Encapsulated Cinema: Ghastly, Head, and Midnight FM

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Ghastly (2011)
There aren’t too many movies out there that feature a small children stabbing their classmates in the neck with number two pencils. As you can probably imagine, there’s a very good reason for that. Director Yang Yun-Ho’s disturbing little horror flick “Ghastly” breaks a number of interesting taboos, and, truthfully, it’s the only remarkable thing about the flick. Outside of a few gasp-inducing moments that are ultimately too few and far between, “Ghastly” is nothing more than your standard, run-of-the-mill, “oh my god our child is possessed” motion picture. Lee Hyung-Suk’s turn as the demonic Bin, however, is quite unnerving, especially considering he’s only 11 years-old. Otherwise, it’s forgettable.


Head (2011)
I really hadn’t heard too much about director Cho Un’s action/thriller “Head” until it randomly found its way onto my television screen. To my complete surprise, this darkly hilarious endeavor — a twisted little yarn centered around the world of human organ smuggling — is as suspenseful as it silly. This balancing act isn’t without its hiccups, of course, but chances are you’ll be having too much fun to notice. Fans of veteran actor Baek Yoon-sik will get a kick out of his portrayal of the villainous Baek Jeong, a nasty little bastard who will stop at nothing to retrieve a severed head. If the fight scene inside the nursing home doesn’t make you smile, then there’s something wrong with you.


Midnight FM (2010)
During her last shift as a late-night radio host, troubled journalist Sun-Young discovers that a psychotic fan has kidnapped her daughter. His only demand: Replay key songs from Sun-Young’s career as a DJ, a request that proves harder to fulfill than one might imagine. Although the premise sounds highly illogical, Kim Sang-man’s “Midnight FM” is actually quite thrilling, especially for a movie that requires a very strong suspension of disbelief. Soo-ae and Yoo Ji-tae are fantastic, and effortlessly con you into believing this sort of nonsense could actually transpire. Still, the music references are fun, and the tension remains solid throughout. A fantastic South Korean thriller from top to bottom.

Author: Todd Rigney

Todd was raised on a steady diet of Hollywood blockbusters, late-night Cinemax programming, and USA’s “Up All Night,” which may explain why his taste in movies is more than a little questionable. When he isn’t providing news and reviews for Beyond Hollywood, he can be found lounging lazily on his couch, perched in front of his television, or dwelling in places where direct sunlight can be easily avoided. He's happily married, in his 30's, and totally badass. If you'd like to reach Todd, you can follow him on Twitter or send him email/scoops to todd (at) beyondhollywood.com.