Bloody Reunion (2006)

DVD Cover (Tartan Video)
Dae-wung Lim Dae-wung Lim
Seong-won Jang Seong-won Jang
Eung-soo Kim Eung-soo Kim
Yeong-Seon Kim Yeong-Seon Kim
Dong-kyu Lee Dong-kyu Lee
Ji-hyeon Lee Ji-hyeon Lee

6.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Sadistic Horror, Slasher Film
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Review by Chad
Added: November 18, 2011
I haven't reviewed any foreign horror for a while, and with Netflix giving the axe to a large number of these films, I decided to go ahead and catch up on a few of them. Bloody Reunion is the first in this little mini-marathon of movies, and honestly, I had no idea what to expect going into it: I saw it pop up on new release day years ago and thought that the synopsis sounded pretty neat, and that was the extent of my knowledge. So, here we are ninety minutes after pushing play, and... well, let's get our own version of that synopsis out of the way first, shall we?

The story centers around Miss Park (Mi-hee Oh) and her live-in maid / former student Mi-ja (Yeong-hie Seo). We soon learn that, Miss Park was an elementary teacher back in her younger years, but now she is sick and near death with only Mi-ja to take care of her in her final years. Mi-ja decides to give her former teacher a sort of present by inviting a group of Park's former students (and Mi-ja's former classmates) over for one last get-together, and a handful of students are soon at the house, catching up with one another and laughing about the good old days. That is when we discover that maybe these students have ulterior motives for showing up at this party, and that maybe Miss Park wasn't exactly a perfect teacher. Throw in a deformed child in the basement and you have yourself a movie.

One thing I should definitely point out first and foremost is that this film sticks firmly to the J-horror way of telling a story. By that, I mean that it has a complex storyline that requires the viewer to pay attention to every last moment of the movie in order to piece everything together at the end, and even then, you may walk away a little confused. Scenes that may be seen as nothing more than fluff or padding at first glance will later be revealed to be an important clue, so you really have to pay attention.

I should also point out that there is a twist ending here, and though I'm not going to spoil it, I will say that it will divide audiences down the middle: some of you will love it, some of you will hate it. That is exactly the reaction that another popular movie using a similar twist received, and it will be more of the same here. Personally, I liked it in both films. It makes sense when you think about it and it allows the filmmakers to manipulate the audience in a way that conventional storytelling can not do, so it gets a thumbs up from me. Your mileage may vary though.

All of this is done while providing a message to the audience about holding grudges and attempting revenge, and it actually worked better than I expected. If I were to sit here and tell you everything that happened, you'd probably think that it sounded dumb; hell, if you had told me before I watched the movie, I would have said the same. However, the filmmakers managed to make this work, and the result is a story that is actually a little touching once everything has been revealed.

There is also some great gore on display here, and this sort of caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting such nasty methods of execution, but we got a lot of downright sadistic kills. For example, one scene finds a masked killer dropping little broken pieces of a razor blade into his victim's mouth, and then washing it down for him by pouring a bunch of water down his bleeding gullet. That is but one scene, and there are other kills that are just as good. I wasn't expecting this sort of thing, but I certainly appreciated it.

Overall, I'm giving it a big thumbs up for fans of Asian horror. It has a great storyline that is deep and thought-provoking, mixed together with all of the staples of a traditional horror film: gore, scares, a mystery killer, and a big reveal at the end. That twist ending will be the make-or-break factor with just about everyone watching, but I'm the one reviewing this and I thought that it worked well. 9/10.
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