(Masuoka Shinya Tsukamoto, director of Tetsuo) is a cameraman possessed by the craving to understand fear. In particular, he obsesses over his footage of a grisly suicide in the subway. Returning to the scene to better com... more »prehend the dead man's reasoning, he opens a doorway into a bizarre, cavernous underworld. Here among the ghosts and subterranean creatures he finds a beautiful, mute girl whom he takes home. As days pass he begins to suspect there is something truly inhuman about this girl. When he begins to uncover her horrifying secrets, Masuoka realizes that he has found the key to gaining the terrible knowledge he so craves...« less
Why you should watch this movie:
1.- Are Japanese horror fan.
2.- If u like drink TrueBlood.
3.- If you want fall sleeping very fast.
Why you should skip this movie:
1.- If you hate Paranormal Activity
2.- Don't like read subs.
3.- You faint at the sight of blood.
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Miguel B. Llora | Bay Point, California USA | 04/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found it difficult to put this picture into perspective until of all things, I read Chobits.
As certain as I am writing this and you are reading it, you might wonder if I lost it. But it dawned on me - Hideki is obsessed with his Persocon - he names her, falls in love with her... but that is where the similarity ends.
Masuoka is in search of death. His curiosity find him deep beneath Tokyo - in a set of tunnels. He seeks to avoid the dreaded DERO or "detrimental robot." There are rumour around about strange creatures that to walk the demi-monde spreading fear. In and around the underground ruins Masuoka finds an odd, young lady, not all there - so to speak - very "Wild Child" - just like Hideki, Masuoka names his find - in this case - F. Taking her home to his spartan abode, kept illuminated by the monitors that surround his walls, he tries to bring her back to the life by feeding her with his own blood. Masuola is indeed aware of the possible effect another hungry mouth that feeds on his blood but can't help himself - he is hooked.
I was not really sure where the story was going - except perhaps for a disfunctional love doomed from the start. I figured the creepy element was that he was going to become some form or another of serial killer as the real world closed in on him. That would be creepy. Anyway, it lives up to its billing as "Asian Extreme" but the only thng really extreme was the deficiency in the storyline. From the creator of Ju-on and The Grudge one would expect director Takashi Shimizu to blow you away - if you are into the genre - it will all make sense. However, if you are not, it will make Ju-on and The Grudge feel like gone with the wind. Effects are cool, acting so-so, story line lost me (ergo the 4 stars).
"On one level, which isn't revealed until nearly the end, you can interpret Marebito as a relatively simple film about a man, Masuoka (Shinya Tsukamoto), who has had a psychotic break and commits an outrageous, though relatively contained, series of crimes. Just that story, if it were told transparently, would be enough to hold your interest--as it is so twisted and disturbing.
But director Takashi Shimizu, best known for his Juon/Grudge series, typically doesn't want to just relay a simple story. In Marebito, there are deep layers of allusion, metaphor and partially symbolic/partially literal content. In addition to the psychotic madman stuff, at various times the film has elements of, or can be read as, a meditation on obsession, technological (especially video) fetishism, or voyeurism; a skeptical exploration of the attraction of horror and horror as entertainment (the protagonist can't quite grasp the attraction, but sees it in others, and wants to understand and experience it); a Dantean descent into Hell; a ghost story; a vampire story (both literal and psychological); and even a kind of love story with an extremely deviant eroticism. I'm probably forgetting to mention some possibilities, and I probably overlooked others, but that gives you an idea of the complexity of Marebito.
Reading the above, it might sound like the film should be a mess. It would be difficult for most writers and directors to fuse so many different elements together into a cohesive whole. But Shimizu and screenwriter Chiaki Konaka, who also wrote the novel that Marebito is based on, achieve a remarkably natural, ever-shifting flow. The way a viewer contextualizes Marebito will likely continually change all the way to the end of the film, but the shifts are all as slight and smooth, and have all of the mind-bending illusory qualities as well as the interlocking aspects of the typical kinds of M.C. Escher prints.
Shimizu is able to very quickly instantiate a palpable, atmospheric creepiness. There's a very disturbing, somewhat graphic death early in the film, which Masuoka quickly responds to obsessively, and at the same time, we explore voyeurism in other ways, one that's met with the appearance of an eerie, ghostly figure in a neighboring apartment building. The Dantean descent happens not long after, and Marebito takes a dark, fantastical turn. By that time, I was completely engrossed in the film. Shimizu doesn't remain in fantasy territory too long, but the film grows increasingly disturbing--from the images, not so much because of gore, although there is plenty of blood in Marebito, but moreso because of the context and the accompanying, very twisted eroticism. What seems to be really going on will ruffle more than a few ethical feathers of many viewers, and that material will not resolve in a manner they'd expect. At the same time, Shimizu doesn't ever completely abandon the more fantastical material, and to the end, he leaves the film fairly open to a number of alternate interpretations.
