"Kuchisake-onna 2" is often seen as a prequel to the first part but this is wrong. The story line and even the genre are completely different and there is almost no connection between both movies. Instead of a possessed mother that tortures her own children and starts to kidnap pupils, we see a wonderful and emotionally driven tragic drama. The story is centred around a famous sixteen year old girl who lives a great life. She is close to her two older sisters and her parents, she has two best friends at school, is adored by the boys, has a crush on the gorgeous captain of the track team who is about to leave for a college in Tokyo and she is the fastest girl of her high school. One day, she becomes an innocent victim of a tragic crime that changes her whole life. Her friends turn away from her, her crush changes town, the boys start to laugh about her, the pupils spread cruel rumours about her, her father falls into morbid depression and her sisters rather care about their own problems and leave her alone. At the same time, the lone girl starts to see a strange young woman in a red dress that starts to haunt her. The strange appearance seems to have a connection to the murder of several pupils at school and soon the entire town is struck by terror.
As you can guess, the movie has almost no similar points to the first parts and kicks off in a slow mood that portrays very well the beautiful and calm everyday life of the main actress who is incarnated by an excellent young actress called Asuka Rin. One really should keep an eye on this great actress in the near future. The first part is almost a little bit like an innocent teenager movie or a well done romantic flick that could come straight from a popular manga. The first thirty minutes or so in this movie really lead you on a wrong trace and may be hard to sit through for those who are expecting a horror film but these thirty minutes are absolutely essential for the scenes that follow. The horror of this movie almost strikes from one moment to the other and that's why it hits so hard and leaves the viewers almost speechless. What follows is a brutally detailed focus on the new everyday life of the main actress who goes through hell. A series of more than just tragic events kicks off and really touches the viewers. This intense drama gets darker and tension filled. A few sinister slashing scenes only kick off at the very end of the movie that has an amazing ending as well that you won't forget anytime soon.
Everything about this drama is close to perfection: the slow mood and the sudden change of atmosphere, the outstanding main actress as well as a very good job by the secondary actors, the atmospheric soundtrack and the calm and down-to earth way the movie is filmed. What makes this movie even greater from my point of view is the detailed view on everyday life in Japan at the end of the seventies. I'm not sure if this part was purely intentional or not but it simply puts the cherry on the cake. One sees a brutal analyze of a highly competitive and cold society caught between traditions and progress. This analyze happens without any moral or philosophical parts and isn't boring or pretentious at all. This movie rather shows us a well thought out story in a cold and precise way without judging or making comments. That remains remains the job of the viewers who might feel a little bit shaken up by this surprisingly outstanding movie.
In the end, this film is far more than a prequel, a horror movie or an ordinary slasher. This flick is an excellent and gripping drama that really touches the viewers and that includes an unpretentious analyze of the Japanese society of the late seventies and its values. You really don't need to watch the first movie because they almost have nothing in common apart of the final slashing scenes in the last ten minutes or so that are truly excellent and surpass many genre flicks. In fact, the movie shouldn't have been related to the first movie because it's fairly different and in my opinion clearly better. At the same time, I'm personally happy that both movies are related because I would have missed this excellent flick that I had checked out because I appreciated the first movie as well. To keep this short, any fan of Asian and especially Japanese cinema should watch this intense drama and will surely have a great time.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?