Friday, October 14, 2011

Dream Cruise (MOH)

Dream Cruise (2007) **1/2

In years past, Catfreek and JSP and JPX have occasionally reviewed these hour long "Master of Horror" films, and I've always silently judged the lot of you for padding stats. Then on the opening weekend of this year's thon, I saw that Chiller was running a marathon of them, so I decided to switch sides and join the padders.

This one is pretty much straight up J-horror with the slightly cool twist that it all takes place in a 40 foot yacht out at sea. An American guy living in Japan is having an affair with his Japanese boss' wife. The boss invites the two of them out for a cruise, with plans on killing them. But, Dexter-like, he stupidly plans to dump their bodies in the exact same place he dumped his first wife's body years before. She's been waiting for just such a screw up, haunting that little patch of ocean.

So she ends up possessing the boss and then taking on her own ghostly form, chasing the young couple around the boat, and ultimately into the sea. There's lots of stock J-horror images here, to the point that I wasn't as scared as I really expected to be. Octo has been writing a bit lately about how some of these national horror subgenres maybe overuse certain formal tropes, and I tend to agree. This is probably only the 4th or 5th J-horror flick I've seen, and I can already tell that the novelty is wearing off.

The messed up hair covering the face. The angular choppy crawling. The glowing greenish hue of the ghost. It was funny, at one point when the couple gets trapped upfront in the cabin, they bust through the floor to crawl underneath towards the back of the boat. As they're crawling, I was thinking, "Oh, in 20 seconds I know EXACTLY what I'm going to be looking at." And I could predict it down to every detail: the lighting, the staging, the editing...I easily could have taken over as assistant director that day.

Anyway, I suppose this was pretty much exactly what I would have expected from the MOH flicks. Fairly stock, but decent production values and some genuine chills.


DCD said...

Love it! The comment about J-horror "formal tropes" is right on. Although I'm sure I wouldn't have put it in quite such eloquent terms.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I laughed at the silent judgment bit! I picture you staring at your computer while shaking your head in quiet disapproval.

It's a damn shame the Masters of Horror series came to an end before it ever hit its stride. It could have been so much more!

Catfreeek said...

Number padder!

Octopunk said...

Ya chaitin' sonuvabee! I mostly stay away from these because of the silent judgement thing (me judging myself), and it tends to pay off as few of them are any good.

Nice Dexter dis.