November 28, 2011

Movie Review: Bloody Reunion

As I looked over a bunch of my recent viewings, I noticed that I have not been watching all that many foreign titles. Conveniently enough, I found an interesting title buried deep in my Netflix queue that is set to expire soon, so I decided to give it a shot. I must say that it is certainly an interesting gem of a horror flick that I wish was presented better. You seem it was not a high definition stream and it was, let's just say it was less than ideal. As for the content, I have to say that I liked it, right down to the overly long twisty ending.

The movie is called Bloody Reunion, and it certainly is bloody and does have a reunion in it. Leave it to the Koreans, and Japanese, to turn a slasher film into a melodramatic tragedy with a full on teary eyed catharsis at the conclusion. Now, you may think that gives things away, but it doesn't, just recognize the fact that thins are not quite what they seem to be.

As the. Obie opens we are shown a teacher out with her young students, presumably on recess. Things are going fine until she goes into labor, a strained one that is signaled with blood. She is rushed to the hospital where she gives birth to a severely deformed child. The child is locked in the basement out of embarrassment and to keep him away from the taunts of the other children. The husband ends up hanging himself and then our timeline jumps ahead, presumably to the present.

We are presented with a detective investigating a grisly murder scene. The basement o a home is strewn with bloodied and tortured bodies. There were two survivors at taken to the hospital. One is the teacher, now older and terminally I'll, confined to a wheelchair and she is in a coma. The other is Mi Ja, a former student and now live in aid. She begins to tell her story of what happened in that house.

Now we flashback to the weekend prior, this is where the majority of the film takes place. Mi Ja thought it would be nice to reunite some of the teacher's old students before she does. So, a number of them come out to visit her secluded home and all seem anxious to see her. However, before long it is revealed that she may not have been the best of teachers and all of the now adult students have reasons to want to get renege on her. This is shown through their confrontations with her, telling of stories from their time in her class.

Then the brutal killings start. There's a killer in a crude bunny mask, think of Jason Voorhees hockey mask after a day with a kindergarten class. He pops up and kills people in nicely cruel fashion.

The big question is who is the killer? There are good reasons to suspect most of the former students, not to mention the seemingly forgotten deformed child. Who could it be? Who has the best motive to want them dead?

It all leads to a seemingly complicated and extended conclusion where all is revealed. I liked this, it is different than what usually get with domestic horror and adds an intriguing layer of overwrought emotion to the proceedings. It does pull the rug out from under you and makes you question all hat you had seen. Still, if you stop to consider it, it all makes pretty simple sense and is somewhat elegant in is reveal.

I would not necessarily call it a great slasher, I still think it takes a little too long to get to the kills, but there is a lot to like about it. The characters are more interesting than your usual bunch of killer fodder, and there seems to be some interesting ideas lurking just beneath the surface. The idea of a teacher's, or any adult for that matters, good intentions turning out to be the wrong call. Sure, she was tough and made some questionable choices (I know i wouldn't have liked them), but were they worthy of being murdered for? Probably not. Still, interesting to wonder about the effects of certain actions on young minds and potential long lasting effects.

Overall, this is a solid slasher movie with some nicely bloody kills, some interesting characters, and a conclusion that changes everything that you just saw with its clever narrative. Definitely worth spending time with. It is also interesting to note that the original title is To Sir with Love, a title that makes no sense.


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