Not only for fans of Japanese horror films, Marebito is a "must see" film for anyone who can stomach the disturbing and who is not easily offended. It will reward repeated viewings and contemplation, as you can conceptually peel it like a resonant onion that has no distinct center. This may be Shimizu's best film yet, and I loved a couple of the Ju-On films. Now I just need to track down an English translation of the novel."
"Marebito": Stylish Japanese Horror That Includes Everythin
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 02/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Marebito" is, on the surface, a relatively straightforward example of the ever expanding world of Japanese horror. "Straightforward," however, may not be the first thing that springs to mind for a casual viewer. While the "story" of "Marebito" seems rather simplistic with atmosphere and mood supplanting narrative momentum, its themes suggest a myriad of different influences and interpretations. The film, by Takashi Shimizu ("Ju-on," "The Grudge"), is thematically an "everything but the kitchen sink" amalgamation of styles and dramatic allusions. The film references myths, the supernatural, vampirism, voyeurism, life after death, obsession, the nature of reality, and the descent into madness. By tackling, and co-mingling, so many different concepts--"Marebito" becomes an interesting and unique film that flirts structurally with being completely convoluted. There you have it, I've called this film "simple" and "convoluted" in the same paragraph--but that's the mixed message the film conveys and the mixed feelings I was left with after viewing this movie.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy "Marebito" and admire its ambition, I just don't think it's wholly successful. The story, itself, is fairly sparse. A videographer witnesses and films a bizarre suicide while working with a local news station. He becomes obsessed with understanding the fear that would drive someone to such an action. Feeling emotionally muted, and wanting to know more about terror and even death, he takes a strange journey beneath the city to try and uncover the source of the man's horror. He has several (real or imagined) ethereal encounters on this journey, but ultimately finds a young woman being held captive. Taking her home with him, he discovers she is not what she may seem. I don't want to divulge more of what transpires (although others have) because the film's surprises work better if they unfold within the context of watching the story.
The film is unconventional in several other ways. Much of what we view is seen through the videographer's camera. It seems to be that "reality" for this character is what he can capture through a lens. That effect is maximized on several occasions by an interesting visual trickery. Sometimes the people and images seen in passing are blurred or flickering, and only through the camera are they fully realized. This reinforces the film's interest in both voyeurism and the "what is reality" debate. Much of the film also lacks regular dialogue--I'd say 90% of the screenplay is the internal monologue of the central character (which helps to flesh out both his obsession and his possible madness).
I admired much of "Marebito," but it does have a very deliberate pace. As a shorter film (and it's only 90 minutes), I think the concepts could have been more refined and a tremendous film might have been lurking inside. It is very effective at setting a mood, though, the creepiness and unease is genuine and involving. But with so many themes struggling in the subtext, the picture loses some of its impact. Some late revelations in the film are intriguing--but because you never know what's true or not, it just adds another plot strand that may or may not be significant. Maybe Shimizu wanted a film that was left open to different interpretations--and, in that, he succeeded. But for me, it was too much--too many possibilities, not enough answers. Ultimately, I'd rate "Marebito" at 3 1/2 stars--but after being genuinely fascinated by the first half, I was a bit let down. KGHarris, 02/07."
Detailed explanation of the plot - Spoiler Alert!!!!
Miguel J. Melgar | miami | 12/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very cool and weird movie. Everybody has already written what this movie is about so I wont explain its plot. Instead, im going to contribute my interpretation of it.
SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!! READ THIS ONLY WHEN YOU FINISHED WATCHING THIS MOVIE. Im going to explain this in parts, so read along......
Ok, this cameraman is a lonely individual that wants to experience fear, absolute terror, but cant do it by the "normal means", so he seeks terror in uncommon places, like suicide attempts and filming people. He uses Prozac to help his medical condition, and when he throws it in the garbage at the beginning of the movie, he starts seeing and hearing things that are not there, like the conversation in the underground with the suicidal man ghost, or the Deros. Also, this is why he doesn't remember his ex wife.
