Tuesday, April 16, 2013

HORROR STORIES (2012) movie review

Horror Stories (2012) d. Hong / Lim / Jeong / Kim / Kim / Min (South Korea)

A young student is kidnapped by a wordless serial killer who requests scary stories to help him slumber. (“I can only sleep when my blood is chilled.”) This quaintly spine-tingling version of 1001 Arabian Nights teams six versatile South Korean directors in the ongoing omnibus sweepstakes, with a wraparound devise helmed by Gyoo-dong Min just old-fashioned enough to conjure fond Amicus memories.

Beom-sik Jeong kicks things off with “Don’t Answer to the Door,” offering two young children home alone that are tormented by an intruding spirit, followed by Dae-woong Lim’s sharply honed “Endless Flight,” where the airborne transfer of a notorious serial killer goes horribly awry. The grim fairy tale “Secret Recipe” is next, with Ji-young Hong spinning the yarn of a wicked matriarch who schemes to have her daughter marry the handsome rich bachelor intended for her stepsister via plastic surgery, not considering the bridegroom’s intentions may not be entirely correct. The Kim brothers, Gok and Sun, round out the quartet by setting their “Ambulance on the Death Zone” on a rolling meat wagon during a zombie attack with a potentially infected passenger trapped inside.

Though never more terrifying than your average Tales from the Crypt episode, the results are effective enough and surprisingly even, i.e. the hills and valleys between stronger/weaker sequences kept to a minimum.

--Aaron Christensen, HorrorHound Magazine

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