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One of the best recent Asian horror films
Brandt Sponseller20 July 2005
Like many horror fans, I've been watching a lot of Asian films recently. Although Asian horror isn't new, easy availability of it in the United States is relatively recent. Unlike many horror fans, though, I'm not generally of the opinion that Asian horror is better on the whole than American horror. That's not to say I think American horror is usually better, either. I just think the two are different.

The odd thing is that even understanding that difference, a lot of reviews for Infection are complaining that the film is a bit "confusing", "disjointed", or more charitably, "non-linear". That's to be expected from a viewer who hasn't seen a lot of Asian horror yet. But oddly, those comments are often coming from viewers who seem to love the genre. It's odd, because the genre is characterized by being more non-linear. Compared to the typical U.S. horror film, Asian horror has many of the same differences that European horror from the late 1960s and early 1970s had--it tends to be more surreal and poetic. Rather than a focus on transparent literalism, there is a focus on metaphor, symbolism and dream logic. For anyone familiar with academic philosophy, the difference is reflected there. U.S. horror is equivalent to analytic philosophy, European horror to continental, and Asian horror seems rooted in Zen, Taoism, and so on.

Thus, when you begin watching a film like Infection, you have to expect something different than what you'd expect from, say, Cursed (2004) or Valentine (2001). Although in many ways, Infection is more straightforward and spends more time providing explanations than the typical Asian genre film. It's nowhere near as inscrutable as Charisma (aka Karisuma, 1999) or Chaos (aka Kaosu, 1999), but it's not as transparent as Dark Water (aka Honogurai mizu no soko kara, 2002). Rather, it fits nicely in the middle of the two extremes.

The story is set in a small Japanese hospital. Right from the start, we see that they're having odd problems and things are beginning to get out of control. The hospital is understaffed and quite a few employees do not seem to be as competent as they should be. Meanwhile, we see an ambulance that keeps announcing that it has a patient with a possibly dangerous infection who needs to be seen immediately. We're not sure who they're broadcasting this to. After a while, it becomes clear that they're broadcasting it to no on in particular. Eventually, The ambulance drops off its patient despite protests from a doctor about not being able to handle the case. The patient has a bizarre, possibly fatal infection, and it seems to be spreading.

Although infection makes a fair amount of sense on a literal level, much of the film is meant as an extended, in-depth metaphor for infections, and not just literal biological infections. Director/co-writer Masayuki Ochiai and co-writer Ryoichi Kimizuka stress a phenomenon that's more like meme theory--they're looking at how ideas, or any kind of information or state, starts with a seed that's passed on and evolves/transforms over "generations". Since this is a horror film, a lot of the focus is on how that can go sour.

At the same time, the film works just as well on another level--an unabashed series of cringe-worthy horror set pieces. All of these layers co-exist happily, and most viewers can choose to engage (or not) with the film on any or all of Infection's modes. Like most artworks, you get out of Infection whatever you put into it. That means that this isn't really for passive viewing.

Just as would happen in an infection, or under the various infection-like phenomena that are being symbolized, Ochiai gives us a gradual transformation in style, structure and content. The opening scenes are normally lit, the hospital is well populated with relatively normal folks, and the patients' problems seem only slightly odd. At the very beginning, the film could just as well turn into something of a hospital "soap opera". But imperceptibly from moment to moment (it's only perceptible when you take a step back for a "broad" view), the lighting and color schemes change, first becoming a bit darker, then emphasizing pinks, reds, yellows and finally greens and blues--a color transformation not unlike a minor inflammation leading to bruising, sickness and strong nausea, and finally death.

At the same time, our cast of characters--both medical professionals and patients--gradually dwindles until we're left with only a small core or normality. Infection becomes increasingly claustrophobic, and Ochiai makes a similar transformation in his physical threats--from "hard", external problems, to a gradual getting under the skin, to complete bodily dissolution. At the same time, a ghostly presence becomes more prominent. These kinds of infectious progressions imbue every aspect of the film and are quite ingenious.

But wait--there's more! Ochiai has also given us a mind-bending "rubber reality" film. He makes a philosophical point about color perception early on that ends up being correlated with the changing color schemes on a completely different level, rooted in the mental. This aspect comes as something of a twist near the end, and imply a recontextualization of the whole to that point, although the point may just be the role of the mental in "infections". But just so we don't forget the ultimate aim, Ochiai gives us a small horror set piece tag at the very end that exists only for its own sake.