Everything the camera films is real, because film cant lie, so I assume that the underground is real, as we can see this underground filmed. Also, the vampire girl is real, because she is filmed also, fangs an all. At the end of the movie, you can see that the cameras are still filming his descent into the underground, so this weird world of downstairs is real also. The ghosts or the Deros are not filmed, so they are only in the insane mind of the protagonist. There's a line in the movie where he says that everything is more real when he films it, and also we only see the faces of other people he is looking at correctly through his camera lenses, because they are real to him only through the camera lenses. All this supports this theory too. He even says when he sees this weird snuff film at the beginning of the film, that he will become a psychopath to really experience terror. This explains his later killings.
This person and his ex wife had a children, information that is not in the movie, and this child maybe was killed or got lost, and this led this couple to their respective insanities and separation. This is not explained at all, but it helps understand the plot, so play along. The cameraman doesn't recognize his ex wife until he already killed her, and in his little moments of lucidity we see that he understands the situation that he is in, and that he is becoming a bad person everyday, but stills doesn't experience absolute terror. Also, we see that he is not satisfied with the terror showing on the face of his victims when he kills them, so he thinks that what he needs is something else to really get where he wants.
At the same time, he meets this "Vampire Girl", who is very real, and he mistakes her for his lost daughter. That's why he gets her things, food and takes care of her. He sees her as a redemption option, but the kid is out of this world, and will only lead him to his death. He even gets her animal and human blood to drink, ignoring the weirdness of this situation, thinking that is normal. The kid even got lost, when the lunatic mother, his ex wife, enters his apartment and makes a mess looking for her missing daughter. That's why everything is messy and that's why she knows that he has somebody living in his apartment. But she returns, to still live with his protector.
At the end of the movie, we see in him another moment of lucidity, where the cameraman says that he has tried everything to get terrified, killings and all, but nothing helped him, so he will reorganize his life, and forgets about the creature. But his insane mind is still at work, and he starts hallucinating again, seeing Deros in the city urging him to return to his apartment. So, he returns to his vampire child, who is dying of starvation. In this crucial moment, he rips open his tongue, therefore condemning himself to death by heart failure due to blood loss, to give her life, the life that he doesn't want anymore because he doesn't have anything to live for, and takes the creature back to where he found it so it can live underground.
And that's when it hits him right in the face, the terror he seeked desperately all along is there at last, because at this very moment he sees that this creature is otherworldly and is not his missing child but a demon monster, and so he now realizes that everything that he did was to feed a demon child, and the mere presence of being looking at this demon, who is not his little kid anymore but a monster, scares him to death, a death that also is real because he is now at the other side of the camera, and this made it more real than ever.
Who was this kid??? Well, there's a theory in the asian mythology that there are deities called Marebitos, that come to our world every now and then to heal things, so maybe this kid came to Masuokas life to heal his longing for his child, and ended being the terror he seeked during the movie.
Hope this helps you......... "
The Mulholland Drive for Lovecraft fans
Mr. Self Destruct | A dark hole, somewhere around connecticut | 02/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well I am a fan of Japanese cinema. I've seen a good deal of films, my favorite films being from Takashi Miike and Shinya Tsukamoto. My favorite movies in the past have been Ichi the Killer, Gozu, Audition, Tetsuo, as well as other films from them as well as other assorted directors. Well my friends offered me a trip to a distant theatre to see a stange Japanese film that was rarely talked about. Marebito was its name.
So after I watched it and left the theatre, I was speechless. Well let me get this out of the way. The movie didn't make a damn bit of sense. There were more plot holes in this movie than can be imagined. It left open a lot of discussion, but some parts were either too metaphorical, or were just random and unexplained.
Other than that gripe, this was a great movie. It had a lot of style, and just a real haunting aura to it. The plot in the movie has something to do with the main character wanting to capture fear on camera, than wishing to experience this fear. He goes beneath Tokyo, in the advanced subway system.
Before you can scream "lots-o-literary-referances," he winds up in Lovecraft inspired dreamscape where he finds a vampire girl, who is gaurded by robot creatures that walk around on all fours.
Or something like that. I'm not really too sure.
So he then takes this vampire girl home, and of course, wierd things start happening. I won't tell too much more of the plot, I'll let you experience it in all of its noncoherant glory.
The film is filled with obscure referances to historical events, as well as scientific theories. There are all of these subtle commentaries on society, but they aren't exactly executed too well. In fact, I'm just presuming most of these subtle commentaries existed, because otherwise, a lot of the scenes I witnessed were just random.
Ok, I was a bit harsh on this movie, for the fact that it made no sense. If you are a fan of japanese cinema, or horror, check this film out. Its full of style, and wierd / violent going-ons. I'm so glad I saw this one in the theatres... Its one of my favorite Japanese films, only second to Tetsuo: Iron Man."