An anthology of short horror tales rooted in secrets and lies, directed by Asian filmmakers Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park and Fruit Chan. In gonzo Japanese director Miike's atypically contemplative BOX, young novelist Kyoko (Kyoko Hasegawa) is haunted. Maybe the culprit is her nightmarish memories of a childhood spent trying to please stepfather Hikita (Atsuro Watabe), who trained 10-year-old twins Kyoko and Shoko (Mai and Yuu Suzuki) in a magic act that ended with both girls folded together into a small box, limbs intertwined no matter what Kyoko did, Hikita always favored her sister. Or perhaps Kyoko is haunted by the actual ghost of Shoko, who died under awful circumstances, which are revealed in dreamlike fragments. The film's twist ending is a bizarre but perfect capper to everything that precedes it. In Hong Kong filmmaker Chan's DUMPLINGS, former soap-opera star Qing (Miriam Yeung) is in a panic every time she looks in the mirror: There's always someone younger competing for roles, and her husband's (Tony Ka-Fai Leung) eyes are wandering. So Qing beats a path to the tenement door of naturopath Auntie Mei (Bai Ling), whose special dumplings are famous for restoring youthful luster. Qing is willing to overlook the nature of Mei's "secret ingredient" until she suffers side effects produced by the especially dreadful nature of what went into the last batch. This ghoulish shaggy-dog story, limpidly photographed by Christopher Doyle, was subsequently expanded to feature length. Korean director Chan-wook, known for psychologically torturous thrillers, contributed CUT, in which wealthy, happily married horror-film director Ryu Ji-ho (Lee Byung-hun), a notoriously nice guy in a generally vicious business, comes home one night from his new vampire movie to find an intruder waiting. The intruder knocks out Ryu, and when he awakes he's back on the set. His pianist wife (Gang Hye-jun) is gagged and bound with wires like a macabre marionette; the intruder, a pathologically jealous extra (Lim Won-Hee) who's appeared in several of Ryu's films, will cut off a finger for every five minutes Ryu puts off doing his bidding. And what he wants Ryu to do is strangle a child. While most anthology films have one standout and one weak link, all three tales are short, sharp shockers there should be at least one for every taste.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: R
- Review: An anthology of short horror tales rooted in secrets and lies, directed by Asian filmmakers Takashi Miike, Chan-wook Park and Fruit Chan. In gonzo Japanese director Miike's atypically contemplative BOX, young novelist Kyoko (Kyoko Hasegawa) is haunted. May… (more)