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Abnormal Beauty [Import]

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Race Wong, Rosanne Wong, Anson Leung, Michelle Yim, Cub Chin
  • Directors: Oxide Pang Chun
  • Producers: Danny Pang
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Cantonese Chinese
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Video Service Corp
  • Release Date: Jan. 17 2006
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000BVM240
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Product Description

In Abnormal Beauty, Jiney, a photography student, stumbles across a horrible car accident. After shooting the grisly scene, she becomes obsessed with photographing death. Although disturbed by her macabre fascination, she is overcome with excitement and satisfaction she has never before experienced. One day, she receives a video tape of a girl who has been beaten to death. But before she can unravel the mystery of the tape or her abnormal behavior, she is kidnapped and realizes the horror has only just begun.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's a Pang brother movie, it use most of the same things as usual. It's a decent movie. The main character was raped by her cousin when she was young and I can't love men ever since. But that is not all, the things in the past return to hant her in the present in a strange fascination for pictures of death, but that is the case until sghe discover strange tapes at her home. I loved it.
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i enjoyed the product a lot... pretty much like it was advised and even more... i can say im satisfied
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An artist obsessed with death takes 'snuff' photos of crime scenes. Not satisfied with this she pushes further until she is targeted by a snuff filmmaker. Extremely tense, powerful film. This is gory & tragic. It takes awhile to show the gore but once it starts it never stops. It's also got really well fleshed out characters & relationships. Worth watching many times.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0d99648) out of 5 stars 30 reviews
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0dae594) out of 5 stars The Most Underrated, Under-appreciated East Asian Horror Film of the Last Decade Dec 14 2006
By Anticlimacus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Fantastic Cinematography + Great Psychological Concepts + An Unnerving Finale = A Great Film

(Contains Spoilers)

Unfortunately, Abnormal Beauty is one of those films that will annoy a lot of people, because it does not have enough explicit violence to please the gorehounds, yet contains enough to anger everyone else. It seems that almost all of the negative reviews I've seen are either the gorehounds complaining about the first "boring" hour, or the fans of psychological horror complaining about the "gratuitousness" of the last half hour. I think they both miss the point. Just like the critics of Audition.

The violence is not gratuitous here. There is a heaping amount of character development in this film that sets up the finale. This is not empty, sensationalistic tripe that Hollywood loves to release (e.g., Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes, etc.). If someone insists that Abnormal Beauty is gratuitous, then they are effectively saying that explicit violence cannot be used in a film without being so. This is a closed-minded Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of the most blatant type.

The second most complained about feature of this film (following complaints regarding the violence) was the introduction of the killer. Critics claim that he is a Deus ex Machina. The critics are wrong. Abnormal Beauty is not a murder mystery. It's a psychological horror film. The filmmakers are not obligated to present a trail of clues for the viewer to make a probable, educated guess at the identity of the killer. The purpose of presenting the killer is to introduce the perfected state of Jiney's undeveloped psychological affliction in an attempt to cure her of that affliction.

Jiney spends most of the time BEHIND the camera, initiating her mental and sexual fulfillment by viewing the death of living things. At the same time, however, she's becoming more and more detached from reality. This is also manifested by the other subplots, which include her tormenting past and her dysfunctional relationship with her mother - events which she is unable to come to terms with.

Even after her semi-revelation, she is still deeply affected by the pictures that she finds in her locker. She's not fully cured of her affliction yet. Remember, the camera is an important symbol/analogy in this film. Jiney is so helplessly reliant on detachment that she desperately needs the camera to be turned against her. Enter the killer, who places Jiney IN FRONT of the camera, thus forcing her to face reality. This is essential for the filmmakers to culminate the underlying psychological concepts of Abnormal Beauty.

In addition, if I were a sadistic freak working in a library and saw a hot young girl check out a dozen works of literature featuring sadistic pictures, how the hell could I not take notice?

Another complaint of critics is the final scene, which reveals that the lead character killed her cousin. Critics claim that this is an ad hoc, after-the-fact invocation to cheaply explain the movie. The critics are wrong. The traumatic child-hood event at the very end of the film was not the origin of Jiney's psychological condition. That event was already introduced near the beginning of the film: Jiney was sexually abused by her cousin, and her mother didn't believe her. The fact that she pushed her cousin down the stairs is merely a reflection of the negative effects that that initial event had on her. Did you see her face while she was standing at the top of the stairs? It was blank and emotionless - completely detached. The final scene adds emphasis to her psychological breakthrough and reminds us of what she overcame - she is now living again.

And yes, this is much more demanding of the viewer's intelligence than all the carbon-copy garbage coming out of Hollywood nowadays. So this film may not be for the lazy. If you can appreciate smart psychological horror coupled with effective, explicit violence, then you can't go wrong here. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who can't appreciate one or the other, which explains the negative reaction to this film.

After reading online reviews and discussing this film with others, I am convinced that this is the most underrated, under-appreciated East Asian horror film of the last decade. I've seen 73 East Asian horror films. Abnormal Beauty is better than 70 of them. It comes second only to A Tale of Two Sisters and Kairo.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa117c81c) out of 5 stars overall, not bad at all.. Feb. 22 2006
By Woopak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I enjoyed the EYE and THE EYE 2, so naturally I was drawn to purchase this film. I have to say the Pang Bros. are making some of the cinematic films in the asian horror/ thriller genre. This film was directed by Oxide Pang (The Pang Bros. are identical twins). The Pangs have managed to get great performances from the actors/actresses who hasn't managed acting maturity in their previous movies.
The content of the Pang brothers' films are starting to mature as with potrayal of Karma/reincarnation in the EYE 2. This particular film deals with death and one's fascination and obsession with it. The story deals with 2 school girls(Roseanne and Race Wong, actually sisters in real life who make up the HK pop duo R2) Jiney and her hinted lover Jas. I know it is wierd and tiltilating.
Anyway, Jiney likes photography and gets obsessed with taking photos of death scenes. She got exhilarated and excited when she witnessed a car crash. Jiney develops a twisted hobby and as usual,(taking photos of dead fish, cats etc.) she attracts another in with this hobby, this "another" starts to toy with her. I won't give away the twists and turns but the person who toys with her is disappointing in a way.

