Voice

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Voice is obviously a horror movie in that it deals with ghosts and supernatural occurances, but it doesn’t quite scare you. It’s more of a sad movie about not wanting to be forgotten, rejection, and revenge. It plays like a melodrama and mystery at times, tugging at your heartstrings rather than filling you with horror. I’m not really a fan of horror films and so I haven’t been that exposed to Asian horror movies, so I’m not so sure if that is really a characteristic of Asian horror films.

 

Horror films tend to focus on the woman as the other, as the monster, and in that way, this movie isn’t really that different since its “monster” or antagonist was female. However, the rest of the characters are also female. There are practically no male characters, as even the minor characters tended to be female. Even the love angle involved no men: the original student with the voice, a girl, fell in love with the music teacher, who was also female. This was quite taboo, since as far as I know, Asian countries tended to be on the conservative side. Plus, that girl was also bullied for being a lesbian. But this issue wasn’t that central to the movie, rather it was something that gave motivation to one of the characters and was the reason why one of the ghosts didn’t immediately lose their voices.

 

Voice begins with the death of the “protagonist”, Young-eon, and then proceeds with her struggle to find out what happened to her. It turns out that she is actually the antagonist, the villain who looks out for no one but herself in the end. The woman who dares to look is usually punished as women are not supposed to look. Here, the women who were punished were the ones who dared to go against norms. The original ghost was punished for falling in love with her teacher, Young-eon was punished for her multiple personality disorder and driving her mother and the music teacher to suicide, and Seon-min was punished for trying to help Young-eon. These were things that all of them were not supposed to do, and because they did, they all ended up punished. Only Young-eon sort of triumphed, but even she didn’t get what she really wanted, which was to live again. She had to possess Seon-min and bring down the very person who was originally the only person who was willing to help her.

 

Horror films tend to be disgusting and disturbing when it comes to visuals, and even though Voice does have its share of “gore”, it was very, for lack of a better word, choreographed. It was all very pretty, aesthetically pleasing despite everything. It’s very different from the other movies that we had watched in class, which are all Western movies. Also, in this movie, horror didn’t really seem to be the objective, but rather a mystery. The audience discovers clues at the same time as Young-eon, and they are reminded that Voice is a horror movie (beyond the ghosts involved) in the end, when it becomes apparent that Young-eon had succeeded in “living” again.

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Do not Let Obaa-san In

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This was something different. For once, we do not get to watch a horror movie, but we do get to watch a supernatural romance movie. It starts off with the story of a young boy meeting a young girl and they start off a romantic yet innocent love story. He likes her, she likes him, boom perfect couple. However, if we go and look deeper into the sweet story of Let The Right One In, we see a much darker side and find that Eli, the sweet vampire girl, is as sinister as the creature she is.
What? No way. Eli can’t be… evil? This may come as a surprise to most, but personally I believe that Eli is a manipulative vampire with the knack of making love-slave boys. Why do I say this? Well, we only need to look at her friend, the old man. If we look at how Eli treats her familiar, she basically owns him. She commands him to get her needed food and to do that, the old man kills innocent people to harvest blood. When he fails, Eli gets enraged and is forced to kill people. However, this gets risky because when Eli kills, she turns into a predator with little to no care for her surroundings, and is thus susceptible to discovery and eventually be exposed for what she is. To sum it all up,  she practically needs a familiar to do the dirty work in order to survive through the centuries. So in order to do that, she must have a perfectly loyal familiar and what better way than to make the slave in love with her. In the past, the old man may very well have been another Oscar and fell in love with Eli. However, as time passed by, the romantic love may have waned and turned into something else, an unwavering protective love which the old man held until the very end. On the night he went out to harvest blood, he was faced with the situation which will surely lead to his arrest. Since he loved Eli still, he chose the only option which will effectively bring all suspicions away from Eli and poured acid to his face which made him unrecognizable as the old man who lives in an apartment with Eli. In the hospital, in his last act of love, he chose to die and cut all strings of investigation which will lead to Eli. Eli, without her vanguard, her familiar which she absolutely needs in a world where in the day, is now extremely vulnerable. But woe behold, as if decided by fate, she meets Oskar. Having been constantly bullied and living a lonely childhood, he almost instantly grew fond of Eli and is in return, responded in kind. Oskar may very well be the next familiar in the long list of Eli’s partners per say. The film also portrays Oskar having a possible inclination to murder which shows that he has the potential to become exactly like the old man. Oskar is happy to be with Eli and Eli is happy to be with a new familiar.

This isn’t to say that Eli is a manipulative and heart-collecting vampire. In fact, she is a good person, with a a conscience. She shows just how much she dislikes living as a vampire in her distaste of having to murder time and time again. However, she is also just like any other living person in how she also values her life. She may have been truly in love with her familiars at some point, which I can say is true with Oscar. It is just that, in the long run, give or take a few decades, Oscar will undoubtedly become the Old man who will just as well offer his life in order to protect Eli. Let the Right One In is indeed a sweet romantic horror story, but the amplification indicate how profoundly disheartening the life of a vampire is in a world where the predators are just as likely to be the prey.

