Tag Archives: mystery

Found Footage Films of Koji Shiraishi

The Curse

The Curse (2005)

Released in 2005, the story was hosted by Kobayashi, a paranormal expert, who was doing a documentary about supernatural activities all over Japan. His investigation into mysterious woman named Junko Ishii and her son led to many disturbing events; dead pigeons, possessed TV star, disappearance of a psychic girl and finally an ancient forgotten demonic ritual in a rural village. The part about ritual is especially creepy. As Kobayashi dig deeper and deeper, he and everyone in the story are caught in spiral web of curses.

The starlet, Marika, noticed something horrible while filming a reality show in a shrine

The starlet, Marika, noticed something horrible while filming reality show in a shrine

The psychic girl, Kana, drew picture of a mysterious being

The psychic girl, Kana, drew picture of a mysterious being

The demonic dancing ritual

The demonic dancing ritual

Maybe because of the found-footage style, it just seems so real and evil to me. So I was quite fascinated by this film and searched for other similar films of Shiraishi. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Occult (2009)

Occult (2009)

After a mass assault by knife at a tranquil beach resort, a film crew started an investigation. They encountered strange events while filming documentary, especially with one homeless surviving victim. After several interviews with him, the director found out the knife attack wasn’t without reason as it appeared to be.

Strange message carved on the body of knife-attack victim

Strange message carved on the body of knife-attack victim

The next found-footage Shirome (2010) followed 6 members of girl group Momoiri Clover (they’re real) investigating haunted locations in a reality show. The girls were asked to visit an abandoned school in which the shrine of deity Shirome was situated. According to legend, Shirome will grant your wish if you pray to him sincerely and completely believe in him. However, if he found your prayer to be insincere, he’ll destroy you (better pray hard). Knowing this, the girls ventured into school to pray for a chance to appear in nationwide TV broadcast. Good Luck girls!

Shirome (2010)

Shirome (2010)

Scared witless before entering school

Scared witless before entering school

let's capture ghost on our camera! what could go wrong?

let’s capture ghost on our camera! what could go wrong?

And Cult (2013), horror found-footage with suspense and comedy touch. A group of TV Star participated in a reality show of exorcism. Is it the house or family member that is haunted? The shaman guy might be a little bit over the top but I do find him hilarious enough.

Cult (2013)

Cult (2013)

Guess what she's just eaten

Guess what she’s just eaten

the mysterious shaman

the mysterious shaman

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Unholy Women (2006)

"Kowai Onna"

“Kowai Onna”

I just saw Unholy Women and it’s one of the best horror films I’ve ever seen. The film Japanese title “Kowai Onna” actually means Scary Women. The film comprises of 3 stories: Rattle Rattle, Hagane and The Inheritance. As you might guess, all stories involve female supernatural beings, and for my own interpretation, women’s fear. The main characters in each story are women of various background, facing unpleasant, doubtful, nightmarish situation that I believe many women are afraid of.

Rattle Rattle

unpleasant surprise to find this when you arrive home

imagine finding this lady in your house…

Story of a soon-to-be-bride working woman who encounter a mad ex-girlfriend of her fiance in her house. This crazy woman in red keep chasing her with knife and gradually transform into a kind of blood-thirsty horrifying sprinter Sadako who just turn up everywhere. This one really almost give me a heart attack.

Hagane

I wouldn't pull that rope

I wouldn’t pull that rope

Strange story indeed. An unfortunate teenage boy is forced to go on a date with his boss’s sister. At first, we can assume that the sister, Hagane, must be a painfully shy secluded woman who lives with her old mechanic brother. When the boy arrives to pick up his date, Hagane appears to have quite a pair of beautiful legs. However, her upper body happens to be covered with potato sack. The woman never speaks, only occasionally grunts or makes weird squeaky laugh. After running wildly around and falling into river, Hagane seduces the boy and let him pulls the rope that tie the sack… Actually, I must say it’s quite a romantic story.

