Fantasia : The Descendant and Reincarnation

Philippe Spurrell and most of the cast of The Descendant were on hand to present their solid DIY movie. To say I went to see this movie reluctantly is an understatement. The trailer did nothing for me. But I was going to see Reincarnation later on, so what was I to do between work and that? I went. And I enjoyed it, quite a lot. Those who have seen Saint-Martyr des Damnes or David Lynch's Twin Peaks will recognize the premise : Strange events lead a regular city boy to a typical quiet,peacefull little village... which hides a terrible secret. The population of that village, who areapparentlyy nice and friendly, are pretty much all whack-jobs and psychos bent on preventing city boy from exposing their secret. So far, so good. There are a few things that set The Descendant apart though, not the least of which is the fact that it is based on actual event and does have a cultural and historical purpose. Where both Twin Peaks and St-Martyr suffered from an horribly confused storyline that seemed to be headed in every possible direction at the same time, The Descendant is actually very focused. It doesn't have the awesome writing of Twin Peaks nor the production quality of St-Martyr. This is pure DIY, very little budget and it shows. Virtually no special effect shots. I always said that if you're going to do a DIY movie, make it a comedy. People are much more prone to forgive the cheese factor in comedies than in serious drama. The Descendant is an exception to this theory. I give it a 7 out of 10 with a butt-factor of 0.5.

Reincarnation is from Ju-On director Takashi Shimizu. Strange events appear to haunt the set of a movie whose goal is to recreate a gruesome series of murders. Could it be that the souls of those who died have come back to play their part, again? Much less scary than Ju-On, Reincarnation aims for the same kind of atmosphere. Didn't leave much of an impression on me, and did absolutely nothing to hinder my attempts to sleep later on, which both Ju-On movies managed to do so well. 3.0 out of 10 with a record butt-factor of 3.

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