Noroi (2005) Poster

(2005)

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10/10
One of the best horror movies I've seen yet...
iamstyx20 February 2008
Never posted anything here before, but after watching Noroi I just felt that I had to write down my thoughts about it.

Firstly do not compare this to Blair Witch, this movie deserves far better than that! Simply put, Noroi is (probably) one of the best horror movies I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot!).

I really liked how the movie presents itself not as a standard horror flick, but as a documentary filmed by a reporter (i think?) named Kobayashi and his cameraman. Without spoiling to much about the plot, I can say it that it starts with Kobayashi doing research on a series of seemingly unrelated events, that turns out to be connected to something far more darker and sinister.

While the story might not be that original in itself, what really hooked me with Noroi was the incredibly eerie atmosphere. If you're looking for cheap scares and seat-jumping scenes this movie might not be for you. This movie is all about the mood it presents, with haunting images and a general feeling of foreboding suspense. The documentary style filming just makes it farm more believable.

This is also helped a lot by the acting which is superb, although not perfect for the general part of the movie! Far better than in most other movies in this type of genre.

Well enough ranting from me, I highly recommend Noroi to everyone, it is suspenseful, creepy, well acted and the first movie that has scared me in ages.
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10/10
The Scariest Film I've Ever Seen, and I've Seen A Lot
ebossert13 January 2008
Note: Check me out as the "Asian Movie Enthusiast" on YouTube, where I review tons of Asian movies.

Anyone familiar with horror films knows that most of them are not scary at all. Some people enjoy gorefests with subpar story lines and character development. I personally enjoy horror films that focus on atmosphere and interesting concepts (e.g., A Tale of Two Sisters, Kairo, etc.). Whatever the type of horror film one personally likes, there are only a select few that really scare you. Noroi is one of them.

This is a documentary-style movie, which means that the entire film is a compilation of video clips that are linked by the legend of a demonic entity named Kagutaba. The premise is that a journalist filmed his own footage by interviewing people associated with the demonic rituals associated with Kagutaba, then compiled footage from other sources that link with his research. What results is a relentlessly chilling experience that feels very real and very disturbing, despite the fact that the story itself is fake.

Some have compared Noroi with The Blair Witch Project, but the only similarity is the documentary style. One obvious difference between the films is that Noroi scares the viewer by linking events to one another using different sources. For example, the journalist records the exterior of a house that he is researching and sees something strange on the porch. Later in the film, a clip from another character's home video introduces that very same strange occurrence. The viewer's memory links the two incidents and chills start running down their spine. Another example involves a television show with a child psychic who answers every single question correctly except for one. In fact, her answer is so wrong that the viewer may wonder what the filmmakers were thinking. Later on, however, that wrong answer turns out to be linked to an extremely disturbing event. This is intelligent film-making indeed.

Another difference between Noroi and Blair Witch is that Noroi provides not one, but two very long finales, the second of which is placed a minute after the credits start to roll and is the single greatest scare scene in the history of horror cinema. I do not say such things lightly. It totally wrecked me in a wonderous way.

Other aspects of film-making are well done. The legend and ritualistic background of Kagutaba are very interesting and most of the actors did a good job. The only over-the-top performance comes from a guy who's supposed to be crazy anyway, so that's expected. The cinematography is intentionally gritty because all of the footage is supposed to represent videos shot on camcorders. Japanese films are not known for their special effects, but the effects used here were awesome. In some cases they create an other-worldly feel (e.g., the static interference or the first finale) but in other cases they are alarmingly realistic (e.g., the second finale).

When all is said and done, Noroi goes down as the scariest film I've ever seen. I would go so far as to say that there is no film in existence that provides such sheer terror from beginning to end like Noroi does. See it now.
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Intensely unsettling
Cujo10824 July 2010
Kobayashi is a documentary filmmaker who is fascinated by the paranormal. Always looking for new cases to document, he and his cameraman begin investigating a series of freakish events that are seemingly unrelated. To say that he finds more than he bargained for would be an understatement.

