ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Re-cycle (2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Oxide Pang Chun
Danny Pang

Starring:
Sinje Lee/Ting-yin
PLOT-CRUNCH
A successful hottie novelist (Lee) sees herself haunted silly and then launched into an “another world” when tackling her new book… one about spirits. HAVE A BLAST!
THE LOWDOWN

"We are all here, just because we are a group of abandoned." 

I had no idea what RE-CYCLE was about when sitting down in my theatre seat. All I knew is that it was the new Pang Brothers movie and that was enough for my ass. Having loved their breakout film THE EYE and appreciated on some level THE EYE 2, I always anticipate whatever project their names are tagged on, whether together or individually. Hit or miss, one thing is for certain with these champs, you’ll usually get pleasantly visually assaulted with their films. In Re-cycle’s case that was an understatement.

Re-cycle almost played as two films within one. The first 45 minutes or so was The Dark Half meets The Eye, with a compelling initial premise of a writer seeing her words come to life with all kinds of creepy spirit shenanigans whopping in. The fear set pieces here put the ones found in their debut to shame. I jumped out of my seat like a frog with a firecracker up its cracker and was creeped out many oh times. The Pang Brothers were obviously on top of their game with the commanding use of stylish images and the effectual use of eerie sounds teaming up to scaring my socks off silly. Granted it did feel like a Pang Brothers “Best of” at times with elements lifted off both The Eye and The Eye 2. But on this run, their talent was obviously better tuned and more bucks was on the screen. And then it happened.

The film pulled a fast one on me and what was so far a semi claustrophobic and nerve tingling ghost in every corner story became an epic “Alice in Horror Land” adventure, with a neato concept (think a PC Recylcle Bin but for spirits) and that also reminded me so much of the recently released SILENT HILL, the good parts. I was agreeably dragged into countless other worlds one that had to be seen to believed. I don’t want to reveal too much but I’ll say this to tantalize you: “an amusement park from hell with a pendulum swinging pirate ship”, “a maze of live, dangling from the ceiling fetus…under red water”, “a raining of live undead cadavers” and…well you know what…that’s all I’ll disclose. The film really went all out in sucking me in these awe inspiring, gorgeously morbid and totally far-out settings. And the polished imagery, insane camera shots, brilliant used of color palettes and the overwhelming score tagged to them made it all so much more hypnotizing. Now that’s what I call an ambitious film and then some!

Aesthetic delicacies weren’t the only thing the film on the menu. Throughout its trek a couple of well-placed human themes were sneaked in. Now I won’t list them all but lets just say that “abandonment” was a strong idea here and when applied hard enough, I was touched and moved by it. Tag to all that, a strong, endearing and emotional lead in actress Sinje Lee for us to hold on to, a couple of predictable yet still stirring “surprise relationships”, genuine moments of pure tension and a twist ending that didn’t make total sense but yet did and you get one for the freaking horror book of classics. Any negatives to puke out! Well the film did get redundant at some point (I don't need to hear the description of the area 3 times), went on for a tad too long and the basis behind the madness worked but didn’t fully hold together when looking back.

With that Kit Kat spat, I’m giving this film a perfect score none the less. Why? Because I haven’t seen this much spirit, overall superior artistry, LSD crazy creativity and eye-popping horror friendly scenarios in a long time. Not to this degree. This flick aimed higher than aiming higher than the norm and it the mark 95% of the time. Now this is a f*cking horror film! Get recycled with Re-cycle!

GORE
There wasn’t really any gore in this film but disturbing imagery? In the f*cking truckloads. The Pang Bros really let their imagination run wild with this one and the horror heavy images and set pieces that resulted were better than any slit throat.
ACTING
Sinje Lee (Ting-yin) was incredible. She had so many emotional plateaus to communicate and she hit them all with gripping vulnerability, strength and focus. She was the center of the film and she never let me down. Pretty hot to look at too! NOTE: Whoever played the little girl also deserves a high five and hit for a job well done. Grounded and credible.
T & A
Well if shirtless undead ghouls cranks your dial get the lube or sit on the drying machine. If not, none here and the film didn’t need it.
DIRECTING
WOW! Slick angles, gorgeous shot composition, flawless scene transitions, scenes filled with momentum or and feelings via their visual execution. I can’t praise the Pang Brothers enough on this film. Art in motion baby! ART IN MOTION! They just entered another into a higher league with this one if you ask me!
SOUNDTRACK
The score was powerful, moving and even at times overwhelming. It supported and amplified the striking imagery masterfully.
BOTTOM LINE
If by rule of middle finger you groove on the Pang Brothers' movies get ready to pop start a heart attack while watching Re-cycle. Incredibly creative, unpredictable, hypnotizing and daring, this movie was a feast on an aesthetic level and threw everything at us but the actual kitchen. IT BLEW MY MIND! It put on display the right dose of humanity to make me think, feel and even tear up near the end as well. Granted, it wasn’t perfect and went on for a tad too long but what was achieved more than made up for its slight boo-boos.