My love of this film might also have personal roots--just about the only things that disturb me in reality are medical in nature--doctors, hospitals, treatments, sickness, etc., so films like this hit close to my phobias. At any rate, for me, this is one of the best Asian horror films of recent years, right up there with Ebola Syndrome (aka Yibola bing du, 1996), Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru, 2000) and Suicide Club (Jisatsu saakuru, 2002). Don't miss it, but go in with the right frame of mind. And bring penicillin.
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Great J-horror! What "Cabin Fever" should have been!
willywants27 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A run-down hospital receives a patient one night with bizarre symptoms. Symptoms that defy medical explanation. A virus that liquefies organs, muscle tissue—yet keeps the host alive. One by one, the staff of the hospital contract the disease, hallucinating, going crazy, and literally melting to piles of rot. Will anyone survive through the night? Is the disease a real, horrific virus, or one with supernatural origins? Wow, what a creepy, unsettling movie. Good acting from the whole cast, an intelligent script, top-notch direction, and man is it scary! Writer/director Masayuki Ochiai did a great job on this one. The imagery, cinematography, and effects were beautifully done. The plot twists towards the end were a little too fast and confusing but the movie is definitely worth while. This is great J-horror in my opinion, much better than the overrated "Ju-On" and its definitely better than 2002's similar virus-themed horror-comedy, "Cabin Fever". Rent it, but don't expect to sleep well afterwords! 8/10.
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Bizarre and unsettling Japanese horror film.
HumanoidOfFlesh17 July 2005
"Infection" takes place in an old,dilapidated hospital that is barely able to keep its door open to the public due to a constant lack of adequate medicine,facilities and staff.The hospital is riddled with agony and suffering of countless patients and the strain on the doctors and nurses has reached the critical point.A doctor's negligence causes a patient to die and the panicked hospital staff decides to cover up the fatal mistake setting off a deadly chain of events.Paramedics bring a new patient into the hospital that has been stricken with so deadly that his innards have mysteriously disintegrated.The doctors attempt to contain the virus,but the ill patient escapes through the ventilation system ensuring that everyone inside the doomed hospital will have to fight for their lives from this horrifying epidemic.Unlike overrated "Cabin Fever","Infection" is a creepy and unsettling horror film.This is the first genre movie from the Taka Ichise-produced J-Horror Theater series.Director Masayuki Ochiai is already well-known as the director of "Parasite Eve" and "Hypnosis" ,while the cast includes Kôichi Satô,the star of "Rasen"."Infection" delivers its share of squirm inducing and gory moments and it certainly gets under your skin.Just ignore negative comments and enjoy this creepy piece of horror.9 out of 10.
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Confused yet?
Ky-D11 May 2005
Like so many J-horror flicks in years past, the plotting is a nonsensical mess of seemingly random events tied to a loose running narrative, but the visuals do a good job of maintaining interest.

A patient dies at a hospital due to a mistake made by a team of hospital personnel. Wanting so save their careers, they vow to cover it up. Around the same time, a young man arrives at the hospital exhibiting symptoms of an unknown contagion. After the youth dies due to the virus (by melting away, of all the unpleasant ways to go), the members of the conspiracy start behaving strangely and also experiencing the same symptoms. What is happening to them? That is about as linear as the plot ever gets, from there on the story starts rocketing back and forth between flashbacks, hallucinations, ghostly encounters and other odd events. Moreover, rather than moving toward a resolution of conflict, it merely gets weirder and stranger the longer it runs. The characters are mostly anarchistic views of social stereotypes, which makes hardly any of them likable or sympathetic. Also, the story drags for the first 30 minutes or so, while the last 30 minutes shoot by way to quickly; some re-editing could have helped with that.

Visually, the film is nice. A greenish hue covers most of the film, which gives it an eerie sort of discomfort. Also, many shot choices and camera angles add to the feeling of things not being right. There is a fair amount of 'gooey' scenes, but not very much in the way of the red stuff. Most of the scare set ups are fairly well done, but many of them conclude without much pay-off.

There's good (visuals), there's bad (the script), meaning it's really only meant for J-film fanatics.

