Imagery has always been an effective tool used in selling me on a movie. In the case of horror, this doesn’t necessarily rely on special effects or gore. My general rule of thumb is that I can tell if a movie is going to be good in the first five minutes. If the opening scenes grab my attention, then I’m in for some enjoyable viewing, if not, then the movie probably will suck!!!!
One of the best directors at opening a movie with dynamics and beauty, then continuing this momentum throughout the feature, is Tsui Hark (pronounced Choy Hok). He is a Chinese director that I have become familiar with over the last few months. In China, he is often mentioned in the same breath as Hitchcock and Spielberg. He has taken, from his years in America, an emphasis on production values and merged it with the beautiful energy of Chinese cinema, setting new standards with each of his releases.
Tsui Hark Bio
Tsui Hark is credited with giving Asian horror a much-needed facelift. His 1983, breakthrough classic “Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain” demonstrated the effectiveness of his cinematic vision. He continued to build on his skills: writing, directing, and producing a wide variety of movies. Finally with “A Chinese Ghost Story“, he was able to take Asian horror to a new level.
His accomplishments have always been achieved through his visionary style and storylines, rather than with gore and monsters. In issue #133 of Fangoria, Hark stated, “Thrillers and horror films take the daily life situation and enlarge them to the point where they are scary. So horror doesn’t need monsters and hopping vampires. Besides, you create a monster, then another, and it hurts the genre.” He also said in that same issues, that he was “interested in the cerebral aspects of horror”. Cool.
As always, I am trying to provide the most information I possibly can to help educate my visitors, as well as, myself. Please provide me with any pertinent information on this great director so that I may give him the fitting tribute he deserves. Also, if you haven’t seen any of his movies, start with “A Chinese Ghost Story“. You won’t be disappointed. Hopefully, Hark can do for the American horror scene, what he did for the Chinese.