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Memories: A woman wakes up on a street without memory. A husband cannot remember why his wife left him. The woman wanders the streets trying to contact the only phone number she has on her. The husband see's her ghost in his apartment and discovers her mutilated body in a large bag in his home (Korea). The Wheel: Extravagant cursed puppets cause fires, deaths, physical pain and a little girl to be possessed (Thailand). Going Home: A father goes in search of his missing son and is abducted by a strange man. The strangers wife has died of cancer three years prior but he keeps her in his apartment under the impression she will 'wake up' (Hong Kong). Written by
Three different films in one; each of differing quality.
Three is an omnibus supernatural horror film comprised of three one-hour long mini-features. Each one was produced in a different country, Peter Chan representing Hong Kong, Kim Ji-Woon representing South Corea, and Nonzee Nimibtr representing Thailand.
The opening film, Kim Ji-Woon's "Memories" follows two individuals as they grapple with seemingly missing memories: a man who's wife is missing and a woman who's trying to figure out who she is. The work actually foreshadows a lot of what will eventually show up in Kim's following feature, A Tale of Two Sisters, which I really liked. While the film does feature a number of eerie moments, it also suffers from a lack of a strong story. There's not much to its revelation and the characters are fairly static. To its merit, it's probably the most technically proficient of the three films and certainly the scariest.
The second piece is Peter Chan's "Going Home" and this is probably the best overall of the bunch. While its production values are actually the roughest of the three, the story is probably the highlight of the three. The story is divided into two segments, the first where a cop and his son move into an aging complex where few people live and is seemingly haunted. The second, the cop grapples with a seemingly mad homeopathic doctor who is appearing to pursue the resurrection of his dead wife. The film grasps well its theme and the story has a few interesting revelations to provide while also having something to say about the power of love/hope.
It's not a scary piece for the most part, but despite the production values, the direction appears sure and makes great use of its setting and limitations.
The final film is Nimibtr's "Wheel", which is about an arts troupe grappling with the curse of an evil puppet. This is probably the weakest segment. While it does have some good imagery to offer, the story is confusing, aimless and the scares are without method or meaning. Some of the visuals are chilling, but because of the rather slapdash and sometimes illogical story, the overall effect of the piece is muted.
All in all, I have to say that Three isn't a complete waste of time due to the solid piece by Peter Chan and the stylish opening act. On the other hand, it's weakened by the third piece and while the three do try to take on the same overall concept, they seem to be too divergent to really make a cohesive whole, with Nimibutr's "Wheel" really on a different plane than the other two. Probably better viewing for genre lovers of horror or supernatural films and perhaps for more curious cinephiles, but I don't see that it's going to be particularly impressive for anyone else. 6/10 for Memories, 8/10 for Going Home, 4/10 for Wheel. 6/10 overall.
Note: The US release of this film changes the order of the films around so that it opens with Memories, then goes to Wheel and closes with Going Home. I'm not certain how the Hong Kong and Thai versions of the film orders the three; I watched the Corean version.
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