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Dead Waves
Dead Waves
Actors: Akiko Esaki, Oshihiro Wada, Masaki Miura, Shigenori Yamazaki, Asuka Kurosawa
Director: Yôichirô Hayama
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2006     1hr 17min

Language: Japanese, Subtitles: EnglishWhen ratings begin to slip for the network's "Spirit Sightings" program, Hiroshi Usui (Toshihiro Wada) prepares to tape and air the exorcism of a young girl named Runa (Shihori Kanjiya...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Akiko Esaki, Oshihiro Wada, Masaki Miura, Shigenori Yamazaki, Asuka Kurosawa
Director: Yôichirô Hayama
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Fantasy
Studio: Genius Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/11/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 17min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Dead solid creepfest
Evan Harris | 02/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I try not to judge books by their covers, but I have to admit, the picture on the cover of this movie was so intriguing, I had to see what it was about. What I expected was an intense, terrifying journey, what i got was a solid little frightflick. But i digress:

Dead Waves is about an ambitious young director(Kanji Furutachi) of an Exorcism show whose popularity is waning and he's asked by the network head to spice things up a little. He doesnt believe in the paranormal, he believes the people that he films are mentally ill as opposed to possessed, but anything that keeps people watching he's willing to do. If that means pretending that he and his crew are performing exorcisms, so be it. We also learn that he has just suffered a devastating loss; his girlfriend who had a history of depression committed suicide by jumping from her apartment balcony. Add to this the fact that his next episode features a girl very similar in situation to his former lover who insists she is not crazy, that there are spirits haunting her and her visibly distraught and controlling brother. He begins to take her case personally and makes it his mission to get her the medical help he believes she needs. As he is doing what he beleives is right for her, he has to re-evaluate what he thinks he knows about the spirit world, possession and his own show and how it could possibly affect not only him, but the world.

Dead Waves is an intriguing combination of alot of other Asain horror movies. While watching it I saw shades of Ringu, Kairo, many others that i probably havent even seen. It does have its own feel, but at times the scares seemed a little too borrowed. The movie over all though has alot of good creep moments and I like the conflict it presents internally to the lead character, especially when he learns what connection he may have had to his own girlfriends death. I also like what it has to say about television as voyueristic excess. How far is too far when your filming real peoples personal difficulties and boxing them up as entertainment? It poses some great questions about the power the meduim has over all of us and how destructive it has the potential to become.

The problems the movie has are few, but large. As I said before there are several moments that seem lifted directly from other Asian horror and personally i would like to see more of these types of stories told with a real desire to set themselves apart from the rest of it's established J-horror brethren. Second, the performances as a whole are engaging, intense and underplayed nicely, with the exception of the brother, who plays his role so twitchy and traumatized that it became a characterization of some sort of insanity as opposed to anything beleivable. Third, Im all for a director expressing himself ansd trying unorthodox things to do it, but there were a couple of things that I simply didnt get that obviously were suppose to mean something, the mian one being that there are several scenes where someone is cut or bleeding and the blood is very clearly presented as a different color, green or a vibrant yellow.That had me scratching my head. And lastly, something very apocolyptic is indicated in the movie and most of the movie is built up to this. When that moment finally arrives, the possible threat of said event stretching out to society as a whole is hinted at and then dropped like a hot potoato, I would have liked to have seen that acpect carried through to fruition, but alas, twas not to be.

Overall, it was an enjoyably creepy movie with a solid plot and some really good performances, but it felt like it promised more. More could have elevated the film to at least four star status with me, but as it stands, its a recommended movie, but not a must-have."
Good, for a J-Horror
Dancing Ganesha | Bangalore, India | 01/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"From all of the J-Horror and horror I've been watching lately, "Dead Waves," while it seems to suffer from a low-budget, really is much more interesting and intruiging.

I thought this film had an above average atmosphere, acting, and storyline. Some of the scares are genuinely creepy.

Watch this, and avoid some of the other films out there like "Carved" for instance. I would also recommend "Rampo Noir.""
Enjoyable...but faulted
Nathan Christian | Pitcairn, PA USA | 06/29/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I found this film to have a very interesting idea...but confusing in delivery. My first issue with it was the subtitling. It flashes to fast to read some of it. There are also sections of dialogue that there are so subtitles for, so you have no idea what was said. Sometimes the main character drifts in and out of a dream world, but you just aren't sure if what is going on really did happen then or another time, or is he just acting fruity and didn't notice a dead body in front of him. I didn't understand the laughing woman who opened a door several times and laughed or shrieked. By the climax of the story, I was confused as to what happened."