[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• TANAKA Tadashi
• AKIEDA Masayuki
• SUEMATSU Takahiro
• NOJI Chiaki
[ Cast ]
• MAEDA Atsuko NINOMIYA Asuka
• NARIMIYA Hiroki SASAHARA Shinobu
• KATSUMURA Masanobu NINOMIYA Isao
[ Staff ]
• Planning: AKIMOTO Yasushi
• Screenplay: KATO Junya
• Screenplay: MIYAKE Ryuta
• Music: KAWAI Kenji
• Cinematography: HAYASHI Junichiro
• Sound Recording: YANO Masahiｔo
• Editor: AONO Naoko
[ Production Company ]
NIKKATSU, KYORAKU, DENTSU, SHOCHIKU, Happinet
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Running Time: 106 min
Genre: Horror, Feature
Screening Format: DCP,Blu-ray,HDCAM
Screen Size: HD (16:9)
Sound Processing: Dolby Surround
[ Story ]
Paranormal horror film starring popular idol Maeda Atsuko and Narimiya Hiroki, directed by Nakata Hideo of Ring. Deftly brings out the madness and isolation that lurk in everyday life. Screened around the world, including the 42nd International Film Festival Rotterdam. Film commemorating Nikkatsu’s centennial.
The Kuroyuri apartment complex is besieged by mysterious deaths. Asuka (Maeda) unwittingly moves in, but from the first night she is troubled by strange noises coming from next door. Af ter an elderly man’s corpse is found in the adjacent apartment, Asuka becomes engulfed by a series of unfathomable events.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam, Spectrum
• 2013 Warsaw Film Festival, Special Screenings
The film opens, even before the titles, on an urban landscape devoid of human elements, made up of rather crumbling buildings. Immediately afterwards, the eye moves in an interior, apparently a family scene, in an apartment in which a move has just occurred: the camera frames with a nervous movement first the young Asuka, then a mysterious box and finally a child , his brother, who jumps out of another box for a game.
The desolation of loneliness, the restlessness (and the horror) of the unknown, the child-spectrum that breaks in to upset the existence of the living: a bit ‘a manifesto, this beginning of the work that marks the return of Nakata Hideo , key director of the so-called j-horror, author of films like The Ring and Dark Water, and also of less successful experiments, such as L: Change the World and Chatroom.
Asuka is a young nurse practitioner who arrives with her parents and younger brother in the new home. Immediately the girl hear strange noises come from the apartment that borders her room, and that is occupied by a lonely old man. After a moment of indecision, Asuka enters the neighbor and discovers the corpse of the man, with the nails still stuck in the wall that scratched in a desperate, how vain, request for help. In the meantime, the young woman knows a child with an apparently sweet character (Minoru), who always plays alone in the condominium garden. The mechanism is triggered: Asuka will be dragged into a chasm of guilt (for not helping the old man, but also, we find out below, for wanting to do at all costs a trip during which all the other members of the his family died in an accident), a horror more and more obvious, just because of the small Minoru, flanked by a boy (a cleaning company, came to clear the apartment of the dead) who had lived a dramatic experience a lot similar to his.
Nakata uses consolidated codes of the horror genre to weave a work that is not limited to wanting to arouse restlessness and repulsion, but also tells of the deep loneliness caused by the loss of loved ones, feelings of guilt that affect the human soul and alienation of life in a contemporary world made up of lonely people in cold and inhumane metropolises.
The director makes great use of intermittent lights that give instability to the shots, littering mirrors and glasses that frame a suffering heroine, that the camera follows at close range. But what is most surprising (and gives the viewer a pleasant restlessness) is perhaps the director’s move on the edge of an ambiguous mixture of genres and tones: the irony of the scene in which the parents (who died, let us remember …) they look at the daughter who speculates there is something strange in the next house and then re-enter in their surreal existence repeating again and again a same conversation (which had taken place many years before, when Asuka was only a child); the dark ritual staged by a mysterious medium with a group of improbable “vestals”, the “twist” thanks to which, after making us believe that the old man was the problem, we come to discover that the sweet little Minoru it’s not exactly what it seems …
An interesting work, which perhaps will not be welcomed with full favor by lovers of the genre, but which offers various noteworthy cues.
I close with a joke of the young cleaner of apartments of dead people, who tries to warn Asuka about the dead: “for them time has stopped, and sometimes even stops for the living”. The warning will not be enough to save the two from the hungry demons of human time.