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Marronnier (2004)

 |  Horror  |  2004 (Japan)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 152 users  
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Cast

Credited cast:
Yuriko Anjho ...
Sayoko
Miyako Cojima ...
Sakura
Mizuki Hikaru ...
Girl
Hime ...
Kaori
Haruna Hoshino ...
Yuri Ichijyo
Miwa Igehara ...
Woman in Theater
Misao Inagaki ...
Mitsuba Hidaka
Takanori Kagami ...
Kagami
Kakyo ...
Madoka's Illusion
Asami Kobayashi ...
Woman seeking dress
Hideyuki Kobayashi ...
Kurataro Kitawaki
Miyako Koga ...
Mitsuko
Kuroka ...
Fortune Teller
Mayu ...
Marino Kitawaki
Hiroyuki Nakajima ...
Man with Cell Phone
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1 word ...WOW!
22 March 2012 | by (Bundelkhand Region) – See all my reviews

Sayoko is your average young Japanese lady. She likes hanging out with her friends, dressing up in Gothic Lolita fashions and shop lifting. She, however, has been created by evil genii or something, uses a machine to turn them into wax and sculpts the wax into dolls in the deceased's likeness, involves a dramatic love story with passion, murder, ultra cool action and cannibalism. But it doesn't end there. Sayokos' doppleganger is even freakier. She stalks Sayoko, kidnaps her (and her friends), fails to seduce her, gets rebuffed, laughs like a maniac and tries to get them to kill one another! But that's before her other double comes to life and attack her… Shot, directed, written, edited, composed, performed and post-produced by Tomohiro Kubo, Marronnier is one of the most… unique… Japanese horror films of recent memory. The decision to execute the film as if it were a manga brought to screen is an interesting one that is realized by dividing the film into a bunch of mini-scenes. Doing so, through the heavy (over) reliance on fading to and from black, helps propel the film at a hectic pace form gore scene to gore scene. The result, though, is that Kubo throws so much information and action at us that we don't have time to absorb what few plot specifics that there are. We are instead left with an outline of what the emotional stakes are and a vague idea of where the action has to go.

Marronnier, then, is a visceral viewing experience. However, it ultimately operates less as a film structured in a 'manga style' of storytelling - so called evoking the feeling of reading a horror manga

  • but instead feels like we are flipping through a comic. Surprisingly


this is enough for us to get the gist of the story and to maintain our interest. This is not to say that the film is a profound work by any stretch of the imagination but its low-budget horror aesthetic ultimately satisfies with what we like best in budget horror: gore, stupidity, seemingly random scenes (the 'huh?' factor), and kitsch! Make no mistake, Marronnier is a masterwork; plus the sincerity of the production is endearing: Kubo clearly loves working with babage. The flick is a solo labor of love and he, alone, is responsible for what we see on screen. That sort of energy permeates the film and regardless of whether you like the product or not, it's clear that an immensely creative person is at work here.

Kubo seems to be aware of his technical and stylistic limitations, but doesn't let that stop him. He's made Tomie vs Tomie without any excuses or irony and as a result it might not be for everyone: Tomie vs Tomie is more Frank Henenlotter than Hideo Nakata. This is NOT a ko-gal horror flick like Stacy or Suicide Club! The actors are all adult men and women, with some of them being popular manga artists. Furthermore, manga maniac Junji Ito, with Kubo sculpting the actual figures, designed the effects. So you know something special is going on with this film. Marronnier is as much mocking the teen horror genre, as referencing it-but it is not a part of it.

So if you're ready for a trashy good time, my recommendation is to get a group of friends together, have some beers and laugh with this freaked-out late-night B-movie in horror doll-land. The music alone is worth the cost of admission! It's an awesome movie.

Heard there's sequel on it's way. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Can't imagine how awesome that's going to be...


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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