Monday, April 2, 2007

Bloody Reunion (2006)

Everyone dreads their school reunions...I haven't had mine yet, but I imagine that everyone is a little older, a little fatter, a little slower and that the music will still suck. Everyone pretends to like each other and pretends to actually be interested in one another's lives. People will be horribly dressed, be wearing too much makeup (or not enough), there will be horrible food and even worse music. Yet we all go back and play nice, hoping to brag about our lives and see how we compare to the peers we grew up with. Some people just can't let the past go, though, and feel that those that hurt them must pay...

Mrs. Park used to be an elementary school teacher who has fallen ill. One of her old students is caring for her at her seaside house and thinks that if Mrs. Park can see her old students again she'll be able to die happy. Mrs. Park has no family left, except for her deformed child who doesn't live with her anymore. As her students arrive one by one, we find out through flashbacks that Mrs. Park isn't as sweet as she seemed. As a teacher she had a cruel streak that has affected the lives of those she taught forever. She also used to lock her deformed child (who wore a bunny mask to hide his face) in the basement while the other children made fun of him. As the mood of the reunion turns confrontational, it seems that all of Mrs. Park's old students have murderous intentions towards her. Soon, people start dying gruesome deaths at the hands of a bunny-masked killer. Is Mrs. Park's son back for revenge on her and the students that taunted him? Is one of Mrs. Park's students to blame? And you thought your school reunions were torture...

Though Bloody Reunion takes elements from American slasher movies (the isolated setting, the masked killer, the brutal deaths) it still maintains its Asian sensibilities. It is beautifully shot, doesn't rely on massive amounts of T&A, is intelligent and actually has a twist that I didn't see coming. The ending left many things unexplained and left me a little bit confused, though. The story of Mrs. Park's deformed son is never fully explained and some plot points are never fully developed. I still enjoyed the film even with these flaws, but it left me disappointed that the story wasn't as solid as I'd hoped.

The killings took off with a bang - the first victim is tied up and forced to ingest razorblades while the second has her eyes stapled open. There were instances where I flinched and even had to cover my eyes a few times. Yet, after the first initial kills the killings get a little bit stale and we don't get to see nearly enough.

The acting is all alright, but I never felt connected to the characters. None of them were especially likable, but since most of them got sliced and diced, it didn't matter too much anyway!

Bloody Reunion has its flaws, but overall it's a fun Asian slasher film with twists and turns to keep you guessing and no long-haired child ghosts to get in the way!

Buy Bloody Reunion!

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