Rather than Blair Witch, this one reminded me of The Last Broadcast due to all the different footage involved. There's a sinister atmosphere from the start, but the film manages to be quite funny at times through it's use of stupid variety show footage. If you're familiar with these shows, you know how ripe for lampooning they really are. The storyline itself is quite complex, particularly for the hand-held sub-genre. There are multiple strands and a deep mythology to interpret. It also isn't your typical Asian horror with long-haired ghosts, thank goodness. Instead, we get some legitimate scares through mood and build-up. When we see the flier that says a key character has gone missing, it's enough to give you a chill all on it's own thanks to what we've seen beforehand. There are also a few choice scenes that will stay with you. The two scenes that got the biggest reaction out of me both revolved around Marika, a likable actress who gets caught up in the occurrences through an on location TV shoot. The first involves going back to the tapes and catching something in the frame with her, the second has her losing control in Kobayashi's house as pigeons smash into the window.

The mystery at the film's core is intriguing to watch unfold. At 115 minutes, the film is never boring and it doesn't feel too long. Big compliment, as hand-held horror typically works better when it's short and to the point.
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9/10
will either scare you silly or bore you to death
OK, so I watched this at 1am with all the lights off and my headphones on and all alone in my apartment. And I have to say, I damn near soiled myself towards the end. On many occasions I found myself holding on to the edge of my sofa. Its that scary. And believe me, I don't have that reaction while watching a horror movie very often (extremely rarely in fact).

A word of caution though. This one really requires patience. You need to immerse yourself into its world. I watched it another night with my girlfriend and she got bored and gave up about half-way. I can imagine many folks doing the same. This is that kind of a movie, it will either scare you silly or bore you to death. I fall in the former camp.

I won't spoil the story for you (as if you didn't already know bout it from browsing the IMDb boards) but there are a lot of seemingly random events happening on screen which make a lot of sense once the movie reaches its horrific conclusion(s). That last scene still gives me shudders.

So watch this with an open mind and give it a fair chance. Paranormal activity, Rec., BWP, and all the other shaky cam brethren have NOTHING on this one. Noroi has them all licked.
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7/10
Very good
pmdawn15 April 2008
I can't praise this film enough. It had a lot of that hand-held, first-person shaking camera which I love (and some hate, because it makes them sick), like REC, Cloverfield and Blair Witch Project.

It is a long movie for its kind, but I didn't even notice because the film was so interesting. By just showing the footage from a paranormal reporter's work the movie keeps up the pace, making it a real-time experience for the viewer.

While I would never call this film the "scariest horror ever made", I'd have to say it's certainly one of the best I've seen. The fear factor here is constructed by details in the images, camera glitches, events linked to one another which lend a very mysterious and haunting tone to the movie. The horror is more in what is not shown, but left to our imaginations. The ending is perfect, and be warned that you might have nightmares afterwards. A second viewing is highly recommended, though.

Watch this one alone in the dark, don't expect anything and you'll have fun.
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8/10
As far as faux documentary horror goes, this one's at the head of the pack.
capkronos18 October 2008
NOROI follows a documentary filmmaker, Masafumi Kobayashi, as he slowly uncovers something mysterious and evil that's leaving a trail of dead bodies in its wake. After interviewing a woman who claims to hear loud baby's cries coming from the house next door (where there is no baby), Kobayashi heads over to talk to the neighbor. He's greeted with hostility by the unhinged, disheveled woman (Maria Takagi) who answers the door (and promptly slams it in his face) and gets a peek at her 6-year-old son through a window. Strangely, both the woman and her son disappear just days after his visit (leaving behind a pile of dead pigeons on their back porch), and the woman who first complained about the noises, as well as her daughter, are both killed in a mysterious accident not long after that. This piques Kobayashi's interest and he sets out on a quest to find out what's going on. He soon uncovers that those with psychic abilities and extra-sensory perception seem to be tuning into something sinister, unexplainable and possibly even apocalyptic. Well-known 10-year-old clairvoyant, and TV celebrity, Kana (Rio Kanno) seems to think we may all be doomed, but she mysteriously disappears before she can be of much help. Another female psychic/actress (Marika Matsumoto) becomes involved, as does Mr. Nori, a mentally unstable kook/psychic who wears a hat and jacket made of aluminum foil and thinks people are being eaten by what he refers to "ectoplasmic worms." Clues eventually lead back to the site of a small village that's now covered by a lake, and the legend of an ancient demon known as Kagutaba...

