Prime gets a load of Asian horror films, so I figured it was time to catch up with a bunch of them while I was sick all Memorial Day weekend. Between slashers, the supernatural, and creepy creatures, I was pretty entertained. Here’s the blow by blow.
When a movie opens with the best cheesy demon baby intro ever, it has a lot to live up to. And although it takes a while to get there, Tiyanaks delivers an onslaught of cheesy awesome demon babies. Actually, they’re Tiyanaks.
What is a Tiyanak? It’s a pissed off baby that died before it could be baptized.
Who better for it to target?
A group of kids after their van breaks down on the way to a religious retreat.
They end up crashing at the creepy home of some weird lady, are spooked by sightings of child ghosts, are spied on by demon baby POV, and eventually start getting attacked by the maturing demon babies, which can even fly.
The “babies” are an awesome blend of demonized makeup on children and whacky CGI.
KILLER CAR (aka: Ju-on Car) (2008)
What’s so cool about this film is that it is totally not just another The Car or Christine knockoff. It is instead all about the ghost girl in the car.
How did she become a ghost? The opening kill scene begins with car POV on a dark road at night. The soundtrack actually does sound like Carpenter’s Christine score, which enhances the effect.
Then we see an abducted girl tied up in the back of the car. When the killer gets out and murders her, it is one of the most sexually perverse kill scenes ever, and takes its time delving into the nastiness of it all.
So it’s shocking how tame most of the film is after that. Actually, aside from good horror atmosphere, there’s not much excitement for a majority of the 72-minute running time. Kids rent a car to go travel to some waterfalls, and it turns out it’s the car the girl was killed in. Thing is, she doesn’t start killing anyone until 40 minutes in!
She’s a pretty typical Asian horror ghost girl with the brooding looks and the creepy hair, but even the kill scenes are restrained…until she gets her ultimate revenge on the person who deserves it in the same manner she got it in the beginning.
And yes, the car does drive by itself, but only once.
SLAUGHTER ISLAND (2010)
This island slasher apparently needed to be shaved down for pacing before it was distributed to American audiences, because it’s an 83-minute film that runs only 64 on Prime. Based on some of the feedback I’ve read on the film, I guess that time needed to be lost. Saves me from saying itshould have been cut by 20 minutes.
Even at 64 minutes, there are several overly long partying montages on the beach.
There are also a load of seemingly disjointed things going on here. The kids do the campfire thing and talk about an uninhabitable island. Something moves under the sand (and is never explained).
One dude tries to rape one of the girls.
They pull a Cabin Fever on one girl, tying her up in a tent…where she appears to get attacked by one of those Asian girl ghosts with lots of hair.
And they all start getting killed off by…those they think they can trust. Some fun kills are really the most I took away from this.
I blogged about the 1994 Aswang here, but this is apparently a remake of a 1992 Aswang that I’ve not seen—but will soon since it’s also on Prime.
However, the creatures in this film aren’t actually the mythical Aswang, but a subspecies of them called Abwak—which I only learned from reading the IMDb description (after not understanding why characters were calling them Abwak).
To be honest, they’re basically Bava’s demons…that can transform into animals, fly, and burrow underground like Tremors Graboids.
The film is about a hit gang hunting for two children that escaped during a home invasion.
However, one of the hit guys is unable to do the shooting, so when they arrive in the small village where the kids are hiding out, he has trouble following through with the orders to kill them.
Making it even more challenging is the fact that he meets a young woman he really likes…who is doing everything in her power to protect the children.
So, the demon people are creepy cool, the guys are uber hot…and the main guy gets shirtless.
However, the movie is 110 minutes long and feels like it’s never really going to get to the horror! When it finally does, it’s good times as the bad hit men take on the demon people in the wilderness.
Then the movie totally goes rogue and gets into this overblown side story about the family of the young woman trying to protect the kids. Wasn’t loving that part.
HAUNTED MANSION (2015)
If only this movie didn’t run almost 2 hours long it would have been a new fave of mine. As the movie stands…and stands…and stands, it’s over an hour before someone gets attacked and killed by a ghost.
Our main girl lost her father in a mystery “accident” that she believes was her fault. She now sees ghosts, which makes for a convenient ghost girl scare in the first 10 minutes of the movie.
She goes on a retreat with her classmates, they stay the night at a creepy house with a tragic past of rape and murder, there’s a load of teen drama and romantic jealousy that leads to clashes between the kids, there’s a prank played…
Then when we reach the 68-minute mark, victims finally start getting their tongues ripped out. It’s like a throwback to the supernatural slasher killers of the 2000s when we at last meet our killer—a freaky witch corpse ghost.
She rules for the sorely short period of time she takes over, chasing and killing everyone. And her battle with the final girl is awesome. I’ll just never understand why she was withheld from the movie for so long.