Three Extremes is a horror compendium from three of the most talented directors working today, although it’s far from the kind of clunky Twilight Zonery you’ll find in most examples of this genre.
The first segment by Fruit Chan is probably the most straightforward of the three, telling the story of a back street abortionist who sells the aborted fetuses as dumplings that promote youth and beauty. It aims straight for the gross out factor and although succeeds in making the viewer uncomfortable it fails to really explore the subject; it is done with some considerable visual style however.
The second by Chan-wook Park is a beautiful looking tale about a film director who wakes up on his own film set having been kidnapped by a disgruntled extra who tells he he must murder a child or his wife will be tortured to death. The concept obviously has a lot in common with A.D.H.D. teen-pleaser Saw but it is done with considerably more style and wit and is tinged with black humour. I found the twist at the end a little unsatisfying and unnecessary but otherwise it’s gripping.
But the best is saved for last as Takashi Miike’s extraordinary talent for the macabre tells the haunting story of an authoress who is plagued by horrific dreams that are rooted in a tragic event from her childhood. Both beautiful and disturbing, it’s reminiscent of David Lynch’s most powerful imagery.
As a whole, Three…Extremes is an unusual and visually stunning horror compendium that will please those with a taste for the macabre.