Unlike many other hand-held horror flicks, this one depends just as much on the plot as it does reactionary first-person scares. Thankfully there's something of a storyline here, a very interesting and intricate one at that, so it doesn't rely on glimpses of horrific things through spastic camera-work every once in awhile to keep your interest. The way Masafumi travels around following leads in search of the truth - with well placed jolts along the way - reminded me somewhat of THE OMEN in its pacing. The film also doesn't entirely consist of footage shot by the documentarian, but weaves in news reports and television variety shows as if what we're watching is an already completed documentary. That helps to break up some of the monotony usually associated with films shot in this particular style. The performances are good enough not to harm any of the realism of the 'actual' footage either. Overall, it's a well-made horror film, with lots of plot shifts, some suspense and quite a few genuinely creepy moments, that's well worth checking out. My only real gripe is that it could have used a little trimming here and there and seems to go on a bit too long. Otherwise, pretty good stuff.
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8/10
an amazingly creepy film
mapb24 July 2010
Suffice to say I have never seen a film quite like "Noroi". It is perhaps THE creepiest film I have ever watched. Note that I say "creepy", not "scary". There is nothing that will make you jump in this movie, but there is a level of terror and suspense you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Think "The Blair Witch Project", only stretched out through a longer runtime and a (much) more complex story.

Much like "The Blair Witch Project", the movie is filmed mostly on camcorders and tries (though not nearly as relentlessly as "The Blair Witch Project") to pass itself off as a true story. Purporting to be last documentary of paranormal investigator Masafumi Kobayashi, the movie's real genius is in its construction. It begins with several, seemingly unrelated plot threads, each one kicked off by some mysterious, creepy event. Kobayashi records a bizarre EVP while investigating a reclusive woman's house, a young girl displays psychic powers on a television program, an actress goes into convulsions while investigating a haunted temple. The tension in the movie is maintained beautifully, rising at a steady pace throughout the entire film as bizarre, seemingly supernatural events begin happening to and around the characters. The real horror in the film comes from seeing how these events are all related, a realization the viewers will reach long before the characters, though the plot threads do eventually converge.

A sense of rising horror pervades this entire movie, and by the time the climax rolls around the tension has built to such a screeching pitch it's almost unbearable. Combined with the fact that the last twenty minutes or so contain some of the most unsettling scenes I have ever seen, and you've got a cinematic punch that will stay with you for days. A couple points come off for one character's delirious overacting (although he does play something of a nutcase), but otherwise this movie's got it all. The only question is...are you ready for it?
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10/10
Seems like you either love this movie or you hate it.
kuronox8 May 2009
I, for one, absolutely loved this movie.

It is not a "typical Asian horror" where you would see a gruesome looking ghost (usually a woman) that is going around scaring people. You barely see any ghosts for a majority of the film, but the way this movie keeps you interested in the plot and characters is genius. This is not the movie for you if you're into gore (e.g. Saw, Hostel) or "surprise scares" where stuff pops out at you (Hollywood horror, slasher films), but this movie has an underlying "creepy" factor throughout the entire movie which I loved. Noroi is a progressive and somewhat experimental approach to horror amongst the ridiculous remakes and unoriginal crap being released by Hollywood in today's society.

Please don't let the documentary-style of filming turn you off (why should it?!). It is far superior to the Blair Witch Project because, for one, the acting in Noroi is brilliant and it really makes you feel like you're watching something you're not supposed to be seeing.

Noroi is definitely one of the best horror movies I have ever seen. Only a few films have made it into my Top 5 horror; and this movie holds a solid #1 spot on my list.
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10/10
*SPOILERS* A very original entry into the world of J-Horror
Gambit11388 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This review contains some small, yet significant, spoilers.

---

I just finished watching my copy of Noroi...

...and it was GREAT! This might sound cheesy, but several times during the film I forgot it wasn't real XD The acting is convincing, although the acting from Masafumi Kobayashi (playing himself, I think...) seems a bit hokey at times. Marika Matsumoto (Yuka in Takashi Shimizu's Rinne) seemed to change levels of believability throughout the movie: sometimes she's REALLY good, then the next moment she's really cheesy (especially at the end's exorcism and subsequent re-possession.

A character that was ridiculous at first was Mr. Hori, a man covered in tinfoil believing "ectoplasmic worms" are coming to eat everyone. He provides unintentional comic relief at the beginning (acting like the stereotypical alien abduction-type victim) but near the end has some really creepy scenes.

