Thursday, October 23, 2014

Horrothon Review #23 - Rigor Mortis (2013)

While October 2013 seemed to be werewolf month, this October seems to be focused around Asian Horror.  With only a week left to go in the month, I'm pretty much stretching my movie searches to the limit, trying to find movies that I haven't watched yet, or at least, something that will be enjoyable to watch.  I lucked out with tonight's movie, because I didn't even realize it was Asian Horror until after I started watching it.

Rigor Mortis (2013) is also known as Geung si, although I have no idea what language that is.  Chinese, I'm guessing?  Probably not Japanese, as I do have a little familiarity with that language, but I could be completely wrong about that.  Anyway, Rigor Mortis starts out with a voice-over by a man who claims he was an actor, who is moving into a high-rise apartment building.  Carrying what appears to be his only possessions, he moves into apartment 2442, which has a bit of a history.  The security guard lets him in, and the place is dusty.  Apparently, it hasn't been occupied in a long time.  At least, not by anything alive...

As many of you know, Asian Horror is sometimes a hit-or-miss sort of thing.  While most times, the production quality, acting and overall polish of the movie are better than most American horror films (probably because asian countries are willing to take more of a risk in their film-making), there's no way for me to know how well he movie will translate into my ideal version of horror.  Since I grew up on cool monsters and lots of nudity in my horror flicks, that's what I like to see, but nudity is pretty rare in asian horror, and cool monsters don't pop up that often.

Rigor Mortis is essentially a story about chinese vampires, and one of the reviews on Netflix said I should be familiar with Chinese mythology, the idea of chinese vampires, or at least have seen the Mr. Vampire movies.  Since I haven't seen those, have no idea what they are, and I am pretty unfamiliar with chinese vampires, I went into this movie rather uneducated.  Still, the story was kind of dark (as many asian horror films are), the mood was pretty bleak (reminded me of the Jesse Stone movies with Tom Selleck), and the mythological and supernatural aspects of it were new to me, so it was pretty interesting.

This was a good movie, I thought.  It was a little light on building interpersonal relationships between the characters, and focused more on the dead and the dying than the living, but it was a fun watch.  The acting was decent, the production quality was on the better side of asian horror, the special effects were pretty good, and the story was entertaining.  There didn't seem to be any nudity that I recall, but since the entire movie was pretty much about fighting the supernatural, they didn't have time to focus on the benefits of viewing the nude female physique.  Still, it was a fun watch and I'd probably watch it again, just to try and figure out the mythological aspects of the character belief system that's obviously in play here.  Also, there's literally no humor.  At all.

Minor spoiler here, and this shouldn't give away any of the plot, but skip this paragraph if you'd rather watch the movie.  I mentioned last night that I hate movies that are just dream sequences, and I'm not sure if that's what happened at the end of the movie, but it looks like maybe it was, which is kind of disappointing.  Funny that I mention that just last night, and then happen to watch a film today that features exactly what I said I wouldn't enjoy watching.  Huh.  Weird.  Still, I guess some dream sequences aren't bad to watch.  I guess maybe it depends what sort of dream it is.  End spoilers.

I read an article a few months back that mentioned something about an experiment on mice.  Apparently, when a mouse dies, his brain undergoes a short but vigorous period of mental activity that resembles dreaming at the moment of death.  I found that very interesting.  I don't know what mad scientist decided on killing mice and recording their brain activity as they died, but I guess it's better then doing it on humans.  Come to think of it, that'll probably be the next Asian Horror movie coming out, that some mad doctor decides to record brain activity in human beings as they die, and... say it with me... ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!  heh  Come to think of it, maybe they've done that movie already.  I've seen a lot of weird horror films.

That's all for tonight.  Looking forward to the season premiere of Grimm tomorrow night, and the series premiere of Constantine.  I will probably review those on saturday, along with my usual horror movie review, in case you are interested.  Halloween is only a week away!  I still have to come up with a costume, too, which I haven't done in recent years, but I actually have a Halloween party to attend this year.   Hmmm.  Well, I'll figure it out.  Catch you guys tomorrow night.

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