Mar 21, 2008

Black House

Immortalizing celluloid psychopaths seems to be a step that every film director wishes to take. They explore these stereotypical situations in order to show us that a "psychopath" can be living amongst us, in some attempt to keep us living under fear. Black House is no exception, other than that this one is actually filmed aesthetically stylish, although relying on every twist in the book in an attempt to create the master thriller.

The thing about Asian thrillers or horror films for that matter, is that they love to incorporate the average man or business man. Think about it. Save the Green Planet!, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and Premonition are just a couple out of many. The average Joe archetype can only work so much. My only guess is that it's another scare tactic to show that these amazing and fantastical things can happen to anyone and refuse to have favoritism towards sinners.

The story line consists of the usual Korean flair; stylized rain and splattered blood. Jeon Juno is an insurance investigator who lives in constant guilt due to the young suicide of his brother. This leaves him tacked down with nightmares and intimacy issues. After witnessing a client's son commit suicide, he begins to wonder if it was really suicide afoot or perhaps a deeper, darker secret.

The title at hand here is accurate. The centerpiece of the film is a large, black house which resembles an archaic Gothic creation. The film sets its self up with effective tension and leads up to a lackluster ending but is wholly satisfying, so there's not much to complain about. While the film is decent, it isn't anything we haven't seen before in Western cinema - Albeit, they do it better. Some of the voyeurism scenes and coming back to the apartment broken in are reminiscent of the grand film The Life of David Gale.

The film also has its inaccuracies due to the script being sacked and re-written. This goes in with the immense list of novel adaptations to the screen. The villain set-up is marvelous and then switches in full gear, leaving many questions and actually works to the films advantage. This film also houses one of the most grisly slaughter rooms seen in recent film. This one gives the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre a run for its money. Black House is a moderately effective film teeming with the stereotypical thriller works, but manages to bring style to light.


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