The plot was very interesting and really kept me wondering how everything tied together. There are some things that aren't really explained (like a mass suicide in a Tokyo park and where the reincarnated Kagutaba-boy came from) but everything else turned out fine. The ending has GOT to be one of the most unnerving, if not the scariest, sequences I've ever had the pleasure to witness.

All in all, Noroi is a very fun way to spend 2 hours and the new Hong Kong R3 DVD provides great picture and sound (most importantly the English SUBTITLES- Engrish free!) for a great J-Horror experience. I highly recommend picking it up.
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9/10
Simply the Best
cloudless3817 August 2009
Being a great fan of horror, especially Asian horror, I have seen tons of movies, but this one is outstanding. Why? It does have a plot (which is unfortunately quite rare among horror movies). The actors did a good job. It feels like a real documentary film (even if it's not). It does not get boring for a moment. The director cleverly combines the plot with the acts of a certain Japanese magic cult (perhaps this cult never existed, but still, it's believable). It reminded me of the similarly great movie "Forbidden Siren".

To me the one and only annoying thing about the movie was the character Hori, the psychic, but this is subjective.

I recommend this movie to all fans of quality horror.

9 out of 10.
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10/10
Review
Dorjee Wangyel23 October 2015
This movie is the prime example of why Eastern horror movies are superior to Western horror.

Noroi is a low budget small movie, but it's disturbingly creepy. Sets an example of how a good horror found footage styled movie should be and how an overarched plot should be handled. It starts out incoherent. Intermingled clips are shown - character "Kobayashi" with his cameraman is shown talking to a woman about some disturbing thing in her neighourhood; a young girl is shown in an experimental TV show about psychic; an aspiring actress is shown going to a location where she starts experiencing strange things and convulsing. As the movie progresses, these characters come into contact with each other as disturbing things start happening around them. I'm not gonna say anymore because it'll be a spoiler. But in the end everything is put into place, with an nerve-wrecking ending that leaves the question of "What happens next?" open to the viewers.

The acting while not superb is convincing enough to put the whole disturbing vibe of the movie into place.

Anyway, my first line holds true to this. As an avid watcher of horror, I've seen a range of horror movies in many language, and it's been my experience that Asian horror movies undoubtedly stands out above Western horror movie. There are a range of horror movie that sets an example of this - from the Thai movie "The Art of Devil 2" to "Ebola Syndrome". And this movie is another addition to the list. Some of the highly acclaimed western movies like "Poltergeist", "The Conjuring", "The Innocents" etc. are shamed by the above mentioned Asian horrors.

Highly recommended to any avid Horror watchers.
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9/10
And people call The Blair Watch Project 'scary'!
Maz Murdoch (asda-man)12 October 2012
Nothing usually scares me when coming to watch horror films. I do absolutely love the horror genre but when it comes to being scared nothing much does it for me apart from "The Ordeal", "REC" and "The Grudge" (although that doesn't scare me so much now.) "Noroi: The Curse" absolutely terrified me! I wanted to be scared (regret that now) and so after hunting for it on DVD which I could not find, I found the whole film on Youtube and turned off all the lights and watched it on my own to see if it would scare me. It did! People are not lying when they call this the scariest film ever made because it's hideously frightening and such a breath of fresh air amongst the dull American ghost-type remakes.

Some people complain that the film is too long at two hours. I disagree, it flew by for me. Noroi: The Curse is compelling viewing that never got dull. It's incredibly tense and feels very authentic thanks to the terrific acting and camera-work. The film isn't your typical found footage, it's more of a mockumentary, so there's a string of videos, mainly documenting this adorable cute Japanese man's investigation into a weird curse. It never gets boring because it never dwells in one place for too long, there's always another clip that's going to completely grab you by the neck and send chills all over your body. This is also ensured by cleverly including seemingly unrelated clips from other TV shows to engage your attention and help you to work out the puzzle.

Noroi: The Curse is very intelligently written. It creates an original and impressively detailed mystery that not only engages you, but also manages to creep you out, deeply. There are some images which are going to haunt me forever, and some of the clips were also incredibly intense towards the end. I was even thinking "No please don't go in there!" Because I knew it was going to be something really chilling which I didn't want to see. When usually I'm waiting for something terrifying to happen.

