Three… Extremes is not the first Asian horror anthology of this kind, what started it all was Three that came out two years earlier, when someone had the idea to get together three directors from three different countries to direct three movies. The film makers on the agenda were South Korean Kim Jee-woon (A Tale Of Two Sisters, I Saw The Devil – both great, I can't recommend them enough!), Thai Nonzee Nimibutr and Hong Kong native Peter Chan that I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard
In 2004 they decided to turn it up a notch with Three… Extremes getting some of the biggest names in the movie industry of the far east with the likes of Fruit Chan, Chan-wook Park (Vengeance Trilogy,The Handmaiden) and Takashi Miike (Audition, Visitor Q, Ichi The Killer) – you know when directors like these are in the project some sick and twisted magic will happen.
Director: Fruit Chan
Writer: Pik Wah Lee
Many of you might know Dumplings as the full length movie and that’s how I saw it the first time too, but this anthology is where it spawned from. The interesting concept of eating special filled dumplings for rejuvenating reasons is still there, but trust me, this 35 minutes long version is much better. It's literally the exact same film, only trimmed down of the uninteresting and pointless parts and with the bonus of a much better ending. Better how? More twisted, disturbing and cringy – very important factors for me when I rate a movie.
Directed and written by Chan-wook Park
This second segment is the story of a very not successful actor that seeks a bloody and degenerated revenge against a director (who was also in I Saw the Devil and a bunch of American block busters) he worked with and the director’s wife (from Oldboy and Lady Vengeance ). The WTF factor and some gore are there but it didn’t grip me as much as I thought it should, plus that are a few inconsistencies that made me scratch my head.
Chan-wook Park, I know you can do much better than this.
Director: Takashi Miike
Writers: Haruko Fukushima and Bun Saikou
This is the last and best segment for me, suspenseful, creepy and keeps on giving you something to gasp at every turn. Box is the story of a writer and how she deals with some traumatic events she went through as a child while working in a freak show (that would probably scar anyone for life). But what really happened and how does it affect her life today? The answer is: I have no clue. This is one of those stories that makes you wonder what you just watched and even though it leaves many unanswered questions, I still loved it for the way it captured my attention from the very first to the last minute.
I very much enjoy anthologies but this doesn’t really feel like one for a few reasons, I don't mean this as a critique, but first of all, the segments are much longer than your average of 15 or 20 minutes and also don’t have anything in common, saying that I still thought Three... Extremes was a solid collection... for the most part. I’m looking at you Chan-wook Park.
Written by Mags
WARNING! Don't watch this, it totally gives away the ending of Box.