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Vastarien20228 September 2005
This movie scared the living!%^*@ out of me! I watched it in daylight, but I was too scared to get up for a snack! The pacing can be a bit long, but if you have patience, it works.The use of lighting and wicked sets reminded me of Dario Argento's Suspiria, though lacking his flair for geometric patterns. The atmosphere is handily Lovecraftian with its sense of doom and inescapable dread. It was 117 outside, and I was stone-cold scared! This one has a place of honor on my shelf, right next to "Spiral", The Ring series, and my collection of Italian Splatter movies! I will be showing this at my Halloween party, along with some others to scare and sicken everyone.
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Tepid and muddled
thither25 June 2005
I was hoping for a little more out of this movie. It is set in a hospital, which is an inherently creepy setting that has been used to good effect in several good horror movies (eg, Session 9, the Eye 2). Unfortunately, though the cinematography is good, there's not much in this movie that rises above the sort of low-level creepiness inherent in all hospitals.

At times I was struck with the idea that the director had originally planned to make a fairly straight-forward hospital-slasher movie, but due to some kind of colossal blunder ended up being shipped 50 gallons of green goo instead of the 50 gallons of fake blood that he ordered. Infection was then swiftly rewritten to accommodate this mix-up, and while they were at it they tacked on some twists at the end which might have been fresh prior to the global movie-twist mania that swept the world circa 1993 or so.

It's not a terrible movie, and there is some endearing acting by the three lead doctors (who do fairly well with pretty colorless characters). Overall, though, it plays out like a Halloween episode of E.R. Many scenes that ought to frighten the viewer are just drawn out, only the most extreme of the gross-out scenes are really effective, and the movie is full of dross that doesn't enhance its story or its mood.
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Unsettling and atmospheric
LoneWolfAndCub19 January 2009
I have always been a big fan of Asian horror, as the directors seem to have a knack for incredibly creepy visuals and creepy atmospheres. Kansen (Infection), is no exception to this, as it rivals Ju-On, Ringu and Gin Gwai for thrills and chills. What is really amazing is that there is no reliance on long haired girls or little boys, what is scary here is the hospital itself, and the characters within. This is very different to most supernatural horror films, as the story focuses on the characters for the majority of the film.

Infection is set in an under-staffed and under-financed hospital where the staff are under a lot of stress. One night, while trying to save a burns victim who has been there for three months, a young nurse accidentally gives him a lethal injection. Dr. Uozumi convinces all the other staff to create a false report to save the hospital. That same night a patient is brought in with a severe infection which causes the internal organs to liquefy. Soon all the staff are working together to discover what this disease is before it starts to spread to far.

As with most Japanese horror films, the plot is not wrapped up nicely, and in this case, it is the most puzzling of them all. Although I now have formed a solid conclusion for myself, it was still an incredibly confusing and muddled final 10 minutes. I think the last section could have been fixed up, as the pace slowed down after a very tight hour. However, the film is highly original for the most part and features some genuine scares and disgusting and beautiful visuals (much like Dario Argento's Suspiria). Amongst all the American trash being released, this stands tall and further proves that Asia (and Europe) are producing the highest quality horror.

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This is a really good film
brianshoebridge19 September 2013
I had no idea what to expect from this movie. As it turned out I found it absolutely spellbinding. The dark, moody atmosphere of a financially struggling hospital is beautifully done. The characters are quite different from English-speaking concepts of character development. There's not even a single star rather there are several lead characters and they are all good.

There is no "gore for gore's sake" - the darkness is more subtle. Often I find that Japanese films surprise me, and from beginning to end this was no exception. I loved this movie and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone 14yrs or over.
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Fairly Entertaining
Alistar Baker18 August 2011
I like how much work Japanese directors put into the pacing, atmospherics, and suspense of their horror films. This one is no exception. If you ever saw Kingdom Hospital and enjoyed it for the mix of suggestive spooky supernatural undertones clashing with rationalism and materialism thematically, then you might like this film as well. At first I thought this film would turn out to be something like 28 Days with ferocious infected zombies feeding on humans, but there is a much more clever plot line going on which I won't reveal. The plot seemed to have some holes in it til I realized what was really going on in the end. Mainly though, I enjoyed the mix of film with a suggestion of a supernatural influence in a materialist or rationalist world. Visual storytelling gets this idea across with images of, for example, swings swinging on their own near the hospital, or an old crazy lady who sees her dead relatives in mirrors staring at her reflection in a window looking like an apparition. I must say that after discovering Japanese thrillers and horror films, it is hard to go back to Hollywood offerings for sure. They seem so predictable, tame, and cookie-cutter in comparison.
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See This Movie Then Buy It!
largonomiko5 August 2005
When it comes to horror movies, no one does it better then the Japanese. Every Japanese horror movie I've ever seen has frightened me so much that I refused to sleep for several days. Perfect examples of their brilliant work can be also be seen in Ju-on and Premonition.

