Thoughts about “Voice”

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If there is one thing that “Voice” reveals to us guys about female-to-female relationships, it is that it’s a much bigger mystery than what we thought it to be. I mean, Young-eon and Sun-min’s relationship felt so intimate that it probably takes just a little push to already call it a homosexual one but it’s not, or I think it’s not. The “I love you” part at the end is more a question than an answer since girls do it all the time to each other as a friendship (?) sort of thing! Also, Sun-min has never even been to Young-eon’s place. Also, Sun-min also never really knew much about Young-eon. All they did was hang-out at school and take an absurd amount of pictures together in one-standings, the usual tradition among females. It’s a triple mystery then for me: 1) are they lovers in the stage of innocence or are they the best of best friends? 2) how are they so close to each other given the previously cited information about them? and 3) why do girls take so many pictures with each other?! Number 1 is very important to us guys since we need to know whether we are being “friend-zoned” or not, hahaha.

I call this whole “girlfriends” thing a “I know why but I don’t understand why”. I just hope my reasoning’s reasonable. Maybe the girls in class who watched this are also puzzled. I don’t know, I’m just a guy in a guy’s world. Maybe the girls are also confused on how we guys treat each other, bro-codes and stuff. Or maybe it’s because it’s the fourth installment in the Whispering Corridors series. Or maybe it’s all solely Young-eon’s fault! After all, she is revealed to be a crazy manipulator of sorts! Maybe Sun-min would’ve acted more understandably to a guy like me if she wasn’t being swayed by Young-eon’s charm.

Who would’ve expected Young-eon to be crazy? I bet nobody! There wasn’t a slightest hint nor reason, it was all just revealed in the end by her supposed alter-ego which no other ghost has. Maybe it was a demon or something, I hope so! I believe the story still holds that way and it’s a lot scarier that way. Cho-ah said that a ghost only remembers what he/she wants to remember. If that is true and assuming that it is also true that Young-eon actually WANTED her mother to commit suicide and she actually WANTED to torment her music teacher, then why did she not remember that from the beginning? Why did she remember loving her mother if her alter-ego said she hated her?

It’s important to note that this is a movie about females, which, I reiterate, still doesn’t shed any light for a guy like me. It’s noteworthy that the presence of males in this film is near zero. I can only remember two male teachers, and they are sleeping in the couch being mocked and ridiculed by their female students. And where the hell is Young-eon’s father? I don’t know if I missed any hint in the movie but I typed ctrl-f-father or ctrl-f-dad in Voice’s Wikipedia article and nothing showed up. There are just mothers, even for Sun-min when she was being picked up near the end.

Overall, I liked this movie mostly for it’s story and most especially the relationship between Young-eon and Sun-min and also Sun-min’s character. Yeah sure it’s hard to understand but at some parts the movie can be heartwarming nevertheless. Sun-min really cares that much for Young-eon that she hangs-out with her as much as possible, even at curfews or closing times, even if Young-eon was reduced to just a voice, just to ease the problematic situation Young-eon’s in. It’s a lot harder than it looks since we the viewers were able to see Young-eon and Sun-min wasn’t. And the part where Sun-min remembers the good times she had with Young-eon and she runs back to her crying out that she will always remember her, I found it really touching. On the horror elements, not so much. Except for the first tense moment where there was a shadow constantly appearing behind Young-eon, everything else was “meh”. But it’s alright since it’s another new experience for me.

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Thoughts about “Ginger Snaps”

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Poor Ginger’s mom. I just don’t think that she deserved the cold treatment she got from her family from the movie. And she doesn’t seem to be the annoying, intrusive type either. Maybe her voice makes her sound a bit wimpy but still, she’s probably the best character there. Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence that this movie was shown after Grace. Here we have a mother, much like Madeline, who is willing to do whatever’s necessary for the welfare of her children.

Talking about relationships, the one Ginger and Bridgette has is special kind. There’s an intimacy here that I find to be closer to a brothers-type of relationship. Here we have a larger, more dominant Ginger living with a smaller, more subservient Bridgette. Ginger calls the shots and Bridgette does the homework, hence the reason why things in movie turned out for the worst. (I still can’t get over how Ginger could be so unreasonable throughout the movie. How can you not ask for any professional help when you’ve been attacked by a giant wolf and afterwards you’re already growing some fangs and a tail?). But even if things got ugly, the two stayed together. Ginger, at the very least, defended Bridgette against the girls from their sports class even before she was bitten. Pretty much the rest of the movie comprised of her being a douchebag, which probably meant that her werewolf infection, “mens”, or both was major influence on her sudden attitude change . Bridgette, on the other hand, did everything she could for Ginger, as any concerned sibling would. She went on alone, trying to learn what’s happening, trying to find people who can help her cure her sister while her sister was busy enjoying her new self.

Some say that this movie is also about puberty, the gradual transformation into a werewolf being a symbol for a girl turning into a young woman as she enters her first “mens”. It’s nice to note in the movie the scene where Ginger was attacked by a werewolf just shortly after her first bleeding. She changed so much after the encounter, mostly in the way she acted and the way she treated the people around her. It even came to a point where she preferred being with a guy than with her long-time buddy Bridgette. But I don’t really know if this actually happens. For me, puberty isn’t so big of a deal or personality change.

Overall, there really isn’t anything much left from me to say except that I liked this movie since it’s a refreshing take on werewolves. I liked how the makers changed the weakness of the werewolves. It’s nicer and a lot less problematic for our characters to know that these werewolves aren’t only killable via silver bullet, but I guess the real problem doesn’t come from the werewolves but rather from themselves.