The editing is also very effective. I hated the way (in a good way) they paused the clip on a scary image and zoomed into it with that horrible music! It's the stuff that nightmares are made of. It really gets under your skin and has you grabbing for the light switch, which is really out of character for me. There are also an array of memorable characters who are exceptionally good actors. The super psychic was a bit over the top, but he still created a memorable character who I also felt sympathy for. I was almost disappointed when it was over because I wanted to see more! It's a shame that Noroi: The Curse isn't available on DVD anywhere I know because it really is an incredible horror film. It feels so authentic that you even forget that your watching a film (I'd recommend tricking a gullible friend). It's chilling and memorable, although lacks re-play value as you'll know all of the surprises and such. Having said that I really do want to see it again! It's so much more scarier than "The Blair Witch Project" that was more infuriating than scary! This is up there with "REC" and is a truly memorable and spine-tingling film. I've never felt chills like it!
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8/10
A very unsettling, small film
moviewizguy20 September 2009
A documentary filmmaker explores seemingly unrelated paranormal incidents connected by the legend of an ancient demon called the "kagutaba."

From the looks of it, the film looks like one of those camcorder movies that have been popular these last few months, even one that's going to be released next week (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY)! However, unlike movies like CLOVERFIELD, REC, and BLAIR WITCH, where most of those movies are in complete chaos and mayhem with all of the shakiness, this one is basically shown in a traditional documentary style. It has TV excerpts and interviews and the scares are very subtle, well, excluding the last 20 minutes where we go into the chaos effect and where the fear factor is raised up tremendously.

And it works. The film is very engrossing and it makes you think. Yes, you heard me right: It makes you think. You have to pay attention to those unrelated details given throughout the film and the payoff is great when, in course of the film, these things start to intertwine one another. The film is also very slow moving, which, in this case, is a good thing. We, as the audience, get to absorb the details shown on screen, however subtle or blatant they are.

Above all, it's a frightening little film. I'm a person who is scared of ghosts and the paranormal more than killers who slashes away teenage victims so yes, the film gave me some nightmares. There are some images in here that are really disturbing to watch, including one closer in the end where it makes you go "What am I looking at?!" Well, it's better left unanswered. There are around ten reoccurring characters in here, all of which gave authentic performances in their roles.

The only thing I don't like about the film is the ending because most questions are left unanswered. The question "That's it?" went though my mind. It left a bad taste in my mouth. However, the rest of the film is just engrossing and really frightening. Don't see this alone in the dark because you'll regret that choice. Also, I can see in a couple of years that Hollywood would remake this film. That will be interesting.
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10/10
Creepiest movie ever made
Ailurusf15 September 2013
I have watched tons of horror movies, so this doesn't come lightly: Noroi is the creepiest movie ever made. No movie gets the sense of dread and impending doom as well as Noroi does. There are no jump scares, blood is absolutely minimal, the build-up is very slow and connections are subtle, but this is exactly why this movie is so effective. By avoiding jump scares and cheap revelations, Noroi also avoids the release of tension that comes with these scares.

It is also a smart movie, one that respects its audience and avoids having instrumental characters, while allowing spectators to build the connections in their own heads. The creepiness in Noroi comes from linking seemingly unrelated events which slowly reveal that something is very wrong. I'm not gonna bother with summaries, that's been done elsewhere, but there are a few things I want to point out. First, the film is usually referred as "found footage", but this is not found footage per se. Contrary to something like Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, we're not seeing raw footage here, but a finished product. The film pretends to be an actual documentary, not a documentary around a documentary gone wrong. Thus, every scene has a purpose to the story itself. Second, by being a 'documentary', the movie already dismisses the usual complaint of "stop filming and run, you idiot". From the beginning we know that the characters need to capture the story, since it is their job to do so. Third, all the characters start already believing that the paranormal is true. The movie wastes no time trying to prove that "there are no such things as ghosts". We're watching a documentary about the paranormal, so any skepticism was eliminated before the movie even started, and thus jump into the action right away. Fourth, the paranormal in the movie is dealt in a more mature way than most found footage movies. Instead of taking the cheap "urban legend" approach, Noroi takes a more anthropological approach to its story, one that's almost academic in nature.

