Archive for Surreal

31 Days of Halloween – “Re-Cycle”

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by urbannight

My goal of doing something Halloween related every day failed miserably. I wanted the decorations out of storage on the first and didn’t get them out until the 12th. Three Tubs and half a box of Halloween décor, not counting the box full at work. I have one tub of Christmas décor. You can see which holiday has my devotion. The tubs have been stacked in the middle of the bedroom for two days now. I will work on that tonight.

Last night I went to a friend’s to watch a Chinese horror film. It received great reviews because it broke from the standard Hong Kong industry formula for Horror. That’s because it wasn’t’ exactly a horror film.

A novelist is at a press conference for the release of a film of her first trilogy, a romance in which the main characters die in the end. Therefore there love will be eternal and enduring and never ending. She also says she put some of herself into her female leads.

Her publicist announces the title and theme of her next book. A book she has not started and had not yet thought about. Now she has to start writing a supernatural novel named Recycle.

It doesn’t start well and her former lover has returned after 8 years. He was married when she was with him and he has now divorced. He had asked her to wait for him. She tells him that if she had waited for him she would have wasted 8 years of her life.

In the course writing, strange things start to happen as she starts to see the character she threw away and story elements she tests and discards. Then she finds herself pulled into another dimension, a dump of lost, forgotten, and abandoned things. Only two people really speak to her and they act as guides. One is an old man the other is a little girl.

The child helps her find her way back to the real world but can’t go with her because she will turn into a wandering spirit if she goes into the real world. She makes it back and sees herself at the computer, sending in her final revision. She tells her editor or publicist that she had to alter the main character because she put far to much of herself into the character and she had to change it to distance herself from it.

So does that mean the ‘her’ that made it back was a wandering spirit now? Because she was a story idea that got revised out and abandoned herself? This brings the ending of the movie back to a scary place.

But the center of the movie is less scary and very surreal. You find out that in the conversation with her former lover, she had revealed something painful and that was why they could not start over again and be together. It is probably why she had her lovers in her romance novel die in order to preserve their love. The strange world of abandoned things is a place in which she comes to terms with her own guilt and the choices she felt she had to make in her life. It reminded me of What Dreams May Come. It reminded my friend of Silent Hill, which I wanted to see but have not yet done so.

With the end shifting back into horror and two versions of the main character standing in the room together, it is a little confusing and you don’t know quite what it means. I would have preferred a less confusing end myself. But that is not at all uncommon in Chinese and Japanese horror films. Sometimes you see it in Korean Horror as well.

My friend kept saying it made it seem cyclical, like a cycle that was going to continue to repeat itself. I reminded her that the title was, after all, Re-Cycle. The clue was there the entire time.