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Three constitutes an omnibus package of three short horror films made by Asian directors. "Memories," made by Kim Ji-Woon, is about a woman (Kim Hye-Soo) who disappears from the home she shares with her husband (Jung Bo-Seog) and children, and ends up in a futuristic city filled with many disturbing hindrances to her finding her way back home. Nonzee Nimibutr's "The Wheel" contains a puppeteer who is unsuccessful in warning a dance troupe about using cursed puppets. Peter Ho-Sun Chan's "Coming Home" stars Eric Tsang as a policeman who becomes involved with his neighbors, a married couple who are involved in with some mysterious herbal medications.
Hard not to resist the appeal of this one: a trio of short horror films, made as an international cooperation between South Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong. Although it's marketed as a sequel to the similar THREE EXTREMES in the west, it's actually a stand-alone movie that was retitled to tie-in with that film.
Sadly, this turns out to be a pretty dire film, one you'll need a lot of patience to sit through. It takes a long time for anything decent to emerge during the running time, and until that point we're stuck with sub-par filmmaking.
The first, South Korean story, is middling at best. It's a rather pretentious retelling of a similar story that was played out (with Ian Hendry as the main actor) in the Amicus portmanteau TALES FROM THE CRYPT some thirty years ago. The director goes for an arty-farty approach, emphasising style over substance, but the resultant film is dull and the twist ending is so obvious as to be barely worth bothering with. In an attempt to spice up the mix, some generic gore/scare sequences are thrown in too, but they add little to a listless and unengaging tale.
If the first story was routine, then the second is completely diabolical. This is the Thai effort, about some dolls that have the power to bring about a curse following the death of their owner. There's no story to it and certainly no scares whatsoever, just lots of aimless camera shots of Khon dancing and some very bad acting indeed. Even worse, the final twist is utterly insulting, an unwelcome throwback to Dallas.
The third and final story turns out to be actually rather good, although I doubt if anyone will still be awake for it at this point. It's a Chinese tale about families living in a run-down tower block that starts off rather predictably before getting better and better. The reliable Eric Tsang stars as a father of a rather precocious youngster who runs off with a spooky little girl, and the story draws in Tsang's hermit-like neighbour, a doctor caring for his sick wife. This story is unpredictable throughout, complete with plenty of creepy moments and a genuinely unsettling ending which makes you sit back and mull over what's come before. It's just a shame that the first two tales weren't on this level
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