In other words, this is one of my favorite horror movies ever. It may be too late for this, but if you can, try to watch it without finding anything about the story itself. It makes the experience all the much better.
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9/10
Haunting Asian horror strikes again!
Condom-full-of-Hatred19 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Like a lot of horror fans out there that went looking for the next great scare flick, we plundered the Asian horror market for whatever we could get our hands on, leaving no dark haired ghost lady unturned. We had good reason to do so, the Asian market had spawned such terrifying wonders as Ringu, Dark Waters, Juon - the Grudge, and a Tale of Two Sisters. By the time Takashi Miike started ripping the mick out of the genre with One Missed Call in 2003, the market seemed to be drying up, leaving it open for mockery and derision, despite the continued Hollywood Remake Machine working full steam ahead. Now, don't get me wrong, there were still plenty of good Asian horrors being made, the likes of Marebito and Shutter, to mention but two, will stand as minor genre classics some day. But the lank haired ghost lady had definitely had her feed at the party, and was time to take that success-drunk tramp home to bed! Then along comes a film like Noroi - The Curse. A film that is smart enough to pay subtle homage to it's roots, yet throws the rulebook out the window whilst doing it. What I'm about to describe in terms of plot will probably make you think there is nothing new here at all. The film is a documentary about one of Japan's top paranormal investigators as he receives stories and tip offs on ghostly goings on. He starts investigating the claims by a woman that she regularly hears a baby crying in the house next door, yet there is no baby there, apart from a middle aged woman and her son. These two disappear sharpish when the reporter pokes his nose around, but strange other coincidences start popping up. A psychic young girl, a mentally ill clairvoyant, a pretty young actress who had a strange vision, a lot of dead pigeons, and a very sinister demon by the name of Kagutaba, leading to a truly terrifying showdown in a small historical town...

To say any more on the plot might ruin the fun a bit. The film is shot in 'faux documentary' fashion, and incorporates footage from TV shows and news reports, and the labels via subtitles lets you know where you are in terms of the time line. The film has drawn more than a few comparisons to the Blair Witch Project, but apart from the shooting format and the creepy trip through the woods late at night, the comparison ends there really.

What is refreshing about Noroi is how it doesn't pander to modern horror audiences. If you are expecting croaky ghost ladies to pop out of the attic, look elsewhere. The film's strength lies in it's slow, gradual build up of terror, a terror so profound that it will stick with you for days after watching it. The climax is pretty damned freaky, but just when you think the film is over, you get treated to the 'real' ending when the credits start to roll, and sweet holy f*ck, is it a killer. In terms of acting, it is mostly convincing. You get some 'comedy' relief from the crazy, tin foil covered clairvoyant, but that soon dries up half way through the film. The film also has a slightly 'nastier' feel than a lot of Asian ghost horror, as there is a violent streak to some of the events too.

Overall, Noroi is one to watch on your own, late at night. Not since my first viewing of Ringu ten years ago have I been so delightfully creeped out watching a horror film. It is one that will itch away at you until it is too late, then it is under your skin. Just let yourself go to this one completely. And not a lank haired ghost lady in sight?? No wonder it has barely been released outside of Japan, let alone had an American remake lined up yet. Check this one out if you can, essential viewing in my books!
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5/10
I guess if you don't watch horror movies that often, this could be scary.
Mr.Crow10 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I think it really needs to be addressed straight away from the beginning that know anything about the folklore of this that they are speaking about, so this perhaps could affect the review.

It also needs to be addressed that this movie is SLOW, very very very slow.

Other reviews on here warned me of this, but still at the one hour mark I should at least be intrigued if something will happen to these characters, but yet I honestly just wanted to drop this movie by that point.

I kept going however and I must say the actual hidden footage camera effect near the end (last 30 mins) were pretty effective, and a good catchy good atmosphere.

Is the ending spooky? I guess so if you don't watch that many horror films, I finished it and just kinda shrugged and said "meh it's alright" basically the same way I felt with the blair witch project. Then again I'm weird when it comes to movies, I found movies like REC and Quarantine much more than this film.

I do want say again that the ending scene is gripping and intense, but it is not worth the payoff of waiting two whole hours.
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10/10
The Greatest Reality Japanese Horror Film Ever Made.
Vivekmaru4511 June 2012
Reality meets the horror. The film itself is a flash back of recorded footage by Masafumi Kobayashi's cameraman.

The core of the film are mysterious disappearances or deaths of individuals that come into contact of a mysterious entity known only as Kagutaba.

The movie begins with Kobayashi's investigation of a woman named Junko Ishii and her apparent son. Kobayashi's quest to find the truth brings him to a regional area of Nagano, where many years prior a very religious town once stood. The town performed an annual ritual to contain Kagutaba, until it was demolished to construct a dam.

