[edit] # 15:58
Folktales Alive!

In OAN HON (SPIRITS) Victor Vu brings a slice of traditional ghost telling to the celluloid screen. Using the haunted geography of a house at an unspecified locale in Vietnam as the focal point of three stories with a common character - a writer named Loc - Vu attempts to give vision to the traditional VN ghost story.

In the first vignette, Loc walks by what appears to be an abandoned house where he finds a young woman, Hoa (played by Katherine Nguyen) cooking in the back. The woman is very nice, but reticent about how she came to be alone in the house. The truth of how she came to be there is soon revealed after Loc sleeps with her. Each of the three stories progress roughly in the same fashion, with the shifting main character of the piece seeing things that are not based in reality. And then each piece ending with a reveal about a dark secret, which is inevitably about death. Throughout all three stories, Loc is pivotal in the piece, though not always the main character.

The fright scenes aren't very scary, though Vu does make a valiant effort, using a fright aesthetic similiar to that of current Korean and Japanese directors (mainly from movies such as RINGU and A TALE OF TWO SISTERS). The stories feel like updated folktales and all but one of the outcomes were predictable (to me at least; CW said he guessed all three). The three pieces were all extremely well acted, given the brevity of each vignette. Tuan Cuong* as Loc and Kathleen Luong as Linh did especially well in their portayals as anguished individuals, playing melodramatic roles without overt melodrama. The piece works really well if seen in the light of creating a piece that gives props to Vietnamese ghost stories. A good well-acted small film.

*As a weird aside Tuan Cuong looks like a Vietnamese version of CW. Can you see it?

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Watch out for the!!
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Look into the Dep(p)ths of the Story
Zom Rom Com
Rabbit Food
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Do you think you're what they say you are?


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