As for Infection: I loved this movie! I'm going to buy it as soon as possible. It's weird, it's creepy, it's icky; what more could you want in a horror movie? The story grabs you and doesn't let go until the credits roll. Very few horror movies have ever made me want to cover my eyes. This movie not only made me want to cover my eyes but at the same time I wanted to see what was going to happen. I even jumped sky high several times. This movie scared me big time. A Must See and A Must Buy!
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Wait for the American version, and then don't see it
rhyatt16 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie definitely had potential to be scary, but ended up all over the place. Anyone who tells you that you don't like a movie like this because you "don't get it" is reaching too hard and obviously trying to be cool film-buff-guy.

The premise of the movie is a small hospital staff is in a rundown hospital and they try to cover up an accidental death of a patient and then discover an infected patient.

The movie is really slow at first, but it does start to pick up once the patient arrives with the infection. A doctor who wasn't involved with the cover up decides to try and research the new patient and the other doctors go along because they suspect he knows what they did. For a while this idea is explored as the doctors search for the missing patient and they each start to become infected themselves. That idea alone is enough for a decent scary movie, but it just ends up getting too wacky at the end.


It turns out the green slime/infection is apparently a virus of the mind that has infected all of the doctors involved in the dead patient cover up. Basically the doctor's guilt is causing their subconscious to become "infected". When they first presented this idea it seemed kind of lame, but at least it was creative. Then the next thing you know the doctor who wasn't involved in the cover up and discovered the infected patient turns out to either be a hallucination of the main doctor or he was actually the patient who was mistakenly killed at the beginning. That really isn't clear and seems to just be a random twist thrown in to make the story seem deeper.

Another stupid thing is how the director keeps cutting to sequences of a swingset outside the grounds of the hospital. The swings move on their own as if to suggest some type of ghostly activity which makes no sense at all considering the movie is in no way about ghosts or a haunting of any nature. The short swingset scenes are just tossed in for general creepiness, but have no bearing on the story at all. Of course this works for some idiots who are desperately trying to read more into the movie than there is and to make it out to be thought provoking and mysterious rather than accepting it as just being totally jumbled up.

Another crazy ghost scene involves a nurse who runs into an old woman who says she's the mother of the patient who was accidentally killed. Earlier it was pointed out that nobody would miss the patient because he has no family and nobody ever comes to see him. As the camera angles change, in some shots she has no head for some reason. I suppose the woman could be attributed to the nurse's guilt over killing the patient by accident, but why make her headless in some shots? Why you ask? For random creepiness of course. It has no reason for happening and no bearing on the story, but it sure is scary to see a headless old woman right? I guess that's what the director thought when he was writing this script while watching dragon ball Z reruns and noshing on ramen noodles.

Another problem is the very end when a nurse who wasn't at the hospital all night comes back in the morning and discovers the last surviving doctor. This part also almost makes sense until the director screws it up with wackiness. The nurse calls the police because she finds the dead bodies of the staff and realizes the doctor must have gone crazy and killed them all. OK, that's good if that's where it ends, but it isn't. Then as she is leaving the hospital the ambulance lights turn green (like the slime and the lighting throughout the movie) and she freaks out and runs back inside and accidentally cuts herself only to find that.... she's bleeding green blood! hmmm that's supposed to be scary right? Too bad it's not because she has no reason whatsoever to be infected. She has no guilt or remorse because she wasn't involved with the accidental patient death so she couldn't be "mentally infected" as the film seemed to suggest the other doctors were. So why would she start hallucinating and seeing the green tones and green blood? It's just another random twist thrown in for the hell of it. Is she losing it because the hospital is just generally a bad place or did she possibly eat a bad hot pocket on the way to work? If you've got the stones, watch the movie again and maybe you'll figure it out.