As the movie comes to a close, each character's relationship with Kagutaba becomes apparent, and the many individual stories and narrative threads draw to a single climactic conclusion.

Overall: a must have film for the lover of supernatural horror.
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8/10
One Of The Scariest Horror Movies Ever!
stringbean7314 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING... SPOILERS! This movie is about a ritual to pacify a demon. Apparently, it is a real existed curse... which scares me so much! I thought the movie was finished when some credits came up but it wasn't... A final scene (which has to be one of the scariest movie moments ever) was shown and you find out who the demon is; I don't want to spoil it to much...

The acting is absolutely perfect and there are no stupid scenes that I dislike or would take out. It actually has an amazing plot for a horror movie.

The second scariest movie ever made (The Exorcist being at number 1) and is the best Asian horror movie I have ever seen! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys any type of scary or intelligent horror.

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!
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3/10
Highly Overrated..
waitingworlds1 May 2010
This is my first review but I felt it my duty to pass on my perspective in the hopes that I might save some of you a precious 2 hours of your life. I have seen lots of horror/thriller films from Asia and the west, however I just can't get behind this poorly made and executed flick. I am not too crazy about the shaky-cam films but I did quite enjoy Rec and I was amused by Cloverfield. I do believe there is hope in the format but this just didn't have what it takes to make the medium work.

The story is just OK if not sub standard. A man is investigating strange occurrences and comes to uncover some kind of ancient curse. That is pretty much the extent of the story. There are details that seemed just thrown into the story without adding any real substance or meaning for example, the pigeons, dogs, strange patterns, etc... The acting is not very good either, from really anyone in the movie especially the tin foil wearing psychic/psycho. But the worst part of this film is in my opinion, is that the movie is EXCRUCIATINGLY boring. Now I like the slow burn horror/thriller movies but there has to be some reason to keep watching and I was not intrigued by the two dimensional story and acting, and obviously there is no real cinematography due to the medium of hand held camera. There is little payoff in the end as well, except for that fact that you are now free to go about your day.

Overall I felt like(as in Blair Witch, the granddaddy of shaky-cam films) I was watching a horrible student film. I am not trying to be over the top negative here I just want to warn anyone who is considering giving up their time to watch this film. Also I might add that I wasn't even remotely scared for any part of it contrary to the many posts and reviews out there stating that this is one of the scariest movies ever. Again, I just have to disagree...
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3/10
Ectoplasmic Worms! Pigeons! OMG, the Pigeons!!
DrRicketts8 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
OK, seriously. I have watched (and own) over 1000 horror movies, from across the globe. This was painful to sit through. The only interesting quality was how the story weaved the unrelated events at the beginning into a coherent story at the end, but really, this movie was bad. Bad acting, bad shooting, confusing plot line.. I mean having a retarded "Super Psychic" with really bad teeth (his mouth is wide open throughout the movie) dressed in aluminum foil (complete with aluminum foil HAT) flailing his arms, scratching his face and screaming about worms trying to appear, what, scary? realistic? And the protagonist actually listens to him instead of having him committed? If you hear good reviews about this movie, then they are some serious J-horror fans who can care less about the quality, because I've seen MUCH better J-films that were actually scary, haunting, and realistic. I give it a 3 just to be kind, watch it if your bored, but be warned: it's best in 20 min spurts, at best.
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1/10
Not Worth a Minute of Your Time
Lannaz13 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is the first time that I was suckered into watching a film by reading positive film reviews that are not shills. I have no idea how this happened. I'm pretty confident that those reviews calling this movie the "scariest/creepiest" ever watched are genuine, but did we see the same film?

This was probably the most boring, uneventful, and excruciatingly dull film that I've seen in a really long time. There literally was zero suspense, and was about as creepy as an empty shoe box. I wonder if the people who wrote a review saying that this is the scariest film they've ever seen get scared opening their own refrigerator? I literally lost interest after 20 minutes, and was continually watching the clock waiting for it to end.

Even today, one day later, I couldn't even tell you what the plot was about (I think I tried to push it all out of my head). Something to do with a demon and a psychic...? During the two hour run time, there was literally only a 2 second shot of some ghost-like figure. That's it. The rest comprised of dead dogs and pigeons, and a few overacting histrionic Japanese folks.

