Search - Shikoku on DVD

Actors: Yui Natsukawa, Michitaka Tsutsui, Chiaki Kuriyama, Toshie Negishi, Ren ‘sugi
Director: Shunichi Nagasaki
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2004     1hr 40min

Sagori possesses spiritual powers which enable her to converse with the dead. After she dies at the age of sixteen, her mother attempts to bring her back from the dead. Sagori?s friends decide to investigate the history o...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Yui Natsukawa, Michitaka Tsutsui, Chiaki Kuriyama, Toshie Negishi, Ren ‘sugi
Director: Shunichi Nagasaki
Creators: Noboru Shinoda, Yoshiyuki Okuhara, Masato Hara, Yasushi Tsuge, Kunimi Manda, Takenori SentŰ
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Adness
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/26/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1999
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

The Land of the Dead
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 10/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The island of Shikoku is one of Japan's most rural provinces, with few large cities and scores of small villages scattered amongst the high mountains. The name translates as "Four Countries," but an alternate spelling can be read "The Land of the Dead." This film makes use of both aspects of Shikoku, both the semi-archaic, rural lifestyle of a Shikoku mountain village and the ghosts that haunt there.

The story of "Shikoku" is of three childhood friends, two girls Sayori and Hinako and a boy Fumiya. Sayori (the lovely Kuriyama Chiaki, familiar as Takako Chigusa in "Battle Royal" and Gogo Yubari in "Kill Bill Vol. 1" ) has a hidden secret; Her mother, a Shinto shamaness, uses Sayori as a medium for contacting the dead. From this isolated village Hinako and her parents move to far-off Tokyo on the island of Honshu, breaking the trio of friends. Flash-forward to the present, and a grown and sophisticated Hinako returns to her hometown, seeking her old companions. She is shocked to meet a grown Fumiya, and to learn that Sayori died at age 16, drowned. Sayori's father is hospitalized, and her shamaness mother is gone on a pilgrimage, the great 88 Temple Pilgrimage of Kobo Daishi, found across the island of Shikoku. Inevitably, as it is a ghost story, Fumiya and Hinako find themselves thrown together when they encounter a spectral and haunting Sayori. Along with the risen Sayori, other departed are wandering the village, as if someone has thrown open the gates to the Land of the Dead.

While "Shikoku" is a ghost story, it isn't really proper to call it a horror movie. Although there are some creepy moments and it might cause a sleepless night or two, the goal of the film is not really to frighten, but rather to tell a somewhat sad and somewhat romantic story of death and life and love. Comparisons to Japanese horror films such as "Ringu" and "Ju-on" do "Shikoku" a disservice, as they are not the same intent. It is, however, a wholly enjoyable film with ghostly atmosphere, fine imagery and an interesting story.

Japanese religion plays an important role in "Shikoku," and some familiarity with Japanese religious traditions and death legends would probably broaden appreciation. For instance, in Japan people are usually buried in white kimonos, a symbol of purity, and Japanese ghosts almost always appear in this costume. It is, in fact, a uniform for Japanese ghosts, and as much a part of the tradition as blood is to vampires. Water is the realm of the dead, and rivers are meant to be passages to the underworld. Collecting paper "amulets" from sacred sites, such as the 88 Temple Pilgrimage of Kobo Daishi, is also a Japanese religious rite. The film is enjoyable without this information, but it adds to "Shikoku" in the way that knowledge of Catholic practices woutd add to "The Exorcist."

The DVD for "Shikoku" includes a few special features, including interviews with Nagasaki Shunichi, the director, and the two main female cast members Kuriyama Chiaki and Natsukawa Yui, as well as a short "Making of " featurette."
Shikoku a good scary movie
joe larkin | 05/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A story of friendship and about how Hinako finds herself sexually attracted to Fumiya. They're both startled when Sayori's spirit a gateway to a path of darkness a myserious ride of hell this film is dark and forboding and a rollercoaster ride ,it will scareyou that what its about work the story Sayori (Chiaki Kuriyama), the daughter of the village's spiritual leader, died in a mysterious drowning accident with leads to downward spiral to get to the meat of the story a scarefest and enjoyable movie highly recommend it."
I agree more with Zack's review
Callaway | florida | 03/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This film, while definitely not action packed, is still definitely worth watching if you research the film a little first to understand some of the symbolism. I agree that at times this movie is drawn out and slow, but the twist with Fumiya at the end made the movie worthwhile for me.
I think Sayori's hate inspiring jealousy could of been more developed in the story line, but i thought the ending wrapped everything up nicely.
This is not a movie I personally would recommend to someone who wasn't a die-hard Japanese cinema fan, although I did enjoy it."
Pretty good movie
Brian J. Kohler | Japan | 01/20/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I though shikoku was pretty decent, it's not that scary, but there are some creepy scenes and it does invoke fright. If your a big Japanese horror film fan then this movie is worth buying, but if not I wouldn't recommend it to you."