Thursday, April 19, 2012

To the A, to the B... and We're on the R

Another week has passed us by. Uhf! Can you belief we're getting closer to the end of the challenge? Well, here are my R suggestions:


Reincarnation (2005)
Directed by Takashi Shimizu.

Plot: Nagisa Sugiura (Yuka) is a young Japanese actress who comes face to face with a slew of ghosts. These restless spirits begin to appear when she signs on to star in a horror film which tells the true story about a crazed, local professor whose murderous rampage at a hotel left 11 guests dead, including his young son and daughter. The movie is being filmed at the very site where the killings took place.

Review: Like a lot of Japanese horror films, Reincarnation isn't told in a linear way. The story seems fragmented and confusing but that's part of what makes it scary. There aren't graphic, bloody scenes and the suspense is built around the ambiance and things you think you saw out of the corner of your eye. Very unsettling. At the end everything makes sense and the story comes round leaving the viewer with no questions but quite surprised.


The Ring by Koji Suzuki.
Published by Vertical in 2003.

Blurb: A mysterious videotape warns that the viewer will die in one week unless a certain, unspecified act is performed. Exactly one week after watching the tape, four teenagers die one after another of heart failure. Asakawa, a hardworking journalist, is intrigued by his niece's inexplicable death. His investigation leads him from a metropolitan tokyo teeming with modern society's fears to a rural Japan--a mountain resort, a volcanic island, and a countryside clinic--haunted by the past. His attempt to solve the tape's mystery before it's too late--for everyone--assumes an increasingly deadly urgency. Ring is a chillingly told horror story, a masterfully suspenseful mystery, and post-modern trip.

Review: Just before starting with the challenge I did an extensive review on this book and mentioned I'll review each book of the series separately. For the sake of this post I'll resume things by saying that there are four books in the series, The Ring, Spiral, Loop, and Birthday. I've read all but Birthday and my favorite by far was the first. It is similar enough to the movies adaptations that you'll recognize the plot, but the second part of the book is significantly different. And much better. The are no loose ends by the end of the story, everything fits nicely and is explained away, unlike the movies. Suzuki is known like "The Japanese Stephen King" and with this series he proves it right. He builds suspense like a master and you can't stop turning the pages. A must read.

If you want to know more about the books, movies, and my opinion, click here.


Chris Fries said...

It's amazing how creative modern Japanese horror is. Light years beyond the old "Mothra vs. Godzilla" cheesy monster flicks.

I've seen "The Ring" as a movie, but never read the book. Your post makes me want to!

Jenny said...

I am not at all a horror fan, but it looks like you're having a lot of fun with your A-Z theme. Good work!

Gina said...

Chris, the book will drive you nuts. It's so good! I can't stand the Godzilla flicks of old, they're horrible. I never thought I would be a fan of asian movies but, boy, have they gotten better!

Thanks for stopping by Jenny. I am having a lot of fun and making new friends. I love the A to Z challenge!

Sangita Kalarickal said...

After reading your post I really want to watch Reincarnation, even though I am not a horror fan!

Lynn Proctor said...

the ring sounds really good--i think my son has seen the movie

Gina said...

Sangita, that is the loveliest compliment for a reviewer. Thanks! Hope you like it. =)

Lunn, if your son saw the movie, give him the book for his birthday. You'll be the coolest mom ever. ;)