October 23, 2005

THE WIG (2005) - R3 Special Edition DVD review

THE WIG (a.k.a. SCARY HAIR) - Korean Region 3 Special Edition DVD (released by BEAR dvd)

American action-horror films like FINAL DESTINATION that combine chills with gore, also have release mechanisms where humour can relieve the suspense and horror. Good Japanese and South Korean horrors rarely let you off the hook so easily... On top of that, THE WIG also gives you a raw taste of the emotional impact of, say, a nasty car crash.


THE WIG is a dark, gut-wrenching, deeply emotional chiller, that injects more than its fair share of shock moments and visceral horror. I was expecting the chills, based on the scary effects that Sadako's long black hair have in the RING movies. What I also got was an emotionally intense drama comparable to A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, yet much faster paced. There were also violent moments I'd expect in OLDBOY but not here. So basically my expectations were way off, THE WIG delivers the creepy chills, but much more.

The high quality of directing, cinematography and acting defy the basically silly premise of a haunted wig. I would even recommend that the title be renamed to give the film a better chance internationally. Imagine if RING had originally been called THE VIDEOTAPE, what chance would it have stood? So far the only alternate title to be used is SCARY HAIR, which makes this excellent film sound like a Troma flick. If you're not convinced, try out one of the online trailers (search Twitchfilm.net for details).

The Special Edition DVD from Korea is a region 3 NTSC on one disc, with the film's 1.85 aspect ratio anamorphically presented. The beautifully mixed audio is also included in an extremely effective DTS track, if you want to jump that little bit higher during the shock moments. The English subtitles are well-translated, though probably don't do justice to the subtleties of the script. Signs, headlines and other written text are translated too.


A generous amount of extras includes extensive behind-the-scenes footage of the film's many FX sequences and the actors enduring their most emotional scenes. THIS FOOTAGE CONTAINS MANY STORY SPOILERS so please don't watch it before seeing the film. There's also footage of the photo-shoot for the posters and publicity art. These beautiful photos are faithful to the gloomy and colourful look of the final film. Thankfully the action in the featurettes is self-explanatory because none of the extras are subtitled. There is also a 2002 short film from the director, also unsubtitled, and 2 trailers for THE WIG.

Max

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