Favorite films

  • Heat
  • The Apartment
  • The Night of the Hunter
  • Fallen Angels

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  • The Wild Goose Lake

    ★★★½

  • Joint Security Area

    ★★★½

  • Black Coal, Thin Ice

    ★★★½

  • Quo vadis, Aida?

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • The Wild Goose Lake

    The Wild Goose Lake

    ★★★½

    More neon-soaked desolation from Diao Yinan. It should be little surprise that this resembles his previous effort Black Coal, Thin Ice in the way that it twists the typical crime genre elements out of shape to reveal the damaged people and grim situations that exist below the vibrant exteriors. The main characters drift through each scene like a pair of ghosts, barely present even while sharing important information. Neither is able to escape a world that appears to be crumbling…

  • Joint Security Area

    Joint Security Area

    ★★★½

    The Korean DMZ is an innately surreal place. A location where two nations with vastly differing ideologies exist a stone's throw away from each other, tensions barely contained by widespread uncertainty and international pressure. A violent incident at said border sets in motion an inquiry that essentially explores if a human connection can transcend political beliefs.

    At the heart of this story is the growing camaraderie between two troops on either side, fighting back against an environment that uses suspicion…

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  • The Empty Man

    The Empty Man

    ★½

    Aptly named because it left me feeling empty, man!

    I don't get the underground buzz that this has received at all; the scatter-brained merging of occult mystery, cosmic horror and police procedural is so half-baked on every front that it falls to pieces as soon as its ideas start to solidify. The root of the narrative has potential as some sort of paranormal puzzle, but it just descends into stupidity the longer it goes on before reaching a third act…

  • Ringu

    Ringu

    ★★★★

    I think the primary reason why this remains such an unsettling feature is due to how astutely it follows the ideal horror film formula; it constructs an inherently creepy premise, provides characters who are easy to empathise with, gradually feeds information without disrupting the mystery, presents primitive fears through a modern lens and concentrates on atmosphere in order to craft chills that leave an impression. It's noteworthy how there's little reliance on jump scares or bloodshed to achieve quick thrills;…