Archive for foreign

Screened In Sundays: The Devil’s Backbone

Posted in Foreign, Horror, Screened In Sundays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2012 by judsonw

One underseen gem every Sunday.

Before Guillermo del Toro brought us the magical tale Pan’s Labyrinth, the superhero chronicles of Hellboy, or almost took the director’s seat for The Hobbit, he made a little Spanish horror film called The Devil’s Backbone. Made back in 2001, the story takes place in an orphanage (doesn’t every Spanish horror movie?) set in 1939 and revolves around a young boy who moves in. Almost immediately, the young boy, named Carlos, starts hearing strange noises and even catches a glimpse of what he believes to be a ghost.

This story is much more complex and deep than a simple ghost story, which may explain why del Toro decided to reveal the ghost’s appearance so early on in the story. When Carlos starts to investigate the paranormal occurrences of the estate, he discovers some very dark secrets about the history of the orphanage. The Devil’s Backbone provides much more than a good scare – there’s a deeply affecting emotional story that may just catch you off guard.

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Screened In Sundays: Mother

Posted in Drama, Foreign, Screened In Sundays with tags , , , , , , , on August 12, 2012 by judsonw

One underseen gem every Sunday.

After the well received Korean monster movie The Host, it was no telling what direction that director Joon-Ho Bong would take with his next film. Mother, which in my opinion far surpasses The Host, was a creation that I was not expecting.

A beautifully filmed and powerfully acted tale about a mother who will do anything to prove her son is not a murderer, actress Hye-ja Kim gives a performance for the ages – possibly one of the best portrayals of a mother in the history of film.

The story plays out like a mystery. The Mother’s son is accused of murdering a young girl early in the film. She refuses to believe such nonsense – this must be a false accusation. What makes the accusation interesting is the fact that her 28 year old son is mentally challenged and very calm mannered. The story goes through some twists and turns until it arrives at its shocking conclusion. But along the way, as the tagline reads, “she’ll stop at nothing.”