One Missed Call (dir. Takashi Miike): over-the-top approach smothers observations about families and chaos in the world

Takashi Miike, “One Missed Call” (2004) Coming from Takashi Miike (of “Ichi the Killer” fame), this contemporary update on the Japanese psychological horror ghost story in which a group of university student friends is terrorised by death notices from the future on their cellphones and one by one succumbs, in usually gruesome and violent fashion, …

Pan’s Labyrinth: film of dark fantasy, horror and historical drama that inspires hope and courage

Guillermo del Toro, “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) This is an excellent film that successfully combines dark fantasy and horror with historical drama set in fascist-ruled Spain in 1944 to inspire people with hope and courage. The Spanish Civil War has ended several years before 1944 with the triumph of General Franco and his forces though rebels still hide …