Thoughts about “Grace”

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Grace is a film that, probably, most of us may find to be difficult to comprehend or enjoy. The most recent lecture before this movie was about repression and how it can act as a defining ingredient to a person. Indeed, a huge part of our lives include repressions and pretentions. We repress in ourselves inappropriate things so that we could be accepted in society and we sometimes we repress a little bit more than necessary that we end up pretending. We can define ourselves with what we say we are not but hidden behind our pretentions is a further definition of ourselves, what we want to be but for some reason we don’t show. In this film we viewed the life of two mothers who are both deeply repressed and pretending. It may be hard for us to comprehend their actions and also harder for us to enjoy the movie since the shocking images there further describe how repressed they truly are.

First we have Vivien, an old lady who misses being a mother. Since she’s old and her son is already grown up and married and soon, hopefully, be a father to a healthy baby, she could only tell them at dinner what she wishes to do if she was the mother of the baby. Deep inside she wishes to be the one who would take care of the baby as if it were her own. She knows she couldn’t impinge on the mother’s freedom even if her son, the husband, is willing to try her suggestions and therefore she does all these annoying things like sending unwanted doctors and pretends that she knows better and is just trying to help. But I think that there’s more to it. I guess the thing that Vivien misses most is being in control as a mother is to her son, she couldn’t exercise these anymore so we are shown in the movie that she takes it all out on her old husband. These two things that she repressed (motherhood and control) and have “returned” in the movie is most emphasized in the gross-out scene where she manipulates her husband to have sex but instead only forces him to just suck her breasts.

Next we have Madeline, a mother who, before having a baby was revealed to have lost a baby before and only wants to ensure her second baby’s safety so she does all these research and ends up hiring a doctor/midwife and goes through an unconventional diet which she believes to be more effective. After losing her husband in an accident and almost losing her baby in the process (technically she did lose her baby for a while) she is then left all alone in the house with the baby, yet she is happy because she finally has a baby, and she has the baby all to herself. She didn’t want to mind whatever miracle brought the baby back and why the baby smells and why so many flies like to drop onto the baby, she just wants to enjoy the motherhood which she longed for. In fact, she longed so much for it that she didn’t also mind that the baby only drinks blood and, later on, flesh. She longed so much for it that she would kill for it if necessary.

More than that, I think that this movie is not only about repression but also about the bonds of a parent-child relationship. It can be horrifying to think about, at times, the lengths at which parents would go for their kids. While mainstream society has this idea praised or put in a positive light, there are actually some parents out who would do the wrong things to others, even to themselves, just to satisfy their child. The most shocking part of the film for me was the ending clip, where we are shown a quick glimpse of the mother’s breast chewed off, said to be done the baby. Though, this wasn’t as hard to watch as the cutting of the doctor’s arm scene, where you could hear the snipping of the scissors tearing through the man’s flesh and almost feel the gushing of blood from the man’s veins. Overall, it a good horror movie for me. It has a lot to say, and even if it’s hard to comprehend or enjoy, it’s still very much effectively creepy.

Thoughts about “[REC]”

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Rec is one of the best zombie movies I ever watched. Even if it was in class that I would watch it for the third time, I still got excited because I know a lot of people would like it. I think that one of main reasons it’s like-ability is great compared to other zombie-invasion-themed movies is it’s first-person perspective, which is the first I’ve seen so far. I think that there’s a greater sense of involvement or yearning for involvement to be applied when watching zombie-invasion-themed movies, and I think that being able to feel more involved using the first-person perspective made [REC] a lot better. You’ll understand more after watching [REC] 3. Also, I think that the thrill of escaping the chase and the thrill of escaping entrapment magnifies the “bigger” the chaser is, and the harder the trap is to beat. And, in the case of this movie, when you’re trapped in an apartment complex by the government itself with a mob of demon zombies that can RUN, well you’re in for one hell of a roller coaster ride.

There are a few minor but noteworthy things in this movie. For one, I find the reporter’s show entitled, “While You’re Asleep”, peculiar. Why, out of all the possible names, name your show to target an audience that will never be able to watch it? “Then who watches it?”, even the fireman in the movie wondered. I think that this puts a greater emphasis on how unfortunate the people are in this film. Also the choice for the reporter and cameraman’s name, Angela and Pablo, was really thoughtful. It makes a great contrast considering the involvement of demons and demon-zombies and the series being religiously-themed. And I think that, being a Spanish horror film which primarily targets a Spanish audience, considering their religious background and all, demon zombies have a greater impact. Also, I like how everyone who gets attacked on camera gets attacked the minute they look away from the person in suspicion of being dangerous. Finally, I also like how the interview scenes cohere with the element of film being a show captured and yet it tells a lot about how little the residents know about their place and each other, especially the penthouse and its mysteriously missing-in-action resident, and just how truly unfortunate they are to be there.

I think that this film likes to play around with perspective. Sight, in all its possible meanings or contexts, is explored in this movie: like on the sense of being asleep and not being able to see the show, from viewing whats happening in the movie through first-person perspective and night vision, from how the neighbors “see” each other, from how bad things happen when they look away from the infected people. This is more explored in [REC] 2 we would know more about the Medeiros girl and who the “monsters” behind her are, and also how important the night vision perspective is to the movie.

Finally, I think [REC] is really good for it’s execution. The shocks and scares we’re really nice and the atmosphere very tense. The way things we’re spiralling out of control, people going up and down the spiral staircase, it made me just enjoy the movie and scream along.