With October, and Halloween, just around the corner; I find myself turning to scary movies more than usual. I just watched two which I really enjoyed, enough to recommend.
The first is a Japanese horror movie called “Voice,” which of course means it’s subtitled. The movie is about a student who is the “star” of the choir and is killed one night by a spirit while practicing after school for a concert. She becomes a ghost herself and must uncover the mystery as to who killed her and why. Throughout the movie clues are dropped and mystery unravels, with several twists and turns. The title refers not only to the girl’s singing voice, but the belief that a spirit is no longer able to communicate with the living if forgotten by them, which causes the spirit to lose it’s voice. The movie was very original in my opinion, which of course means someone in Hollywood has probably bought the rights for a remake. Unlike most recent Japanese and Asian horror films, it doesn’t rely on some creepy white girl with long stringy hair as the ghost. In this case the ghost is mostly a shadow. Two thumbs up for this one.
The second film is also foreign, this time French. I picked up “Belphagor: The Phantom of the Louvre” from my local Blockbuster. I admit, part of the draw was that it stared Julie Christie, who rose to fame in the “Emmanuelle” movies. These used to be shown on Skinamax all the time when I was little. This is actually a remake of two previous film adaptations, both which are from a book written almost 100 years ago. It’s the story of an Egyptian mummy which was found, but then lost in the warehouses of the Louvre. Upon finding it and beginning an investigation, they wake the spirit of the mummy, who is on a quest and possesses humans to do his bidding. The movie is part ghost story and part mystery. This most recent adaptation to film borrows clips from a made for TV version that aired in France in the 1960s, which apparently was one of the most memorable and watched mini-series in the country. Unfortunately the original is not available on DVD, nor is a 1920s silent version of the film. Still, I really enjoyed this film, save for the end which I thought was a tad rushed and hooky. Still, two thumbs up. Not scary at all, but very entertaining.