However, the film itself has an eerie cinematic feel. The camera work is quite good and fresh, as with most of the Pangs' films. Basically, the "artful death photos" can be both a dark and creepy eye candy for the film. It has mild gore but not extreme.

As with the Pangs' other films, they develop great beginnings and they have a masterful way of putting characters in crisis. Their execution is truly fresh and the atmosphere emulates creepiness. It is the anticlimactic revelation of the villain that doesn't seem to fit but then sometimes, you say: "Why Not?" The torture climax seems like it didn't fit and was just added on to make the twist more shocking. In art, you have to know when to stop painting or else it all falls apart.
Overall, it is worth a look. If you are an ASIAN HORROR FAN, it may be worth the money. [3.5 stars]
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa117c78c) out of 5 stars Photos of Death: Pang Brothers' Solo Act with Stylish Cinematography May 1 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
After taking a picture of a traffic accident, a young, beautiful art school student Jiney (Race Wong) finds herself fascinated by photographed deaths. While Jiney finds inspiration for her works in her shooting deaths (including those of beheaded roosters), her behaviors lead her and her best friend Jas (Rosanne Wong) to unexpected consequences, mostly not very comfortable ones.

Hong-Kong film "Ab-normal Beauty" starts with an intriguing setting about a woman with traumatic past, and Oxide Pang tells her story with his stylish cinematography, one of the well-known trademarks of the Pang Brothers. However, the film's carefully prepared settings are replaced by something else in the second half, where you will see a familiar theme (which I'd rather not discuss here). All I can say is the film might have been better had it explored more the slightly lesbian-like Jiney-Jas relations (especially when they got surprisingly good acing from Race Wong and Rosanne Wong, real-life sisters)..

A few words about the background history of the film. After jointly making terrific "The Eye" and its so-so sequel, the Pang Brothers made an interesting move. That is, the brothers decided to make two movies, one by Oxide Pang and the other by Danny Pang, both of which are loosely connected to each other by one episode about a traffic accident. Oxide Pang made "Sei mong se jun" ("Ab-normal Beauty") while Danny made more light-weight and less successful "Ah ma yau nan" ("Leave Me Alone") starring Ekin Cheng and Charlene Choi. Both can be enjoyed as stand-alone film.

"Ab-normal Beauty" is worth a look for its visual techniques and fine acting. But all in all the film is one of the average Asian horrors which could have been improved with a better script or final chapter.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa117c804) out of 5 stars The Beatiful in the Broken Oct. 14 2007
By TorridlyBoredShopper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Bearing witness to death can create so many variations of intoxication, and moreso if one is visually inclined and talented on top of that. Enter Jiney, the main ingredient in our storyline, and a car accident she passes one day that finds her gradually becoming isolated as the days begin to pass, intrigued by the things she saw and took photographs of in that heap of lifelessness, constantly wanting more and more from the demise she had witnessed. And the means she finds to accomplish this growing addiction and what it begins to build - that is the Ab-Normal type of Beauty that seen in the house that the Pang brothers have construed.

The Pang brothers do amazing things on a visceral level with this movie, taking the main character and translating her talents into imagery that captures her emotions. That means some rather odd moments and some rather disturbing images but it also means that these same images find something beautiful sitting in the arms of stillness. The direction of this movie has even been termed as being "something like David Lynch," and that does capture a piece of the work. It limits it as well, because the shortcomings of Lynch are where the Pang brothers actually succeed. The plot pieces, the unfolding dynamic of the story; everything here fits together in a beautifully tangent portrait.

If you've seen their work before, you can imagine what the story entails. Its a deceptive type of work, however, and one that is sometimes labeled as horror and is sometimes labeled as drama but happens to be a hybridized variation of both. It has gore but isn't overwhelming, has plots that build but are not too slow, and is a piece of visual art that takes time to digest and makes the mind feel satisfied after-the-fact.
If you have no expectations going in, not expecting murder and not expecting sequels, then you'll certainly be pleased.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa117c780) out of 5 stars Ab-Normal Beauty Oct. 6 2010
By Carl Manes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Oxide Pang, one-half of the famous Pang Brothers, delivers this shockingly beautiful psychological thriller out of Hong Kong. Jiney is a young art student who becomes obsessed with death after capturing a fatal car accident on film. Her subject matter continues to grow increasingly morbid, but she is not the only one harboring dark fantasies and desires. AB-NORMAL BEAUTY is filled with extraordinary colors and artful framing, as Pang adapts the photographic medium into his shooting style through a number of stunning compositions. Race Wong is simply intoxicating as Jiney, drawing the audience into her deepening psychosis with a staggering performance and seductive charm. After a brilliant build-up, the film takes an unexpected turn when it places Jiney in front of the camera as she is attacked by a sadistic killer. While this drastic change in tone plays into the overall theme, it derails much of the suspense and anticipation developed early on. Pang also uses an obnoxious musical score where much more subtle cues would have proven much more effective. AB-NORMAL BEAUTY proves to be a fitting title for this gorgeous and unsettling thriller.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies