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Next Door (Hong Kong): It is July of the lunar calendar; the month of the ghost festival. On a fateful night when Taiwanese girl Jane returns to look for her policeman boyfriend Joe, only to discover that he has started an affair with his neighbor Hosie, a girl from China. Dark Hole (Japan): Bride-to-be Yuki has suffered from nightmares. One day, she notices a boy in a yellow outfit appears in real, who has been visiting in her dreams. However, he is only visible to Yuki and he vanishes when she recognizes his presence, only leaving a puddle of water behind. Her finance Satoshi suggests she go to see a psychiatrist. One day, she finally reveals her secret under hypnosis that she used to have an unknown creature as a pet. The Lost Memory (Thailand): Prang is a single mother who lives with her young son. A mysterious man seems to shadow Prang wherever she goes. The mother believes that the man has been sent by her ex-husband Wit, with a malicious intent of stealing her son. Prang lives ...Written by
I don't exactly know why, but several times throughout this movie I got exactly the same feeling you do when you watch (if you ever did), tales of the unexpected.
Whether it was because of the sometimes thickly laid on "Twists" or whether it was just because of the fact that there were three short stories here as opposed to one feature length film, I can't quite put my finger on. To me, it seemed like three high budget episodes of a series rather than three short films.
From an effects point of view, the first and third were pretty well polished, though to be honest, none of them did anything that could be considered really "New" or different. They seem to rely on the old tried and tested techniques of Long black hair obscuring faces, apparitions emerging from puddles of water, or ghoulish figure approaching rapidly in a sort of "Jump Frame" animation. However, I must admit that the black hollowed out eyes used a few times do hit the mark.
However, it must be said that the sound effects and overall ambient noise was good throughout (Though could never match up to the standards of Kairo), very nice if you're hooked up to a DTS or Dolby Digital system. Ominous background rumbles, silence barring a single rolling marble, and other effective spot effects.
As for whether the shorts were indeed scary, well, there were sure a few times in the first that give you a little chill. The second seemed to lack in this department, as did the third.
For me however the third was also confusing, in a similar way to memento mori, you can sometimes loose track of which character is which as scenes cut quickly between the characters and also between past and present. This spoilt the third one for me but I will probably try to watch the third segment again, if only to try and figure out what the director meant you to see, even if not to figure out the intended mystery that once again twists at the end.
All in all, don't expect anything new or groundbreaking, or memorable stories that will stay with you after the credits roll. Though, if you accept that what you're in for is a set of acceptable "Episode" style short stories in the classic Asian horror Genre, then there are worse ways to spend your evening.
Now... Where did I put Three Extremes...
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