Save you time: avoid this one like the plague (unless you find dead animals spooky and interesting).
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4/10
This is not scary; this is not interesting
Juggertrout3 February 2009
Reports of this film's brilliance appear to have been greatly exaggerated, and unless the other reviewers were watching a different movie, I fail to see how anyone can find this film anything other than dull, unscary, uncreepy, overlong, and at times, unbearably irritating. I'm not some schlocky horror fanatic. I love j-horrors and euro-horrors over American horrors any day, but I feel the need to warn any potential viewers about this film before they invest two hours of their life in it.

It could have been so great. A reporter is investigating a series of bizarre deaths and occurrences, which seem ostensibly unlinked, but a series of unnerving tropes appears to connect them - dead pigeons, thudding noises, the presence of strangely tied knots... Our reporter goes from person to person, interviewing them, filming them and then passing on. Three important characters are among this jumble of people, a young, shy psychic girl, an immensely irritating, insane psychic man, and a crazy old woman and her boy, whose importance is not revealed until later on.

The problem is that the film is not even remotely interesting, which makes its two hour running time unforgivable. It's also not even remotely scary or creepy. Supposedly scary scenes, like shots of ghoulish faces are done incredibly poorly, shown twice, or worse, we are told when they are about to happen. Other techniques, such as telling us that a family just interviewed "died five days later" simply don't make me care, let alone mildly creeped.

The film does pick up a bit towards the end, as our reporter, cameraman, psychic and cursed woman go to a village in order to 'remove' the curse which is linking all these deaths. However, by that time, I was in a state of catatonic boredom, and couldn't care less, so all the fairly creepy camera-work and shocks were wasted on me. The "final tape" is quite good, but once again, I'd given up caring and just wanted this film to end.

Boring and dull, not scary and not creepy, I would advise you keep away from Noroi. It has promising moments, but this is a film that was poorly made and not worth your time.
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1/10
Boring as hell...
metzzz9 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Since i've heard good things about J-Horror and liked another movie called ''Kairo'' i was with high hopes on this one but i have to say it was one of the most boring and uneventful movies that i came across lately and if it was not enough it gave me an headache because of that low quality shaky camera.

In the whole movie i was waiting for something barely interesting to happen but all i got to see was this guy going into peoples houses talking endlessly about paranormal events, later we have a tinfoil dressed man running like an headless chicken through a forest at night, i can't recall anything good about it no interesting characters and the demon story was just stupid, even my own reflected shadow on the TV screen was scarier than this.

If you find dead pigeons and an annoying tinfoil man creepy then this may be for you otherwise you will find yourself wasting your precious time like i did, just skip this one.
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10/10
One of my favorite horror films ever
alekprokn20 January 2015
I'm pretty sure this is the film that has scared me the most. By the end of the film, I was sitting on my chair in shock wondering about the ending. It had left me so many unanswered questions. There's something about this film that leaves you uncertain and confused, and to me that's what truly makes it scary. It doesn't have to rely on showing you outright "gore" or blood to scare. Plus, the way it is filmed like a documentary or any normal person filming it makes it all more believable, like it could happen to anyone. I couldn't stop thinking about this movie for weeks after I'd watched it, and since then, every time a friend asks for a horror movie recommendation, this is the first option that comes to my mind. I cannot recommend this enough if you want a good horror watch.
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8/10
Slow build up, but very worth it!
kara_deguzman21 December 2012
I just watched this the other day for the second time, and it was just as terrifying the second time around. Noroi is definitely a film for those who like slow build ups with strong and disturbing endings. It's very immersive, and the entire mythos built around Kagutaba is believable, and feels very real. The documentary type-style makes the viewer more involved in piecing together the mystery, as if it's a Yeti documentary, and you're a fellow Yeti-hunter. With the slow build up, the pieced-together mediums (newspaper clippings, variety show clips, etc.) help to catch your attention, and Noroi never slips. You're constantly thinking, "what the F" and never bored by the movie. It definitely helps that the main researcher never looks confident or like he knows all there is to know about the paranormal, a la Grave Encounters. He looks just as freaked out as you are.

Definitely give this one a go. It's rather long, but in my opinion, very worth it. It'a a breath of fresh air from movies like Rec (not that it's a bad movie, it's just very stressing) or Bunshinsaba.
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