Search - Marebito on DVD

Actors: Shinya Tsukamoto, Tomomi Miyashita, Kazuhiro Nakahara, Miho Ninagawa, Shun Sugata
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2006     1hr 32min

(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 »


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Movie Details

Actors: Shinya Tsukamoto, Tomomi Miyashita, Kazuhiro Nakahara, Miho Ninagawa, Shun Sugata
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Creators: Tsukasa Tanabe, Masahiro Ugajin, Atsuko Ôno, Fumio Sebata, Hiroo Murakami, Kenzô Horikoshi, Takashi Horikoshi, Tatsuhiko Hirata, Tsukasa Ariyoshi, Yoshiyasu Ikezaki, Chiaki Konaka
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Tartan Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/14/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 32min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Thomas A. (tomasin)
Reviewed on 10/2/2010...
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.

Movie Reviews

Oddly Macabre
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).

Miguel Llora

Voyeuristic Resonant Onion Inferno
Farffleblex Plaffington | Parnybarnel, Mississippi | 09/09/2006
(5 out of 5 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."