Directed by: Takashi Shimizu
Written by: Takashi Shimizu & Masaki Adachi
Starring: Yûka, Karina, Kippei Shiina, Tetta Sugimoto, Hiroto Itô, Marika Matsumoto, Mantarô Koichi, Shun Oguri, Atsushi Haruta, Miki Sanjô, Mao Sasaki
Okay, so weird, creepy J-Horror pic from the director of Ju-On, Ju-On 2, Ju-On: The Grudge, Ju-On: The Grudge 2, The Grudge, The Grudge 2 and Marebito.
This is about an actress who gets a role playing a victim in a film based on a series of murders which happened thirty years ago at an old hotel. She begins to see the ghost of the little girl she's supposed to be playing, and gradually begins to believe that she is the reincarnation of her character.
There's some other majorly weird-ass shit going on - like there's this woman who's been having dreams about the hotel since she was a kid, who also believes that she is the reincarnation of the little girl - but that's the easiest to explain without getting totally muddled.
It's a pretty weird movie, and it really didn't help that the translation was extremely bizarre. It seemed like with the popularity of movies like Ring and The Grudge, they were in a real hurry to get all these other ones translated.
Anyway, despite the fact that it didn't make any kind of sense to me, it was still pretty good (I can't help but wonder if the reason it doesn't make sense is because I'm not used to Asian cinema - I mean, there were a few plot twists I wouldn't have even started to think of, and when one thing was really obvious, it never happened that way. And there was stuff in it that was just cruel - like, because the person was the reincarnation of the murderer, they have to suffer forever. How unfair is that?). I mean, it had a decent budget (which isn't always important, but when the movie looks like it's shot on friggin digital, it really distracts the hell out of me), it was really atmospheric, and pretty creepy.
There were a few shots of just weird shit, like trees full of dead faces, which freaked me out pretty good. Overall, though, it wasn't as disturbing as some of those other ones. I guess when you watch enough Asian ghost movies, contorted women with long black hair stop being all that frightening. Maybe. This one was actually pretty funny. I kept laughing at shit.
And there's the fact that the ghosts really don't do anything. They just stand there. At least the ones in The Grudge walk all over you, creaking.
Plus there's the whole Shining thing going on. (Woman goes to hotel where man brutally killed his wife and children (a theme which shows up in the Grudge movies, actually). She starts seeing ghosts and stuff and eventually recreates the murders. Sort of) It's like The Shining but with zombies.
I'm not entirely sure why there are zombies, there just are. Zombies, and this scary fuckin doll thing, with it's eyes really far apart. It was really disgusting looking, actually. Although, it kind of looks like a girl I know...
But anyway, mildly spooky, if run-of-the-mill, Japanese horror movie, recommended to fans of the genre (I hate it when people say shit like that in reviews - "Recommended to fans of the genre - others stay away". I mean, what the hell do they think we are? Oh well).