J-HORROR THEATER #3
Region 2 PAL DVD (from Tartan Asia Extreme)
A marvellous scary new horror film
What is it about Takashi Shimizu’s films that frighten me so much? I’m glad they do – there’s so little else that does. Watching Reincarnation, I was already creeped out before the opening titles had run.
During a wave of hauntings, a movie director begins making a film about a real-life mass-murder from 35 years before. He takes his cast and crew to the abandoned hotel where it all happened. One of the actresses he has cast seems all too familiar with the case…
Shimizu reuses his device of disconnected strangers slowly linking up, and also uses familiar methods from Ju-on to show ghosts appearing, but he builds on his old methods to portray a harrowing descent into a time and place we’d rather not be… smack bang in the middle of a spree-killing in progress. I was reminded of the atmosphere of dread that director Gus Van Sant elicited in Elephant - a powerful evocation of the day of the Columbine High School shootings.
There are many startling scenes, brilliantly staged and filmed. A clever and ghastly nightmare – this is easily the best of the J-Horror Theater films, and at the moment I’ll say it’s the best Takashi Shimizu film yet. I’m saying that speaking as a big fan of The Grudge/Ju-on movies too.
Once again, the UK DVD art is unimpressive (at top). With cover art this vague, the film won’t sell on the title alone, given the weak and unscary films that have dealt with reincarnation in the past. The creepy covers and posters used in South East Asia may have shifted a few extra copies.
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TwitchFilm has a bevy of trailers and more stills...
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