after New York newlyweds Ben and Jane arrive in Japan for Ben's
latest photography assignment, they discover disturbing, ghostly
reflections of a young woman in their own photos. This inexplicable
"spirit image" maybe connected to Ben's past and she's
determined to provide the couple with a horrifying future of
relentless vengeance from which there's no escape!
It’s like a curse itself: Anyone in Hollywood
who comes up with the bright idea to remake an Asian horror
movie will inevitably invite the harshest and most unkind
reviews and comments from the critics. But why do the folks
in Tinseltown keep remaking such flicks? Why do we keep getting
Hollywood versions of Asian horror movies like Hong Kong’s
The Eye, Japan’s The Ring, and now, one of Thailand’s
most successful horror movies about spirit photography?
the answers to these questions are lengthy enough to fill
up countless academic discussion papers, we shall move on
and comment on how this convenient 85 minute picture directed
by Japanese (like that is going to solve the problem?) director
Masayuki Ochiai fares.
you are a fan of the original film directed by Banjong Pisanthanakun
and Parkpoom Wongpoom, you need no introduction to the story.
The filmmakers have changed the setting to Japan, where a
young couple discovers a terrible secret when ghostly images
begin appearing on the guy’s pictures. Yah, like that
is going to creep you out like the 2004 Thai version.
Jackson (Bobby) and Rachael Taylor (Transformers) try their
best to look scared to their wits in this expectedly bland
picture that, in one reviewer’s words, is actually a
business deal rather than a movie. You can feel the half heartedness
of the filmmakers as every minute of the picture passes. You
can predict every scare that is coming your way (helps if
you have seen the original). And you can feel yourself looking
at the player’s runtime to see whether the 85th minute
it’s unfair to repeatedly compare this with the original,
but even as a stand alone horror movie, it does not succeed
in creating that creepy and eerie atmosphere that horror fans
crave for. The obligatory long haired spirit isn’t anything
you haven’t seen in other movies before. The "you
have sinned so you must pay" plot twist isn’t exactly
something refreshing either. So what’s left to compel
you to pick this DVD off the shelf then? To be fair, as a
movie to pass those boring weekends, this one is okay. Besides,
there is a whole load of special features for you to go through,
if that excites you in any way.
last grunt - We don’t understand why the writers of
the phenomenal original version aren’t duly credited
in this Hollywood remake.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
As if to make up for the lackluster movie, this Code 3 DVD
contains whole lot of extra features for you to go through,
hoping that it’ll change your opinion about the widely
"Commentary by Production Executive Alex Sundell, Screenwriter
Luke Dawson and Actress Rachael Taylor" sheds
light on how Sundell is a huge fan of international cinema,
spotted the box office success of the original Thai movie,
and decided to remake it for the American audience. Oh, so
she is the one. They then go on to talk about how they got
Dawson in to write the script and why they changed the setting
Ghost in the Lens" is an eight minute feature
which tries to have audiences to understand the deeper theories
of why ghosts exist. Together with the producer and writer,
leads Jackson and Taylor talk about their opinions on the
existence of spirits. Spooky accompanying music and an interesting
interview with a spirit photography expert included.
Cultural Divide: Shooting in Japan" features
the same spooky music and has the cast and crew talking about
their experiences shooting in the Land of the Rising Sun.
In the nine minute feature, Taylor talks about how empty she
felt when she was there because of the “fish out of
water” sentiment while another supporting cast feels
that it is just like shooting any other movie.
10 minute "The Director: Masayuki Ochiai"
has the Japanese filmmaker talking about why he was attracted
to the project (he states that it’s not just a horror
film), what spirit photography is (he thinks it’s great
for people who don’t believe in ghosts) and whether
he believes in this phenomenon (he retells an experience he
conversation with Luke Dawson"
sees the writer talking about why this movie was made anyway
despite the original success of the Thai version. He muttered
the word “business” somewhere in this six minute
feature and continues to talk about how Asian and American
audiences react differently to such genres. Hmm, the last
time we checked, the American critics didn’t like the
movie a lot too.
the five minute "A History of Spirit Photography"
starts off with the definition “a reproduction of a
spiritual materialization or psychokinetic manifestation by
film exposure”. Then it gives us archival pictures of
how spirit photography came about in the early 1800s. Not
a very engaging feature.
Your Own Phantom Photo" is an interesting step
by step feature where you get to learn how to make your own
scary picture using the photo manipulator software. The four
minute feature is great for first time learners of the software.
Hunt for the Haunt: Tools and Tips for ghost Hunting"
is another two minute clip which gives you tips on how and
where to hunt down spirits. They tell you to check libraries
for local ghost stories; look up search engines and go to
cliché locations like cemeteries and abandoned buildings.
We have a feeling the DVD producers were out of ideas to fill
up the disc.
the segment "Alternate and Deleted Scenes",
we get 10 scenes which didn’t make it to the final cut.
Well, if they did, they’d probably lengthen the movie
by another, say, 10-odd minutes? The alternate ending isn’t
much different from the one seen in theatres, but since there
is space to be filled in the DVD, why not?
Viewers can also log on to the web link www.foxinternational.com
to find out more about Kiefer Sutherland’s new movie
To be fair, he disc’s visual transfer isn’t too
bad as the sceneries in Japan look good on screen here. There
are audio options of English, Portuguese and Espanol Dolby
by John Li