It's Week Two of Creepy Cinema and one of my favorite Korean movies is on the list! Can't wait to share my thoughts on that as well as the beauty of Gong Yoo! Keep scrolling for this week's films and don't forget to let me know what you think in the comments below!
4. Train to Busan (2016)
Disclaimer, this film stars my favorite Korean actor of all time, Gong Yoo, so there might be a lot of gushing in this review. The film follows a group of strangers that board a cross country train bound for Busan. Fun fact, the two years that Markus and I lived in South Korea, we lived in Busan! So we’ve actually taken the same route in the film, which made it even cooler and realistic, at least for me. As someone who is absolutely obsessed with Korean food, music, shows, etc., I’m not the biggest fan of their films. Korean films tend to be too long and often flounder in their storytelling at the beginning of the third act. At that point I often find myself feeling the length and losing interest quite quickly. Every Korean film I’ve seen thus far seems to be plagued with these two things. Thank goodness Train to Busan proved me wrong and is the best Korean horror film I’ve seen so far.
I cannot express to you how much I loved this movie. It’s chock full of action and the acting was on point. Gong Yoo is pretty dreamy even though he’s playing an absent father, but I kinda loved that he was terrible at the beginning of the film because it gave his character the opportunity grow into a protagonist we actually care about. A real revelation was Kim Su An, the girl playing his daughter. She was such an incredible actress for her age. Actually, the entire ensemble was great and I enjoyed all of their performances, each holding a good amount of character development for a film with such a large cast. Of course no character was safe, and just when you start to get attached to one of them, in true horror movie fashion, they perish along with your heart. Train to Busan manages to be both an incredible Korean film, but also a fantastic survival horror film. Honestly, if there is only one movie you watch from my list this year, please watch this one. If not for me, at least for Gong Yoo, because he’s my fave.
5. Alien Covenant (2017)
I will forever be haunted by my first viewing of Alien back in 2012. It was one of the scariest films, I’ve seen to this day. So much so that when we watch any other films in that universe, I get a bit of anxiety. In regards to the sequels, nothing has been more frightening than the first and I’ve started to lose that initial fear along with interest. I know that it’s hard to meet the standards of the first film in a franchise, but my golly, do we really need this new iteration?
I’m not 100% sure why they made another movie in the vein of Alien prequels when the response to Prometheus was so mixed, but who knows why people make movies these days anymore. (Ahem, money.) Either way, at least this one attempted to get back to the roots of its predecessors. It follows a ragtag crew of people who face the unknown, only to end up being trapped with a killer alien. Who’s going to survive? Who cares, because I sure didn’t. I couldn’t tell you much about the character except that they all possessed some jerk-like qualities and did a lot of senseless and reckless things. Also Michael Fassbender’s weird accent--No. The film also seemed to have tonal issues. The first half of the film was what I feel audiences wanted, explorers discovering a strange land full of mystery and danger. Then we run into a big slow-down where the film starts rambling via creepy Fassbender-bot about the genesis of this world, evolution, blah blah blah. Then out of nowhere it turns into a monster-chase film! I really felt the length of this movie, and I would pass on this one to just re-watch Alien.
6. The Babysitter (2017)
This movie was a last minute addition and I never heard about it before Markus suggested it. I think not knowing anything about it was an advantage because it was a really fun movie. It definitely felt like an homage to classic 80s horror flicks but with a fun twist. The story follows Cole, a twelve-year old boy, who is having a rough time in middle school - who didn’t have a rough time then? Cole is quite book smart, but when it comes to people, he’s a bit awkward and is often bullied and overlooked in life. To add insult to injury, he still has a babysitter, that stays with him when his parents go out of town. It's okay though because she’s real hot and they have an amazingly geeky and almost sibling-like relationship. The montage of all their inside jokes was actually really cute and one of the best parts of the movie.
The first 20 minutes or so didn’t feel like a horror movie at all, then when you least expect it the rug gets pulled out from under you-and you get beaten with it. Things get a bit crazy when Cole decides to spy on his babysitter and see what she does when he’s asleep. Then the film ramps up and it’s a non-stop action horror until the very end. In these sort of movies, you usually expect the women to be the damsels in distress, but not in this movie. The Babysitter was tough as nails and pulled no punches. However what I think makes this movie so strong is that at it’s core, it’s really just a coming of age story and those are always my favorites.