Bride of Project Horror, Day 20: Three…Extremes


Tonight's movie was kind of a three-fer for my Directors Showcase.  The movie Three…Extremes is three different segments, each directed by a different well-known Asian director: Fruit Chan (who I hadn't seen anything by before this), Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), and Takashi Miike (Audition).  Tonight's movie was also very deeply disturbing.  Not frightening or terrifying, just horribly unsettling.  If this ever showed in theaters, I have no problem imagining people walking out within the first twenty minutes.

We're with family tonight, and I had to sneak time away to watch the movie, so I'm just going to give a capsule summary of each part of the movie, instead of going too deep into them.  The first third is called Dumplings, and is directed by Fruit Chan, a Chinese director.  It's the story of an aging actress who wants to turn back the clock.  She finds a woman who makes special dumplings with a secret ingredient that reverses aging, but that comes at a great cost.  The second story is called Cut, by Park Chan-wook from South Korea.  A successful director and his wife are kidnapped by a man who played extra roles in several of the director's films.  He's willing to release them both, but only if the director is willing to commit a horrible act, and for every five minutes that he delays, his wife loses a finger.  Third was Box, the most complex of the three stories, but also the most chilling.  It's directed by Takashi Miike of Japan.  Twin sisters perform in their father's magic act, but the neglected sister becomes unhappy living in the favored sister's shadow and takes revenge.  The rest of the story is revealed bit by bit, in a grown woman's recurring nightmare.  It's kind of hard to explain, but will leave you thinking once the credits roll.

There's some dark humor in this film to lighten it a little bit, but make no mistake, there is something to upset everybody in this movie.  What's really impressive is how it steers clear of most of the horror cliches to go for something new, something that feels like watching somebody's nightmares play in front of you.  I really recommend this one if you're a fan of horror, but want to see something unique.  I give it four bowls of dumplings out of five.
Tomorrow night: Things are about to get SO MUCH WORSE.  We're starting the Deep End block of movies, where the shows are going to be a sampling of the most depraved things I could find.  We're going to kick it off with Human Centipede 2.  It's available on Netflix instant streaming!


Steve Myles said...

"Dumplings" is the segment that sticks out for me from this (saw it a few years ago). Definitely disturbing.

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