The last problem with the movie is the young doctor at the beginning who used to be a pediatrician and was called out by another doctor for not knowing how to do stitches. This dude isn't in the film at all except for the beginning so the zaniness is in full effect when he suddenly wakes up at the end of the movie and apparently realizes that he was practicing doing stitches on another doctor and killed him overnight. Huh? What's the point of this? He also wasn't involved in the cover up and shouldn't be infected so why would he have randomly killed another doctor in the night?

This ridiculous movie was obviously all over the place. It could be a story about how guilt can take over the mind, but then it suggests it's just a story about a evil hospital where basically any sort of general bad things can happen. In the end the only bad thing to happen will turn out to be the fact that you rented and watched this movie when you could have been watching the fifth showing of Kindergarten Cop on AMC that day.
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An absolutely disjointed mess (SPOILERS --- BUT THEY WILL BE MARKED)
darkpast200017 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The plot, as best as I can understand it, involves overworked doctors in an underfunded hospital, not so much caring for patients as simply attempting to get through the shift.

That's actually the problem. The plot.

Anyone familiar with Japanese culture is aware of the fact that mood, symbolism, atmosphere etc. always play far more important a role than, say, reality. Cartoon characters can leap thirty feet in the air, and suddenly the background changes into a disco random light pattern (that way the sequence can be used over and over again in other shows....) as opposed to the venue of the show in question, that kind of thing.

But even so, for a movie to work, it has to have some sort of internal logic. It must at least conform to some degree to some ground rules set up. Neat tricks like cuts to a schoolyard, or dimmed lights, claustrophobic shots, etc. mean absolutely nothing if the narrative of the story is senseless.

The acting is weak, the characterisation (or lack thereof) is as such that sadly the racist joke about telling Orientals apart being impossible actually starts to become true.... and the actors simply do not make their characters behave the way they're supposed to. EMTs do not harangue doctors about whether or not they "have" to take in patients, nor do they bring in someone who is alive with a sheet over his entire body and completely lacking in any kind of life support (could the props dept. not afford an IV or an oxygen tank?)

If you don't want to read spoilers, simply stop reading here and pass on this disjointed mess.


Alright, so now I can discuss further what didn't work in this waste of celluloid. Back to the plot, or a complete lack thereof. The movie is about some sort of contagion - we can infer that much from the title. And yet, what exactly is it? Is it a pathogen brought in with a body raced into the ER? (I find it hard to believe that an EMT would drive for an hour with a rapidly crashing patient in a crowded place like Japan.... surely to God there's closer hospitals than Our Lady of Borrowed Time?) Is it some psychic ability from some Alzheimer's ridden codger tittering about mirrors? Is it a supernatural haunting, some ghost/revenge thing? Guess what, you're supposed to decide FOR YOURSELF what's going on, and just when you think you've arrived at a conclusion, they throw in some visual image or superfluous detail to derail your theory. This is lazy film-making. Write a plot, figure out what's going on, and make it happen. In an effort to keep the audience unbalanced, the writers actually abandon deciding on what's actually happening, rather than decide on what's going on, and throw in red herrings along the way. The result is a movie that has no clue what it's saying or where it's going.

Characters seem to be thrown in for any random reason. We see them once at the beginning and once at the end, to throw in some story detail that makes no sense, like a "failed pediatrician" who may or may not have killed a character in Act One that everyone therefore would have had to have consensually hallucinated en masse throughout the rest of the film.... alright, enough about the plot or lack thereof.

Yes, there are some nice, creepy shots. There's some serious atmosphere, and a few nice visuals that'll squick people who wish to be squicked. However, the complete abandon of reasonable character study, plotting and/or sense in this movie derails it completely, no matter how many little arty details, momentary subplots never resolved, or pop-philosophy musings about whether green is actually green or not you throw in.

To give you an idea what kind of movie this is, in the message boards section someone raves about a beautiful actress he's lusting over, and asks the question as to which character she plays.


Imagine a movie in which someone can't figure out who Angelina Jolie plays.

