Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: The Cut (2007)

The Cut (aka Anonymous Blood or Cadaver) (Review)
Son Tae-woong/Han Ji-min/2007
Where to Watch:
Netflix Streaming
Amazon Prime 

"...there is some surprising emotional depth."

A group of recently-initiated medical students begin their dissection class. Soon thereafter, the group begin suffering from nightmares and eerie experiences at school...

The Cut follows Seon-hwa (Han Ji-min), her complicated love interest Ki-bum, and the other members of their dissection group as they, well, begin dissecting a cadaver. They eventually start hearing and seeing things around the school, and they are soon picked off one by one -- the victims are found without their hearts and stitched back up. Eventually, they realize they all share similar dreams of a one-eyed surgeon and they start to unravel the mystery. The mystery treads familiar territory, as does the resolution, but I thought the ending was good.

The Cut, also known as Anonymous Blood or Cadaver, is a good horror-mystery film. The story treads some familiar territory, but it does offer some great horror elements and a very spooky atmosphere. The horror consists of some solid jump-scares, great suspense and tension, and some very chilling visuals. It does lose some steam during the second half where the investigation takes center-stage, though. As far as the story as a whole goes, it kind of reminded of films like The Wig -- the characters aren't too deep, but there is some surprising emotional depth. And this in turn makes the horror so much more effective. The main issues I had with the film were its pacing and the generic mystery; the pacing hurts more because of the bloated runtime, too, it could've been so much shorter.

The acting is all-around great. Han Ji-min is a great leading lady, very genuine and didn't overact a bit. The film is shot well; make sure you watch this in a dark room because it has many dark scenes and the light will make it hard to see. (and you should be watching horror movies in the dark, anyway.) The music was good, a standard horror score. I watched the Hong Kong DVD, which I recommend you avoid. The English subtitles on this DVD are delayed -- when a character speaks, you have to wait a few seconds for the translation to show up -- and this makes the film complicated to follow a simple conversation. Director Son Tae-woong loses some momentum during the second half, but masterfully crafts its creepy and goosebump-inducing atmosphere.

Overall, The Cut, also known as Anonymous Blood, is a good horror-mystery. The horror, although not consistent throughout the entire film, is hair-raising spooky and the atmosphere is dreadful -- in a good way. The mystery, however, is very familiar and cause the film to lose some of its horror momentum. If you speak the language or have a better translation, bump the film up to a 7. If you're watching the Hong Kong DVD, keep it at a 6 -- good, but you'll have to work for it.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, nudity. (the cadavers are nude.)

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