Let the Right One In, Let the Left One Out :)

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Let the Right One In is one horror movie that probably has one of the most adorable love stories I’ve seen if the circumstances were of a rather normal setting. With my first look at the movie, I just found it as a love story between a vampire and some kid. If it were just about that, it would have been a supremely adorable movie since the moments they had in the movie can be categorized in the Filipino definition of “kilig” moments during that time span two loves would have with each other. However, Let the Right One In, didn’t have that kind of “normal” setting. The movie’s setting for the two had so many restrictions that would categorize their predicament farther and farther from what we would like to call normal. This abnormality in their relationship is what makes their relationship incredibly terrifying and what makes the movie also as terrifying.

Numerous things that made it terrifying were not because of the boy but because of the vampire. In a normal relationship, there should be one male and one female. In this movie, the relationship was with two males. It’s not like it’s not usual in contemporary times but in this movie, it’s scary because the supposed girl in the relationship who is really a guy, looks like a real girl. Another thing in a normal relationship is that the age gap between the two involved should be close to each other, at most probably is ten years but that’s rather close to crossing the line. In this movie, the two supposedly are of the same age, which is 12; but that’s not the real case since the vampire has been 12 for a very long time as said in the movie which makes him a whole lot older that the real 12 year old boy.  It was seen that the vampire was really old in one part of the movie where a snapshot of her old self was seen; and the vampire already had wrinkles. An estimation of their age gap would probably exceed 40 years. That vampire could very well be the boy’s grandparent at that age and knowing that they have a certain kind of relationship is rather creepy and give one that certain scary tingly feeling along the spine.

Another creepy thing about the movie is the vampire’s “guardian”. This guardian is rather old and would makes sense that he could be the vampire’s first lover. If this is true, then the vampire indeed is very sinister for doing that to someone. If there were indeed lovers, why not turn him into a vampire as well so that they could live together forever. That would probably the best way to it if there were indeed lovers. However, through some reading on other reviews on the movie and it turns out, the vampire’s guardian is a pedophile. Because of this, the vampire still has that benefit of a doubt of being a good vampire.

At the end of the movie, the vampire and boy went off to unknown places to get away from the city to probably get away from trouble and set a new life for themselves. There are two things I could think of that may happen. If the vampire is indeed sinister, then the boy would grow old and probably become just a guardian to the girl like the first one was and this would make my first assumption that the first guardian was indeed the vampires previous lover; or the boy would turn into a vampire which would make a better predicament in my opinion and thus proving that the vampire isn’t as bad as she would be aside from being a killing machine.

Pontypool Pontypool Pontypool Pontypool Pontypool

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Pontypool is probably the weirdest by far of any movie genre I have even experienced in the entire life. I know horror films tend to be weird and unexplainable sometimes but this particular horror film is unbelievably weird. I say unbelievably because never have I ever thought of or even had an idea of a word virus or whatever viral infection that was going on in the movie. Another in these kinds of movies is that I would usually identify how one person gets infected. For example, in some zombie movies, another person would become a zombie when bitten or die with the bite. In vampire movies, one becomes a vampire if one gets bit by a vampire. In werewolf movies, it’s also the same – with the bite. However, in Pontypool, even after watching the whole movie, I still couldn’t precisely understand how people get infected with the word virus. Is there a particular word for each person in the English language that’s infected? Do the words get infected because of other people or are they just infected? The more I look into it, the more I questions I get; and at the end, I was never really able to answer all of the questions in my head.

One more thing to look into about infection movies is that when there is an infection, there should be a cure. In most zombie movies, there really is no cure since the zombies are practically dead and those bitten are bound to die eventually. I don’t there’s a suitable cure for death. For vampire movies, vampires are supposed to be dead by they don’t look like it. In some vampire movies, vampires aren’t dead but are just infected and for that there can be some certain cures like burning themselves alive under the light of the sun but not to the point that they would die. For werewolves, their cure is shear willpower or a silver item that they should hold to prevent themselves from turning into werewolves. In Pontypool, the cure the movie presented for the infections the movie had was to not understand the true meaning of the infected word which I find to be rather difficult since it’s rather impossible to not understand what you have already understood. This unless you were wrong about the meaning of the word; but then, if your meaning of the word was already wrong, then you wouldn’t get infected in the first place since it was presented in the movie that you can only get infected when you understand the infected words.

At the end of the movie, Pontypool was bombed and supposedly, the entire place should have been obliterated. However, our two heroes from the radio station lived which I found weird.

Entirely, the movie was new, weird, mysterious, and puzzling. The movie was also very innovative in the mere fact of the idea of the word virus. The most horrifying thing about the movie is the fact that we as the audience can never really grasp what really happened in that place.