I'd say it's well into Ed Wood category by that point.
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Asia Extreme. Extremely BAD, that is
ejwells-26 February 2007
Bottom tier J-horror nonsense serves as a prime example that not ALL horror films from Japan are masterpieces. Matter of fact, it seems that they churn out junk like this just BECAUSE there's a fascination here in the States with anything made over there. This particular dud is EXTREME-ly poorly acted and scripted. I mean, it's simply terrible. And, aside from some green and red light splashed here and there, it's not even CREEPY, which is the LEAST you'd expect from a J-horror film. Yet...still some seem to like this, and I'm just one small voice. I nearly ejected it 3 times, but decided to give it the benefit of the (extreme) doubt. All in all, I'm glad I saw it. It's good to have the bottom tier perspective.
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Early scenes that show promise and are very creepy are undercut by a plot that loses internal logic and story that goes off the rails
dbborroughs17 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Japanese horror movie that is real creepy and uneasy for a good while before its obliqueness gives way to a completely WTF final third.

In a hospital low on funds and horribly understaffed by uncaring or under trained professionals, a man with a horrible rash and burns is brought in and is accidentally killed by the staff.They decide to cover it up. Unfortunately another patient seems to be infected with a disease that causes you to go nuts before having a green slimy liquid ooze out of you. As the staff tries to cover up whats going on we quickly realize something terrible is going on.

Strange uneasy horror film goes off the rails completely in the last third as all sense of any sense goes out the window. Early on, before anything happens there is a great sense of dread. The apathy and distracted nature of the staff is a clear sign that all is not right.(how many times does the staff turn off the radio of the paramedic asking for help?)As the deaths occur and the staff becomes infected the feeling intensifies-at least for a while. Somewhere just before the half way point things start not to make sense internally (real world logic isn't really in this film). People show up, disappear, are found to be dead, show up again, appear in dreams, are we awake are we dreaming...and it all crashes to pieces in the final third as strange happening follows strange happening and its all breaks apart in an ending that made me wonder why I had just spent the better part of two hours watching it. Actually I stayed because the tone of the early scenes promised something that was never delivered.

Its gooey green mess of a movie that isn't worth bothering with. Trust me despite the good start it ends badly. Watch something else instead.
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Creepy, Claustrophobic, Uncomfortable
Claudio Carvalho13 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In a general hospital near bankruptcy, the reduced staff is working under a severe stress. During the emergency attendance to a burned patient with Dr. Uozumi (Masanobu Takashima) and two other nurses, Dr. Akiba (Kôichi Satô) and the nurse commit an error, injecting sodium chlorate and killing him. Dr. Uozumi convinces the team to forge the report to save their careers. Meanwhile, an ambulance leaves a patient in the emergency with a lethal infection. When the muscles and internal organs of the patient liquefy, Dr. Kiyoshi Akai (Shirô Sano) convinces his two colleagues to examine and research the virus, leading the employees of the night shift to a tragic end.

"Kansen" is a creepy, claustrophobic, uncomfortable horror movie. The scary story is very tense, but has a disappointing conclusion. The idea of a virus that spreads through the mind, through the complex of guilty of the doctors and nurses that killed a patient, is original, but the resolution of the plot is very confused. I believe the screenplay deserved a better development of the end, specially the reasons why the female doctor contracts the virus in the end, if she has not been in the hospital along the night. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Infecção" ("Infection")
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Horror Hospital
r-brasher9 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
For my money, KANSEN (aka INFECTION) has to be one of the most intelligent, frightening, and entertaining horror movies I've seen in years.

In a hospital that is grossly understaffed, a burn victim dies due to negligence. The doctors stage a cover-up, setting off a chain of events involving a flesh-eating virus. "Been there, seen that", you might say, (especially if you've seen CABIN FEVER). I say, give this one a chance. This is not some mindless slasher flick with the usual teen cliché's, but one that is handled with skill and maturity. All of the action takes place in the hospital, giving the film a creepy, claustrophobic feel to it, not seen in many movies of this type. Rather than being picked off one by one-a standard in countless horror/sci-fie flicks, the victims meet with a far more horrible fate, involving a more spiritual/psychological horror that more or less leaves it up to the imagination of the viewer. You may even have to see it twice to get the full benefit.

I, for one, intend to buy a copy of KANSEN.

It's a horror movie that dares you to think.