The Inheritance

poor little guy...

poor little guy…

Saeko, a recently divorced single mother and her young son, Michio, moves into Saeko’s ailing mother’s old house in the countryside. The house is quite isolated and has a mysterious heavily locked up shed in its premise. Michio finds out that he has an uncle, but he mysteriously disappeared when he was still a child. And Saeko goes inside the mysterious shed and uncovers the family inheritance or, I’d rather say, curse.

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Yami Shibai : The Theatre of Darkness

Yami Shibai The Theatre of Darkness

Yami Shibai
The Theatre of Darkness

A series of Japanese horror animations, Yami Shibai consisting of 13 episodes, all of which always begin with an old man riding an old bicycle into a children playground in late evening. He then call out to children to step right up as it’s time for Yami Shibai (dark tale, literally). His creepy tales are told by using Japanese traditional “Kamishibai” , paper drama or illustrated boards. Thus, the animations are created to resemble Kamishibai as well. Usually, this type of storytelling associate with children stories or moral tales. So it’s just amazing how they can turn Kamishibai into Yami Shibai. The Theatre of Darkness.

Come children. It's time of Yami Shibai

Come children. It’s time for the Theatre of Darkness

Episode 3: "The Family Rule"

Episode 3: “The Family Rule”

“Family Rule” is a story of a young boy who move to his mother’s parents house in the countryside. There, he finds that his mother’s family has this yearly strange ritual called “Calm Through Laughter”

Yami-Shibai-7

Episode 7 “Contradiction”

“Contradiction” is one of my favourite. Really gave me the creep. A ghost-hunt in an abandoned hospital might just sound like any other ghost stories you’ve heard before. But you will find Contradiction offer a more chilling end.

And you know this is not going to end well

And you know this is not going to end well

“The Umbrella Goddess” (Episode 8) relates story of another poor boy who encounter strange being and some kind of deadly curse.

Yami Shibai 2 just came on air this 6th July. Directed by the same director, Tomoya Takashima.

Yami Shibai 2 (2014)

Yami Shibai 2 (2014)

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The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

220px-Poughkeepsie_tapes_post

The Poughkeepsie Tape is directed by John Erick Dawdle, the guy who also directed Quarantine (2008), Devil (2010) and the upcoming As Above So Below (2014). Similar to Quarantine, The Poughkeepsie Tapes is “lost-tapes” film, but in documentary style. The lost tapes was made and left to the police by the famous serial killer of Poughkeepsie city, The Water Street Butcher. Apparently, he has been recording all his crimes in 800 videotapes.

Creepy mask

Creepy mask

Much much meaner than Jason

Much much meaner than Jason

Quite a disturbing film, to say the least. For example, a scene involve C-section and a severed head. Surprisingly, The Poughkeepsie Tapes is not available neither in DVD nor in videotape 🙂

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Cure (1997)

CURE

CURE

A gloomy, quiet, beautiful film. Here, we have a film-noir detective hero (Koji Yakusho) facing a series of strange murders without motive. I mean all the murderers confess to their crimes, but they themselves couldn’t understand why they did the killing in the first place. And all the victims have strang “X” marks carved on their body. Then, there’s this strange John Doe man appear out of nowhere and has creepy effect, influence on people.

Detective Takabe (Koji Yakusho)

Detective Takabe (Koji Yakusho)

interviewing with a mysterious guy

interviewing with a mysterious guy

 

The film gives all this still macabre suspense. Every characters seem to have psychological problem of their own. The director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, is rather famous for horror genre, especially for “Pulse” (2001). Yakusho, the main actor, starred in many Kurosawa’s films: notably Doppelganger (2003), Retribution (2006) and the famous Tokyo Sonata (2008). He is, however, brilliant in Cure. As the film go, it just seem Yakusho character dive down deeper and deeper into some dark twisted spiral, and really dragging audience down with him. Very chilling indeed.

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