Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Kadokawa Horror Collection|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
Loaded with atmospheric terror and supernatural themes the four films in the KADOKAWA HORROR COLLECTION exemplify the late-1990s/early-2000s Japanese horror boom: in INUGAMI (2001) a cursed family accidentally unleashes it... more »
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Oh, the horror!
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 02/17/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The Japanese have a special talent for creating good horror, usually centered on horrific ghosts and unhappy outsiders -- nice cultural overtones there.
But the "Kadokawa Horror Collection" contains four of the more lackluster examples of the J-Horror genre -- "Shadow of the Wraith," "Inugami," "Isola" and "Shikoku." These movies are vaguely amusing in a brain candy kind of way -- pretty ordinary low-grade horror at best, dull and incoherent at worst.
"Shikoku" features a young trio: Hinako, Sayori and their mutual crush Fumiya were inseparable as children, until Hinako moved away. Now ten years have passed, and Hinako (Yui Natsukawa) returns to the old hometown -- but she finds that Sayori (Chiaki Kuriyama) drowned some years before, and Fumiya (Michitaka Tsutsui) is still haunted by her presence.
But ghosts are rising around the town, and a muttering old priestess is making her rounds, reversing the seals on temples -- and breaking down the barrier between life and death. As Fumiya and Hinako start to fall in love, Hinako begins seeing Sayori's apparition -- and finds that Sayori's mother is determined to bring her daughter back to life.
"Inugami" are a problem in the sleepy village where middle-aged Miki Bonomiya (Yuki Amami) has buried her tragic youth. But all that changes when teacher Akira Nutahara (Atsuro Watabe) arrives at the village, and the two quickly fall in love. Suddenly Miki is acting oddly, and strange deaths are occurring around the village -- supposedly by the "inugami," dog spirits that the Bonomiya women control.
Miki is blamed for these, and the village begins to turn against the Bonomiyas -- and the Bonomiyas start to turn against each other, with madness and suicide. Akira is desperate to get his beloved out of the village, but can he fight against the entire Bonomiya clan -- and against the shocking connection he has with Miki?
"Shadow of the Wraith" is sort of a Japanese version of teenybopper horror vehicles -- two supernatural thrillers, loosely connected by a pair of glossy pop-star siblings. Think Nick and Aaron Carter in a horror movie. It's a pretty lame connection, and the music isn't anything to write home about either.
In the first, school hottie/budding popster Ryoji is doing quite nicely, until a shy, creepy girl develops a crush on him. Turns out the girl has some nasty supernatural powers, and is quite happy to use them to make him her own. In the second story, we have Ryoji's brother dealing with a "Ju-On" style haunted house.
"Isola" opens with the aftermath of an earthquake; one person staying there is Yukari, a young woman who can read minds, but is fearful of the misery the voices in her head cause her. She helps out at a local shelter, and rooms with a counselor, Hiroko, who accidentally introduces her to something pretty horrible.
Through Hiroko, Yukari encounters a young woman who has suffered from multiple personality syndrome ever since her parents' death. As in all other movies with multiple personalities, one of them is murderous -- Isola. But is Isola just a part of the girl, or is it a vengeful spirit... or something?
"Isola" is undoubtedly the best of the bunch, possessing a halfway coherent storyline and some creepy moments. And it must be confessed that all of these are easy on the eyes -- "Inugami" and "Shikoku" have exquisite scenery, full of moonlit groves and misty mountains. And "Shadow of the Wraith" has some very attractive young men.
But good looking scenery (and men) is all the movies have going for them -- the plots are totally incoherent, except for "Isola," which which was based on a book (thankfully, considering how the others turned out). So those plots are spiced up with incest, impalements, and high school melodrama. Even the horror isn't very horrific -- the occasional gory death, but the ghosts aren't even very scary.
What's more, the unimpressive storylines aren't helped by the dialogue or direction. Dialogue is unimpressive, and the direction is an odd mix -- if they're not imitating Hideo Nakata, they're imitating giallo. And having one of the movies showcase some wooden pop stars is the final nail in the coffin... and that's before they start singing.
"Kadokawa Horror Collection" contains some movies that could have been great, but are either incoherent, obtuse, or simply annoying. Pass this one by, except for maybe "Isola.""
Not much horror to see...
L. C. Tomas | Panama, Panama | 05/05/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"INUGAMI shouldn't even be in this collection. It's more a supernatural drama than anything, and the only real horror is the amount of inbreeding that goes on in this movie. Creeepeeee...
ISOLA deals with multiple personalities, and ultimately veers off into "The Outer Limits" territory and disappears into the lower B MOVIE constellation.
SHIKOKU has to have one of the oddest ghost girls of recent memory. She's not scary at all. That's not good. It's like trying to be scared of a Helo Kitty doll.
SHADOW OF THE WRAITH works, to a point. It delivers two stories involving the japanese "Hardy Boys" who unfotunately have to deal with ghost stalkers and haunted apartments. The haunted apartment story is particularly scary. Watch it ALL THE WAY TO THE END."