In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Monday, May 12, 2008


No, this ain’t the Keira Knightley romance flick from last year, what do you take me for? THIS Silk, or Gui Si, is a Thai (all the interesting Asian horror seems to be coming out of Thailand these days) ghost movie from 2006.

A cop (Chen Chang) is recruited by a research team because of his exceptional eyesight and ability to read lips. The team, led by cripped scientist Dr. Hashimoto (Yosuke Eguchi), have captured a ghost and are looking to harness its energy for their experiments into anti-gravity.

This would have been just a generic solve-the-mystery-of-the-unruly-spirit ghost story if it wasn’t for the mixing of other genres. Silk also has a science fiction element to it, sprinkled with some action and family drama. The idea of the Menger Sponge (which is the Hellraiser like cube on the DVD cover), a device made out of human protein that captures energy, is quite a unique one. A lot of the tired Asian horror staples are utilized here, but within this new context, some of them seem fairly fresh. The story is deep enough that it keeps you interested and there are some genuinely cool moments throughout.

"How do you say 'you're fucked' in Mandarin?"

Unfortunately, the main detractor is some pretty dodgy visual effects work. It can be very distracting at times as Silk serves up one of the worst CG car crashes ever. I was pretty forgiving of some of the rougher shots earlier, but I couldn’t let that one go. I think you just have to bite the bullet and do a fade to black with accompanying sound effect if you don’t have the money or time to pull off a visual effect properly.

If you are going through the Tartan Asia Extreme catalogue, Silk is an entry that gives you a little bit more than the usual textbook horror we’ve come to expect from the Far East recently.

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