There are several rules you need to follow when watching Japanese horror movies in order to get the full cinematic effect: 1.) Don't watch the trailer, they may spoil the most crucial scenes. 2.) Don't read the reviews, they may reveal plot spoilers. I like to experience that child-like fascination on viewing something for the first time without any preconceived expectations.
I had to wait several weeks to get the unrated DVD version in the original japanese with english subtitles. Then waited until past midnight before watching it alone, with the lights closed.
My first thought was, is this a horror movie or a love story? A japanese widower decides he needs to find a new wife, seven years after his first wife died. His son even urges him to get a woman, telling him it's about time. Fortunately, our hero is in the movie business, so together with his close business associate, he decides to stage an 'audition'. They make up a casting call for a new movie that will never be made. They interview young aspiring actresses, but it's all a show for our widower to find a woman that suits him. He gains interest in one of the applicants, a shy girl named Asami. They go out on several dates, everything goes well until...
There are subtle hints in the middle of the film as to what will occur. One of the scenes with the bag and Asami waiting by the phone gave me the creeps. OK, this ain't no love story. It has probably the most disturbing, violent, cringe-inducing scene you will ever see. Don't watch this with your kids.
"Kiri, kiri, kiri, kiri"
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars * * * *
Very disturbing movie. May not be for everyone.