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Asian Horror - The Essential Collection

Audition / Dark Water / The Eye (Japan/Singapore/Hong Kong)

 

Three classics to remind you why the new wave of Asian horror has been ripped off by Hollywood so often! A single man looking for a good time finds terror instead in the notorious Audition , directed by cult auteur Takashi Miike (Ichi The Killer, Visitor Q). The man who kicked off the J-horror wave with Ring, Hideo Nakata, increases the tension, realism and unease in the urban nightmare Dark Water , since remade by Hollywood. Finally, Pan-asian auteurs The Pang Bros. bring their famed editing skills to bear on the horror genre in the tense, terrifying, The Eye.

 

(aka "Honogurai mizu no soko kara" or "From the Depths of Dark Water")

 

directed by Hideo Nakata
Japan 2002

 

DARK WATER, Hideo Nakata's follow-up to his successful THE RING (RINGU), tells the story of Yoshimi (Hitomi Kuroki) who is in an intense custody battle with her husband over their 6 year old daughter Ikuko (Rio Kanno). Needing to show herself competent, Yoshimi rents an apartment in an old building and looks for a job. The apartment is dank but livable with only a slowly-spreading water stain on the ceiling. Ikuko finds a Hello Kitty bag (which reappears no matter how many times Yoshimi throws it away) and starts to hear footsteps in the overhead abandoned apartment. Yoshimi learns that a little girl living in the apartment above mysteriously vanished a year before and after catching glimpses of a DON'T LOOK NOW-esque child-size figure in a raincoat starts to look into the disappearance as others start to question her sanity and ability to take care of her daughter who seems to be in supernatural danger. DARK WATER arrived in the US some time after its release (around the time of its American remake) and audiences who had seen plenty of post-RINGU Asian horror movies (as well as many "am I insane or are ghosts real?") will know the score but DARK WATER hits the right emotional notes during its climax and its ending is satisfying without condescending to a final shock.

In AUDITION, widower Shigeharu (Ryo Ishibashi) is talked into holding auditions to meet a woman by his business partner. He becomes interested in shy and demure Asami (Eihi Shiina) and sets about courting her only to discover twisted and grisly reasons for Asami's elusive and evasive manner. Audiences familiar with the work of Takashi Miike know not to be fooled by the sedate arthouse pacing of the film which actually works in the film's favor leaving the viewer unnerved but totally unprepared for the descent into the extremes of the film's last third.

In THE EYE, Mun (Angelica Lee) who has been blind since childhood receives a cornea transplant and regains her sight. The unnerving blurred peripheral figures that plague her restored vision soon make themselves more evident as ghostly apparitions. With the help of a young doctor/love interest, Mun searches for the identity of her eye donor and discovers that it was a Thai girl who was persecuted after foreseeing a fiery accident with multiple casualties and her abilities seem to have been passed on to Mun. Despite the many Asian horror tropes on hand, THE EYE is sufficiently unnerving and suspenseful for the most of its running time and would have been satisfying had it ended on the restrained "acknowledging the dead" climax but the Pang Bros. follow that up by decimating hundreds of extras (and a poor CGI rat) with a needless fiery surprise "it's not over yet" ending (then followed by a bittersweet coda). The film spawned two unrelated sequels (the third is a horror comedy).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 19 January 2002 (Japan)

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DVD Review: Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:36:54 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.77:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.83 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Japanese DTS; Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.77:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (16:9; 1:10)
• Trailers for HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS (16:9; 1:40), SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE (4:3; 1:41),
• SHIRI (4:3; 1:30), A SNAKE OF JUNE (16:9; 2:04), and PUBLIC ENEMY (4:3; 1:52)

DVD Release Date: 26 October 2009
Double Size Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

Palisades Tartan's ASIAN HORROR: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION is a repackaging of the now out of print Tartan UK releases of the films DARK WATER, AUDITION, and THE EYE with the same extra features and technical specifications. All three releases are dual-layer, anamorphic, and progressive presentations with rich Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks and 2.0 stereo downmixes (DARK WATER's aspect ratio is 1.77:1 but it is a smaller image within vertical and horizontal mattes so some releases might improve on that). Extras are minimal compared to the US releases (the contextual extras of THE EYE and DARK WATER consist only of the trailers along with Tartan's Asian horror trailer reels while AUDITION features an interview with the director).

