Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Silk (Gui si)


After the sudden death of a Canadian photographer at the hands of a ghost child. A team of scientists trap the ghost of a young boy in a room with an invention called the menger sponge which traps electromagnetic energy. Hashimoto, the lead scientist and inventor of the menger sponge also develops a spray that when applied directly into the eyes enables a person to see the ghost at all times. Understanding the ghost however is more difficult then he imagined. The child moves his lips but no sound comes out and every day at the same time he stands at the door but cannot leave due to the menger sponges. Out of frustration, Hashimoto hires Tung, an esteemed detective specializing in lip reading and spotting the things most people miss. As Tung's studies begin to shed a little light into the project it appears his efforts are too little, too late. Hashimoto's funding is lost and the study is suddenly shut down. The sponges are then removed and Tung begins trailing the ghost. He becomes obsessed with discovering the purpose of this young spirit.

This is one of the most intelligent Asian ghost tales I've ever seen. The title Silk refers to a thin ectoplasm thread that emits from the ghost so it can connect to a live person and interact with them. By interaction I mean something like reaching directly into a persons body and squeezing their heart until they die. Locking eyes with the ghost invites the silk to enter into the person. Tung trails the ghost child but is always careful not to engage in eye contact. The kid is a total bad ass ghost and I was satisfied with him being the supernatural focus, then I met his mother. She's even more intense, they are looking to reconnect and thus far Hashimoto has prevented it. Big mistake Hashimoto!

The story sort of loses it's momentum in the last third of the film. Too many side stories are force fed into it, mainly Hashimoto's real motive. This is the same problem that “Armageddon”, which I reviewed early in October had. What's with Japanese sci-fi horror? Seems like they can't decide which angle to explore so they check them all into it. Unlike “Armageddon” though, this is still worth watching even with the branch off. The main story is still solid and the side stories remain loosely relevant as well. Overall, it's a cool story with a unique scientific edge.


Octopunk said...

Interesting. Sounds like Ghostbusters without the jokes.

JPX said...

I was going to make the same Ghostbusters quip! This does sound really interesting and I'm disappointed to hear that it falls apart in the final third due to too many side-stories. I've found that a lot of these J-horror films have an inconsistent tone. Check out The Host for a perfect example.