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The Booth
The Booth
Actors: Maiko Asano, Makoto Ashikawa, Mansaku Ikeuchi, Hijiri Kojima, Masaki Miura
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     1hr 15min

Shogo (Ryuta Sato), the arrogant and condescending star of a popular call-in radio-show must temporarily broadcast out of Studio 6, a creepy and dilapidated booth abandoned since its last DJ committed suicide several years...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Maiko Asano, Makoto Ashikawa, Mansaku Ikeuchi, Hijiri Kojima, Masaki Miura
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Creators: Akihiro Kawamura, Nouaki Sasaki, Yoshihiro Nakamura, Hiroshi Matsuo, Fumiaki Furuya, Hirofumi Ogoshi, Satoshi Komatsu, Shinji Sakoda, Takeshi Moriya, Toshinori Nishimae
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Tartan Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/23/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 15min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Is It Ghost, or Is it your Imagination?
Maxi3D | Long Beach, Ca USA | 05/31/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Booth puts a whole new twist on your typical J-horror movie. This movie puts you in the shoes of the protagonist of the story. The director wants you to see what the protagonist sees and thinks.

The story is about perception of the people who works, lives, and loves of our protagonist, and how he perceives the people who surrounds him in an antiquated radio station DJ booth. The story peels back the layers of the main character like an onion in flash-backs as the movie runs its course, and from it we learned that things are not always the way it seems. The movie mostly took place in a small, out-dated radio station's studio with a very bad history, where the main character was forced to broadcast his talk show due to the radio station was in the process of re-locating. It is from this confined space that this movie thrives and makes you feel very claustrophobic and very paranoid. At time our protagonist can not determined the strange happenings in the old studio were caused by ghost or some conspiracy by his co-workers or it was all in his mind. What I like about this film is that the film-makers makes you see through the eyes of the main character and makes you as paranoid as protagonist did. This movie is a very smart, abide rather short 74 minutes film.

The special DVD features are few, one ten minutes behind-the-scene feature, and two cast and crew interviews during the film's release in Japan. All the features are in Japanese with subtitle."
Had The Makings Of A Great Dark-Comedy!
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 09/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Alright, it's almost 4:00 am in the morning, and my brain cells may not be working on all cylinders, but I really thought that this film could have been one hell of a great dark-comedy horror film. For those who have seen the film; they might know where I am going with this, for those who have not seen this film; I will not divulge anything in the film which will ruin it for you. Now, first of all: Is this a great film? No. Is it a bad film? No. The film centers on a DJ who dispenses advice on a late night radio talk show. Shingo Katsumata (Ryuta Sato) is described on the DVD case as an arrogant and condescending talk show host. Well, I don't know about that. Compared to some of the radio talk show hosts here in the States, he seems tame and charming.

Now, why did I think this film could have been a dark-comedy? Well, for starters, I thought it was hilarious the way Shingo kept making mistakes on the air, and the way that his fellow colleagues enjoyed the way he squirmed and wiggled his way out of these errors. Not to mention the callers to the station who kept putting him on the spot. Plus, actor Ryuta Sato showed that he has a tremendous potential for dark comedy, as he continuously gave off very nuanced facial and body traits, which showed how uncomfortable he felt with what was occurring to him over the airwaves. If the director were to change, or cut out the first 6 minutes of the film, and the last 5 minutes--this film would have been funny. I kept thinking how funny the film would have really been if director Yoshiro Nakamura had taken it in that direction.

Now, some reviewers have stated that this film is not scary. And they are correct. It is not a scary film, and if anything, it feels more like a drama with small bits of horror thrown in. Very tame horror I might add. I purchased this film back in January, and when I first saw it, I was surprised that the film was described as "CREEPY BEYOND MEASURE." Well, it's not. Anyway, I would recommend that you rent the film first before buying it. And if you do happen to see the film, watch the car scene with Shingo and his lady friend Mabuchi real closely. I thought parts of that were really funny. And while you're at it, watch Shingo's interaction with the Chess Master in the booth, and the way he answers the callers questions over the airwaves. Especially when he is called a Liar. There are some funny parts to this film. Either that, or at 4:00 am, I have one sick sense of humor."
This IS NOT a horror film, in fact it's not much at all.
John M. Zaranka | Plainfield, NJ | 12/04/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"There is nothing frightening about weird noises, angry phone calls and a DJ who won't leave the booth even though he has to take a pee and instead wets himself. As one reviewer wrote, there are a ton of flashbacks although the most important and relevant one is from a few hours before the DJ went on the air. As he gets the weird whispers over the phone, the callers start to ask him about those rather than the topic at hand. This starts to tick off an already arrogant person and he takes it out on the callers and the staff. There is a mixture of the "horror" he committed and the slightly weird things that are happening in the station. Oh yeah, the studio is creepy because of what happened decades before to another DJ.
This was not scary, creepy nor good. It was a waste of my time. Even though there were a couple twists at the end, they didn't work because I didn't CARE. There are a myriad of Asian films that deal with phones out there that are average to really good. Put a phone, a girl with long black hair and a person (almost always a woman)who will die soon if they don't solve something before they die all together and you have a winning formula for an Asian horror flick.
This isn't a bad movie, it's worse than that, it's boring. Which is a sin in any movie, much less in a supposed horror flick. Even so-so films in this genre avoid.
If you want to watch a mystery, then RENT this. If you are looking to be shocked, scared or frightened stay away. FAR away."
Another solid entry in Tartan's Asia Extreme series.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 06/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Booth (Yoshihiro Nakamura, 2005)

I love Tartan Films; they provide me with a steady stream of minor-league Asian flicks I'd never otherwise get a chance to see. The latest one to cross my path is Booth, a surprisingly quiet little drama (with horror elements, though it never becomes a flat-out horror movie) about a haunted DJ booth. Yes, if you've seen that episode of Night Gallery, this is going to look really familiar. The main character in the movie is Shingo (Ryuta Sato), a shock-talk DJ who hosts Japan's version of the hit American radio show Lovelines. During a station relocation, the show is forced to broadcast from the long-unused Studio 6, where it's rumored (we know it's true, `cause we see it in the opening scene) a DJ hung himself years before. Ever since then, the ghost of the old DJ has haunted DJs using the booth, or so it's said. And things start to go wonky pretty quickly during the show, as Shingo and his production team are beset by technical problems that sound suspiciously like someone cutting in during live call-in segments. The crowd, of course, goes wild, but Shingo is convinced it has something to do with his recently-ended relationship with a missing newsgirl. As the story progresses, Shingo gets more and more distracted, reliving the events leading up to the breakup.

This very short (one hour and fourteen minutes) movie takes place in very close to real-time, which is a tough thing for a director to pull off (just look at Snake Eyes); it works here, though, as Shingo's lapses end abruptly with callers or others in the studio prodding him. The tension mounts quickly, despite this not being a terribly fast-paced movie, and the central mystery of who it is that keeps breaking in on the line is well-structured and carried out in an almost classical mystery style. The end is just great--you see it coming, and you expect it, but the way it's filmed is interesting and somewhat original; Nakamura knows what he's doing, and I hope to see a good deal more from him in the future. ****

"