In the case of DARK WATER, the US and UK releases are comparable extras wise (the US release features an additional English dub track) and the US DVD of THE EYE is a PAL-NTSC transfer and reveals slightly less peripheral information but offers a 15 minute making-of. If you won't miss the featurette, the UK disc is superior (the DTS tracks on the UK releases may tip the scale for some viewers). While the UK disc of AUDITION (Tartan's improved reissue not the stereo-only first issue) was superior to the previous US LionsGate DVD (which had some good extras but was a PAL-NTSC transfer), the DTS track is its only advantage over Shout Factory's BluRay (compared in full HERE) and double disc SD-DVD (which reserves the first disc for the film only to maintain a high bitrate). The availability of all three films together for £24.99 (roughly $40 on a good exchange day) or cheaper online.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
 

 


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(aka "‘dishon" )

 

directed by Takashi Miike
South Korea/Japan 1999

Theatrical Release: 3 March 2000 (Japan)

Reviews    More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:50:49 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Japanese DTS; Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1; Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• Miike on Miike: Interview at IFFR 2002 (4:3; Japanese with English subtitles; 11:25)
• Original theatrical trailer (4:3; 1:21)
• Miike Takashi trailer reel: VISITOR Q (4:3; 2:01); LEY LINES (4:3; 1:41); RAINY DOG (16:9; 1:26)
• DEAD OR ALIVE (16:9; 1:37); SHINJUKU TRIAD SOCIETY (16:9; 1:25); and
• HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS (16:9; 1:40)

DVD Release Date: 26 October 2009
Double Size Amaray

Chapters 16

 

 



DVD Menus
 

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Palisades / Tartan (Asian Horror Essential) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Shout! Factory (2-disc) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Palisades / Tartan (Asian Horror Essential) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Shout! Factory (2-disc) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Palisades / Tartan (Asian Horror Essential) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Shout! Factory (2-disc) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Palisades / Tartan (Asian Horror Essential) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Shout! Factory (2-disc) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


 

(aka "Gin gwai" or "Jian gui" or "Seeing Ghosts")

 

directed by Pang Bros.
Chinese / Thai / English 2002

Theatrical Release: 9 May 2002 (Hong Kong)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL vs. LionsGate - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. LionsGate - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

LionsGate
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:34:27 (4% PAL speedup) 1:34:30 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.44 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.80:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

LionsGate

 

Audio Chinese/Mandarin/Thai/English DTS 6.1; Chinese/Mandarin/Thai/English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX; Chinese/Mandarin/Thai/English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Chinese/Mandarin/Thai/English Dolby Digital 5.1; Chinese/Mandarin/Thai/English 2.0 stereo

Subtitles English, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:09)
• Teaser Trailer 1 (16:9; 0:45)
• Teaser Trailer 2 (16:9; 1:00)
• UK TV Spot (16:9; 0:30)
• Trailers for GOZU (4:3; 1:44), VERSUS (16:9; 1:30), TALE OF TWO SISTERS (4:3; 1:49); PHONE
•  (4:3; 1:13); BATTLE ROYALE (16:9; 1:40); and BATTLE ROYALE II: REQUIEM (16:9; 1:28)

DVD Release Date: 26 October 2009
Double Size Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: LionsGate

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.80:1

Edition Details:
• MAKING OF THE EYE featurette (4:3; 15:04)
• US theatrical trailer (4:3; 1:49)
• US TV spot (4:3; 0:31)
• Trailers for MORVERN CALLAR (4:3; 1:53), THE HOUSEKEEPER (4:3; 1:56), and DIRECTOR'S LABEL
• (4:3; 4:41)
• Weblinks

 

DVD Release Date: October 21, 2003
Amaray

Chapters 24

 



DVD Menus
(
Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. LionsGate - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. LionsGate - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample

 

 


(Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. LionsGate - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. LionsGate - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Palisades Tartan (Asian Horror: The Essential Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. LionsGate - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL




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