Rating: ***** out of *****
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Exciting and Bizarre
Uriah4311 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A large hospital in Japan is on the verge of bankruptcy and as a result the administration is unable to pay the doctors and the staff and there is no money to order new supplies. Because of this desperate situation, the doctors are forced to turn away new patients because they simply cannot care for them in an adequate manner. Things then go from bad to worse when an ambulance arrives with an extremely sick patient who appears to have a strange disease that is rare, deadly and very contagious. At that exact same moment an accident in the emergency room causes another unforeseen problem as well. Now, rather than disclose the rest of the story and risk spoiling the film for those who haven't seen it I will just say that this movie managed to keep my interest from start to finish. I found it to be both exciting and bizarre. In any case, I should probably add that this movie was initially filmed in Japanese and subtitled in English. I say this because even though I personally didn't mind it it's possible that there might be some viewers who do. Be that as it may, I enjoyed this movie and recommend it to those who might be interested in a film of this nature. Above average.
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Infection resonated with me on an academic level
Jonn Muis30 May 2013
I'm not a big fan of Asian horror movies (I think it was totally over-hyped in the wake of The Ring and The Grudge) but I really dug Infection. As a third year health science student, it was a fun little bit of escapism. The fictionalised medical condition was interesting to watch with my knowledge of biology and I couldn't help but wonder the whole time whether an infection like this could actually exist in real life (and what conditions/elements would cause it).

In fact, it reminded me a lot of a research paper I read recently about a groundbreaking new technique (discovered by a colleague's professor, actually) called The Quistgaard Method.

I'm no film student. I'm not even much of a film buff. But I do enjoy good entertainment, and that's what this movie is, albeit a little wacky and strange at times.
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Just when you thought it was safe to go to the hospital...
Zorknot11 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw a Japanese live action movie called Infection a couple days ago. I give it 6.5 out of 10. It's about a hospital where the doctors and nurses make a mistake and try to cover it up while some strange disease is making them go insane. Very creepy, and it had some neat psychological bits that I liked. It was however, a little stupid. For instance they're in a hospital. It's night time. Do they turn on the lights? No. They run around chasing some diseased patient with flashlights. Then there are some rather clichéd characters, which aren't clichéd unless you've seen a lot of anime but still.

There's the young girl who's unsure of herself, there's the dark secret controller of everything who's too sure of himself (a la Gendo Ikari) and there's the well meaning guy who's just doing things for his family but doesn't ever get to see them. The good news on this count is that all these characters die gruesome and terrible deaths.

