Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Aya Sugimoto, Chinatsu Wakatsuki, Shun Oguri, Itsuji Itao, Erika Sawajiri
Director: Takeshi Furusawa
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Section23 Films Release Date: 07/17/2007 Run time: 90 minutes
Not unique, quite typical, but has its scary moments..
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 06/25/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"GHOST TRAIN (aka: Otoshimono, Lost Property) is the latest installment in Japanese horror. Director Takeshi Furusawa obviously has watched and has been inspired by a lot of J-horror films, it shows in this movie, the usual formulas are present in its sequences: a complicated backstory, scares that make you jump, the usual creepy music, a vengeful longed-haired ghost and a child ghost in makeup.
Synopsis partially derived from back cover:
"Whoever picks up this railway pass will die".
High school girl Nana(Erika Sawagiri) thought her life was complicated enough. Her graduation is looming, her ailing mother is in the hospital, and her sister Noriko is in a constant need of attention. But, the train ride between all her responsibilities will prove to be the most horrifying part of her day. Somewhere, deep underground in the tunnel near Mizunahsi Station, a dark spirit yearns for revenge. One by one, people begin to mysteriously disappear. Eventually, Nana's own sister falls prey to the wicked tracks. Together with her friend Kanae(Chinatsu Wakatsuki), they now take one more trip into the supernatural and confront the sinister and malevolent force haunting below the depths. Together they must uncover the truth, but terror awaits them as the hand of death comes ever closer.
Although Ghost Train may be considered a typical J-horror flick, taking gimmicks from more popular Japanese Horror films,(Ringu, Ju-on, Kairo, One Missed call) it does have its redeeming moments. Furusawa has spent a lot of time as an assistant to Kiyoshi Kurosawa(Pulse aka: Kairo), so his skill for intense thrills have been developed. Furusawa's skill in direction shows--1)A very cool sequence where the camera builds tension by focusing on Nana in a dark apartment while the viewers are aware that the ghost is the same room, 2)editing is very creative during the scene of Kanae's possessed boyfriend, and 3) the killer third-act sequence that involves a huge rocky mound that the main character must climb, whereupon the "rocks" reveal themselves to be corpses and she must flee, the corpses chasing her in a ghoulish wave of crawling physical distortion along the abandoned railway tunnels. These types of creative techniques assist the filmmakers in concealing the film's faults. Sometimes it seemed like Furusawa and the co-writer Erika Tanaka take the plot so seriously, that the heavy-handed direction (at times) seem to be draining all the fun out of the film.
To the film's credit, the supposed mystery at its core is much more complicated than it is when it was first suggested. Also, the film's main characters, Kanae and Nana's friendship, is actually quite effective. Chinatsu and Sawajiri make a cute and charming team of ghost hunters; that likeability makes them easier to connect with, although their acting skills are somewhat lacking.
I saw the region-3 release of this film that clocks in at 92 minutes. I try to avoid watching highly edited U.S. releases(not to say that this film's U.S. version will be cut). I read that the U.S. release(7/17/07) will be letterboxed with 2.0 Surround, still, its specs may change.
PICTURE: Anamorphic Widescreen. Video transfer is very clean and sharp, colors are good, and black levels are detailed.
AUDIO: Japanese 6.1 Dolby Digital/DTS-ES. The sound is very powerful and crisp. Subtitles are in English and Chinese. The English Subs are very good and well-timed.
In Closing: Ghost Train is not at all unique, it is a typical Japanese horror film. It relies heavily on creepy imagery and situational atmosphere inspired by other Japanese horror blockbusters. Attempts to steal from such a strongly influential tradition are to be expected nor a big turn-off--since these may lead to blockbusters. However, in my opinion, Ghost Train is average, It delivers a decent plot and a good number creepy/scary moments, but it offers the same tired gimmicks from all the other horror films that comes out from Japan.
Rental (3 stars)
Four stars for the scares
Dancing Ganesha | Bangalore, India | 12/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would say that the story and plot of this Japanese horror film is average, but it gets four stars because it truly has some chilling scenes that unnerved me.
Once again, Chinatsu Wakatsuki stars in yet another J-Horror (she can also been seen in Ju-On and Ju-Rei). Although not a conventional stunner (even though she used to be a gravure or bikini idol in Japan), she is a compelling horror genre actress, and her performances are still always subdued. She also co-stars with Erika Sawajiri (I've never heard of her until now).
Now, I don't know if it's just me, but did anybody else think that the relationship between the main characters was a bit overdone? Perhaps I'm jaded watching two young women crying inordinately over one another after just becoming friends (another reviewer referred to this as a maudlin relationship). These scenes were just a bit absurd to me.
In sum, the best thing about this film would be the genuinely creepy scares, but it's probably not something you'd want to own if you're a fan of other high quality Asian Horror.