his role in everything was dismissed, it seemed. I wondered what happened to him, because I kind of liked him. I can always relate to the "freak."
I know I already said this in the "good" section, but I believe it belongs here as well: the rabbit mask. It is definitely strange, but in a most awesome way. Overall, Bloody Reunion is a great movie, with elements not typical for Asian horror, and it was a nice ending to the foreign movie challenge.
After a small break, I'll be starting a Classic Movie Challenge, where I'll watch nothing but old movies. So stay tuned for that! As for this challenge, I enjoyed it and look forward to doing it again in the future.