In today’s horror, many films rely on shock value to get a reaction from the audience. Whether it be from an overabundant amount of gore or a heinously sick act, shocking viewers is becoming a regular and predictable staple in the genre. But where are the horror flicks that infuse surrealism with the terror? There have been many over the years, and they are generally considered cult classics—titles like ERASERHEAD, VIDEODROME, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, THE BEYOND, and many more.
I’m happy to announce director Juno Mak has reintroduced the world to surrealistic horror with his recent hit RIGOR MORTIS. This dark fantasy nightmare is a visual masterpiece that will entertain just as much as it terrifies.
If you are not familiar with RIGOR MORTIS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Well Go USA:
In this eerie and chilling contemporary action/special effects laden homage to the classic Chinese vampire movies of the 1980 s, writer-director-producer, Juno Mak makes his feature directorial debut. Co-produced by J-Horror icon Takashi Shimizu, and reuniting some of the original cast members of the classic Mr. Vampire series, RIGOR MORTIS is set in a creepy and moody Hong Kong public housing tower whose occupants we soon discover run the gamut from the living to the dead, to the undead, along with ghosts, vampires and zombies.
I was unsure about this film to start with…it took me a little while to get into it. But once I did, it blew me away. I haven’t had a film experience this satisfying in quite a while.
RIGOR MORTIS is shot well and looks amazing onscreen. The visual effects are stunningly good, but they also help tell the story. Some films have to use visuals to draw audiences; this one uses them the way they should be used: for plot advancement. The result is a horror-laced trek into the bizarre.
The story itself is a nice dose of originality as well. It is several tales woven into one, a sort of anthology that folds in on itself. This makes for an intriguing plot, and it will keep you riveted as the scenes play out.
And what a collection of scenes they are! RIGOR MORTIS is a feast for the eyes, to say the least. And what it lacks in subtly, it makes it for with blunt, in-your-face terror. This is one of those films that yanks you out of your chair and smacks you around for 90 minutes…then, just when you think its over, it gives you one last blast to annihilate your senses before it drops you back into your seat.
RIGOR MORTIS is a big win for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for original concepts in horror. Be prepared, though…you’re in for a heck of a ride. The film is available now in a variety of formats, but try to check it out on Blu-ray; the HD picture and sound are definitely worth it.