A couple are looking for their child who was lost in the tsunami - their search takes them to the dangerous Thai-Burmese waters, and then into the jungle, where they face unknown but horrifying dangers.
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In Phuket Island, Thailand, the architect Paul Bellmer and his wife Jeanne lost their son Joshua in a tsunami six months ago. Jeanne is disturbed and has not accepted the loss of her beloved son. While watching some footages from Myanmar (former Burma), Jeanne is convinced that a boy wearing a Manchester United shirt in a poor village is Joshua, and Paul accepts to seek out their son in the sea gypsies camp. They hire the trafficker Thaksin Gao and they travel in the boat of master Sonchai to search Joshua. After a series of weird incidents, Sonchai leaves the trio in an abandoned village. They have to walk through the jungle where they face a journey to hell. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A Film That Flies in the Face of Those Ignorant Enough To Assert That Asian Horror "Lacks Originality"
I apologize in advance for this angry rant, but I'm really getting sick and tired of hearing completely erroneous "criticisms" of Asian horror repeated over and over again. The ignorant backlash against this genre knows no bounds in terms of invalid argumentation. It is ironic, however, that the most widely held and oft used criticism just so happens to be the most ridiculous and unfounded of them all. Critics blindly assert that Asian horror movies are "all the same" because they "always have ghost girls." What a load of crap.
Enter "Vinyan", an original, unorthodox film about a group of townspeople who are haunted by unseen patterns. The cinematography is well done, selectively using a green tinted hue. The direction and score are equally enjoyable. The lead actress is excellent, charismatic, and likable. The death scenes are weirdly entertaining and imaginative otherwordly phenomena provide a refreshing experience. The pacing is deliberate and the cause of these bizarre events is somewhat ambiguous, but the atmosphere is thick and relentless. This is strikingly creative stuff that is essential viewing for those who like to see something they've never seen before. "Vinyan" is the quintessential posterchild for originality, because in a thematic sense it represents everything that's lacking in horror films outside of East Asia.
That said, the popular myth of Asian cinema's "unoriginal, repetitious" subject matter is surely based off of blind ignorance. It must be upsetting to live in an imaginary dream world where films like "Vinyan" no longer exist. I can see these clueless critics picking up the DVD case in their local video store, scoffing at it's crazy plot synopsis, placing it back on the rack (forgetting it instantly), picking up some mediocre U.S. remake like "The Uninvited" (2009), then going online that evening to complain about the "unoriginality" of Asian horror while drowning the lame U.S. remake with celebrated admiration. What are we supposed to do with these idiots? They seem incapable of recognizing the spectacular diversity and creativity of Asian horror, even when confronted with its very existence.
Now, is there a subset of Asian horror that churns out ghost girl flicks for a quick buck? Yep. Do these commercialized fluff pieces greatly outnumber other Asian horror films to the point where someone could actually assert a ubiquitous, industry-wide lack of originality? Yep. I've personally seen over 200 horror films from Japan, China, South Korea, and Thailand, but the ghost girl shows up only in a MINORITY of instances. To make an assertion of "unoriginality", you must choose to ignore the bucketloads of crazy Hong Kong sorcery flicks from the 1980s like "The Boxer's Omen" (1983), "Seeding of a Ghost" (1983), and "The Dolls of Death" (1981). You must choose to ignore Japanese cyberpunk films like "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" (1989), "The Great Analog World" (1987), and "Rubber's Lover" (1996). You must choose to ignore any number of slashers like "Evil Dead Trap" (1988), "Scared" (2005), and "To Sir With Love" (2005). You must choose to ignore a plethora of short films included within highly imaginative anthologies like "Unholy Women" (2006), "Ten Nights of Dreams" (2006), "Prayer Beads" (2004), "Three Extremes" (2004), and "Rampo Noir" (2005). You must choose to ignore surrealistic entries like "Spider Forest" (2004), "Marebito" (2004), and "Suffocation" (2005). You must choose to ignore animal/monster fare like "Tamami: The Baby's Curse" (2008), "Calamity of Snakes" (1983), and "The Rabid Lemming" (1992). Even these sub-genres of Asian horror are insufficient to encapsulate the incredibly imaginative themes that saturate the industry films like "Strange Boyfriends" (2005), "Hansel and Gretel" (2007), "Audition" (1999), "Someone Behind You" (2007), "Eko Eko Azarak 3" (1998), "Abnormal Beauty" (2004), "Animal Autopsies" (2008), and "Naked Arms Without A Body" (1995). Yes, an assertion of "unoriginality" within Asian horror requires A LOT of ignorance.
It really is mindboggling that moviegoers waste so much of their time avoiding inspired horror films, only to then turn around and watch certifiable American crap like "My Bloody Valentine" (2009) all the time. It's like pulling teeth to coerce people to watch the Chinese masterpiece "The Crazed Wu Wizards" (2006), yet these very same people pay $2 on a whim to watch the "One Missed Call" remake. It's no wonder the ignorant delude themselves into thinking that "horror is dead."
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