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BLOODY REUNION
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Reviewed by: Jamey Hughton

Directed by: Dae-wung Lim

Starring:
Mi-hee Oh
Ji-hyeon Lee
Seol-ah Yu

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Old elementary school friends decide to get together for a reunion to see their ailing and wheelchair-bound former teacher, Mrs. Park (Mi-hee Oh). The view is just wonderful from Mrs. Parkís lakeside cottage. Unfortunately, most of the students have reasons to harbor strong grudges against her because she belittled and abused them in the past. Cue a psycho killer in a rabbit mask and a steadily increasing pile of bodies.
Is it good movie?
BLOODY REUNION (aka TO SIR WITH LOVE) owes a lot to slasher movies like FRIDAY THE 13TH and APRIL FOOLS DAY, but itís a helluva lot better than most DTV sludge that passes for decent horror these days. Itís a product of South Korea, and anyone familiar with Takashi Miike (or the fact that about 50% of modern American horror movies seem to be remakes of Japanese works) knows that Asian filmmakers often have a flair for intensity, and lots of the red stuff. BLOODY REUNION has a familiar plot structure, but itís made with energy and obvious regard for characterization, location and suspense. It also has some intense murder sequences and memorable shock moments. Some do involve torture, but instead of being exploitative and lingering over disgusting images, the movie comes across as clever and twisted in all the right ways. Letís just say it had me at razor blades and boiling water.

As the movie gets rolling, itís fun to watch the students each reveal what could be their own personal motive for murder, as memories of Mrs. Parkís ill treatment surface in the table conversation (seems the woman was a total bitch and a terrible teacher).The acting is mostly very solid and a few characters, like the former taunted fat girl turned skinny and the injured past athlete, are actually given some definition. A great location adds a lot to the filmís creepy vibe, and director Dae-wung Lim delivers a polished-looking product, deliberately paced until the titular reunion turns, well, bloody. And the title isnít false advertising, folks. The knifings, staplings and buckets of blood offered up here will have gore enthusiasts happier than pigs in shit.

Only in the last 15 minutes or so does BLOODY REUNION really stumble. The ending tries to pull the carpet out from under the viewer, and in doing so makes most of the movie inconsequential. I didnít care for the detective procedural that bookends the film at all, but the gory slasher-fest wedged in-between is fun shtuff. Thereís so many utterly unoriginal, and amateurishly made, horror movies made these days; itís refreshing to see something done with style - even if itís little more than a knock-off with a better-than-average concept.
Video / Audio
Video Anamorphic Widescreen

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or DTS Surround Sound 5.1, with optional English and Spanish subtitles
The Extras
The Making of Bloody Reunion A lengthy featurette with lots of interviews; mostly itís just a casual glimpse into the goings-on around the set.

Interview with Director Lim Dae-Woong

Three Deleted Scenes, with optional director commentary.

Special Effects and Make-Up A look into the ghoulish effects and prosthetics used in the film, which for some reason eventually turns its focus to location and story themes (?).

Also included is a Photo Shoot, the filmís Original Trailer, and a gallery of other releases from the same company, Tartan Asia Extreme.
Last Call
Splashy gore and creatively gruesome death scenes make BLOODY REUNION a most entertaining diversion for any fan of slasher movies. Thereís hardly anything new here, but the story is effective and twisted, and the blood flows in liberal portions. The ending is a cop-out, but BLOODY REUNION has enough memorable moments to remain an inspired take on the slasher genre.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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