Films like these, with courage, vision and heart should be encouraged, especially in this day and age of endless products posing as cinema. Hollywood can kiss the Pang Brothers’ asses, cause they just easily buried everything that its done this year horror and non-horror wise with Re-cycle. May the Pang's first American film “The Messengers” be just as good as this one. Don’t pull a Hideo Nakata (The Ring 2) on us guys! You’re much better than that!
BULL'S EYE
The film's native title is Gwai wik and it cost 5 Million to make (the biggest budget the Pangs have ever tackled).

Sinje Lee also starred in the Pang Brothers' THE EYE

VISIT THE OFFICIAL RE-CYCLE SITE HERE

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12:38AM on 06/18/2010

Perfect!

I actually loved this film more than the arrow, because i did find it to be a PERFECT film. It was scary, sad, emotional, and i know this isn't a term you should use for a horror film...but the film was beautiful. The lead actress was incredible and the situations were amazing...and i'm not a crier but i SOBBED at one scene in this film towards the end...i think you'll know it.
Any flaws? None! Of course the ending didn't really make ANY sense to me, but i still loved it anyway :)
I actually loved this film more than the arrow, because i did find it to be a PERFECT film. It was scary, sad, emotional, and i know this isn't a term you should use for a horror film...but the film was beautiful. The lead actress was incredible and the situations were amazing...and i'm not a crier but i SOBBED at one scene in this film towards the end...i think you'll know it.
Any flaws? None! Of course the ending didn't really make ANY sense to me, but i still loved it anyway :)
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10:28PM on 08/31/2009
An very imaginative, atmospheric, deep, brilliant, horror/fantasy that I didn't want to end. I starts off like a normal asian horror movie but turns into something far more creative. It's kind of like Pan's Labyrinth but not as graphic and a little like Labyrinth but much darker, clearly it's not as good as those two but it's similar. It was very nicely filmed sported by a decent performance by the lead actress Angelica Lee. I was going to give this movie a four out of four star rating but
An very imaginative, atmospheric, deep, brilliant, horror/fantasy that I didn't want to end. I starts off like a normal asian horror movie but turns into something far more creative. It's kind of like Pan's Labyrinth but not as graphic and a little like Labyrinth but much darker, clearly it's not as good as those two but it's similar. It was very nicely filmed sported by a decent performance by the lead actress Angelica Lee. I was going to give this movie a four out of four star rating but because the ending didn't make much sense to me I gave it 3.5 stars. Overall a nice and different entry into the asian horror genre, but it's more of a dark fantasy to me. Recommended!
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6:36PM on 08/10/2009

A damned fine movie

To me, this movie was a well-done pastiche of The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, The Wizard of Oz, and as mentioned several times, Silent Hill. And yet, it is very much its own movie. Even though I disagreed with some of its politics, I still found it quite thought-provoking.
To me, this movie was a well-done pastiche of The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, The Wizard of Oz, and as mentioned several times, Silent Hill. And yet, it is very much its own movie. Even though I disagreed with some of its politics, I still found it quite thought-provoking.
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1:10AM on 07/13/2007
I enjoyed this film, up until the point where it descended into politics and promoted its anti-abortion message. I could have done without that; spoiled an otherwise great film.
I enjoyed this film, up until the point where it descended into politics and promoted its anti-abortion message. I could have done without that; spoiled an otherwise great film.
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10:39AM on 05/07/2007

DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN

I just saw this movie last night. Holy shit! I gotta agree 100% with Arrow's review - this was the best horror movie I've seen in years.
I just saw this movie last night. Holy shit! I gotta agree 100% with Arrow's review - this was the best horror movie I've seen in years.
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+0
1:50AM on 03/27/2007
My god, it was beautiful. I've been waiting to watch this film for a long, long time... I don't know why, since I've had the DVD sitting on my shelf for months. I bought it as soon as I could find it on the web, after Arrow's review, yet when it came, I hesitated. Broke it out tonight, it felt like it was time.

I'm not sure what to say. Parts of it felt like what Silent Hill (the movie) wanted to be. But it drew from such a more expansive and eclectic palette, that wouldn't be enough to
My god, it was beautiful. I've been waiting to watch this film for a long, long time... I don't know why, since I've had the DVD sitting on my shelf for months. I bought it as soon as I could find it on the web, after Arrow's review, yet when it came, I hesitated. Broke it out tonight, it felt like it was time.

I'm not sure what to say. Parts of it felt like what Silent Hill (the movie) wanted to be. But it drew from such a more expansive and eclectic palette, that wouldn't be enough to say. Arrow says it all best in his review. Just make sure you see this. My only quip is I was hoping for a few more minutes at the end, but... that's a preference thing.

Poignant, beautiful film that leaves you with a lot to think over.
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+0
6:39PM on 01/14/2007
I was in sheer awe of how beautiful this movie was. From the visuals of all the different worlds to the poignant connection that the characters shared, along with amazing acting. Excellent film and a great review.
I was in sheer awe of how beautiful this movie was. From the visuals of all the different worlds to the poignant connection that the characters shared, along with amazing acting. Excellent film and a great review.
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