ANOTHER HEAVEN was another millennium-era J-horror flick that I had meant to watch for years, until I noticed it was on Netflix of all things.
In our quest to find interesting Asian horror films to watch and recommend to readers, we often have to wade through a lot of rather worthless stuff... Let me temper my possibly extreme opinion about these kinds of movies by saying that NEIGHBOR No. 13 is by no means completely worthless.
It seems like retro Hong Kong cinema gets a bad rap by the public at large here in the west. Modern classics like Infernal Affairs and Iron Monkey either get remade by Hollywood or changed to the point of being unrecognizable, while countless influential films from Shaw Bros or Golden Harvest are enjoyed ironically while imitating the oftentimes bad English dubbing. I’m personally ecstatic to find out that the farther and farther I go back into the HK horror catalogue, I keep finding really solid films that stand on their own and are definitely worth watching today.
Western horror has a proud tradition of shlock. Whether it be the American classics of William Castle or the pure Italian cheesefests of Mario Bava, there are certain archetypes that while corny, are so beloved that we see echoes of these clichés in films to this day.
Thanks to the globalization of the media, western audiences have gotten more and more access to one of Japan’s more dubious exports, the world of “tarento.”