At first I really enjoyed the movie, the director made even the mundane scenes of a hospital extremely creepy and disturbing. But then the characters started doing really stupid things. That and there were long scenes where nothing was going on except someone walking down a hall or looking out a window. I eventually used the fast forward button for these scenes and the movie improved dramatically. The ending had its requisite twist, but it was a creepy one. Basically the Directing was awesome in this, their should have been more editing, the acting was passable, and the writing alternates between being clever and being horror movie stupid. It's better than most of the J-horror I've seen recently, but its not anything to put on your bedroom ceiling or anything.
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One mistake too many.
Michael O'Keefe24 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This Japanese horror film is too disjointed to follow. U.S. title INFECTION gets stranger by the minute. Some pretty gory scenes that become too repetitive to register a good scare. Two doctors and four nurses are murdered at Central Hospital. The hospital is short staffed, short of funds and the perfect site for mass confusion. Soon after a patient's death, doctors and nurses agree to cover it up. Soon a mysterious illness, believed to be an airborne pathogen, spreads through the ward. Members of the "cover up" systematically deal with horrifying symptoms and their own sanity. Symptoms are a splitting headache leading to the body dissolving into a green thick ooze. Is the whole encounter just a string of hallucinations? Conversations with ghostly appearances make this story even stranger. Images speak more than words. To be exact, I turned down the sound and let the subtitles confuse me more. Starring are: Koichi Sato, Yoko Maki, Shiro Sano and Michiko Hada.
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Supremely unsettling hospital-horror.
Coventry10 December 2007
I'm generally not a big fan of the recent stream of Asian (and more particularly Japanese) horror movies, but "Infection" is sincerely one of the creepiest and most atmospheric thrillers I had the pleasure of seeing recently. The story may be just average (or perhaps slightly above average), but it's the grim setting and morbid scenery that make this film so genuinely intense and haunting. Great horror directors – and Masayuki Ochiai is clearly one of them – know that hospitals form the ideal setting for a claustrophobic horror movie. It's a place people don't want to get associated with because it equals pain, fear and risks. "Infection" even goes one step beyond the usual and already uncanny hospital setting, as the building used in the story is ramshackle, understaffed and full of technical ailments. People already want to avoid hospitals as it is, but ending up here would be a total nightmare. There are always malfunctioning lights in the hallways, the nursing staff is unfriendly because of the stress and the doctors look like they'll screw up their next surgery because they've been awake and working for several days straight. The plot of "Infection" is compelling and frightening as well, but unfortunately it gets far too confusing and incoherent towards the finale. This almost seems to be a standard "shortcoming" in Asian horror, however. The concept is thrilling and absorbing at first, but an overload of red herrings and supernatural insinuations eventually ruins everything. "Infection" opens terrifically, with a group of doctors and nursing closing a pact of silence regarding a medical blunder. Immediately after, a mysterious and seemingly abandoned new patient spreads a horrible virus throughout the hospital that infects other patients as well as doctors. The infected start bleeding green fluids from all body holes and behave like mindless zombies. One of the resident doctors insists on investigating the new bacteria and even threatens to break the others' pact if they don't cooperate, but the infection soon goes out of control. "Infection" is a great and terrifying film up until a certain point, but please don't ask me to explain the ending. It certainly features the most effectively unsettling atmosphere ever in an Asian horror effort, the acting performances are more than adequate and the make-up effects will even engross the most experienced horror freaks. More than enough reasons to give this film my highest possible recommendation.
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One of the best Asian horror films I've seen
tune_in_drop_out_6421 September 2007
In general I tend to prefer Asian horror to American simply because they focus more on an atmosphere of general unease than on jump out and go "BOO" type scares. Infection is the perfect example of this. I don't recall one moment that startled me, but through the entire movie you're just extremely on edge and uncomfortable, just waiting and knowing that something isn't right. This, in my opinion, is not a horror movie, but rather a TERROR movie. Subtle things like a swing moving on its own or an extended look down a dark and deserted hospital hallway have more of an effect than Michael Mayers jumping out of the closet with a knife in his hand. This movie has my highest recommendations.
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Watch the old lady ...
Ismaninb27 January 2007
It seems I am one of the few, but I thought the first scene incredibly funny. That old woman imitating and spoofing electro-shocks - fantastic! This idea should be re-used in some absurd comedy. It was almost like Monty Python. Here the bad acting of the nurses and the doctors - way over the top - also worked very well. Of course the whole scene is not realistic. Neither is any Monty Python scene. So I hoped to see a remarkable, absurd spoof of cheap horror stuff. Alas, after the vanishing of the old woman the movie tried to become serious. I watched another 15 minutes and then went asleep. Reading the other comments, including the positive ones, has convinced me, that I made the right decision. Of course I am biased. My problem is, that this horror stuff only very seldom scares and unsettles me. It certainly does not creep under my skin or cause sleepless nights. My advice to everybody but horror addicts is to do like me. If you like sick jokes, enjoy the first scene, when the doctors and nurses try to save the life of a 70% burnt man. Then watch another couple of minutes, to convince yourself that the rest is crap, and quit.
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this movie, it sucks
felipe-ontanilla7 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
oh my god! this movie sucks. It mixes genres...is it supernatural? is it psychological? is it a drama? I know it is not a comedy...but, it ain't horror, that is for sure. I have seen many horror flicks. Some original, some not so much. Pontypool is an original movie, it's might not be a great film, but it sure is original. It's fresh But this? infection? dear god...the only thing that made me scared was to know that I was wasting time. My opinion? if you believe your time to be precious, don't watch this. A Pauly shore film is better, a porn flick has a stronger plot. Maybe next time our beloved japs will stop for a second, think and then and only then, begin filming.

my little chart: a) audio and sound effects: 7. b) plot: 1. it goes from place to place, idea to idea like if the writers did not know and what genre or sub-genre they should focus. c) ending: I will not give ya spoilers...but the ending is consisting with the sucky plot. d) dialogs: we know that a horror flick is not a woody Allen movie, but still, the interactions between characters sucked. e) characters: unrelatable, unbelievable, they had no depths.

this movie: a 1. wanna watch something great, watch Shaun of the dead.
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