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Occult More at IMDbPro »Okaruto (original title)

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27 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

It's a killer not a filler

8/10
Author: neil-upto11 from UK
8 February 2011

This director has really got the whole 'camcorder horror' schtick down to a fine art. The film is a great combination of realism, suspense and chills (both supernatural and more tangible terrors).

The pace is pretty good throughout and picks up nicely towards the dramatic climax.

All the actors put in a good turn and the lead role is outstanding. His character is difficult to define and this ambiguity adds nicely to the general feel of unease and confusion.

My only moan would be the special effects. Now I know that you can get away with very cheap effects if they are executed well (indeed, this happens regularly throughout the film) but on a couple of occasions (trust me, you'll know when) it becomes impossible to ignore the realisation that the SFX budget wouldn't have paid for a 2nd-hand television.

But Im nit-picking. The film really delivers. I am a big fan of Japanese horror and this one is right up there.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Do whatever you can to watch this film.

9/10
Author: trickpixel from United States
2 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In my opinion if you loved Director Kôji Shiraishi's film Noroi, then you will absolutely love this film. It is done in the same mockumentary style as Noroi. I want to say the most similar US film to date to Occult/Okaruto is The Last Exorcism, but to me, this was a much more rewarding film. Shiraishi bravely manages to intertwine so many subjects and themes in this film: UFOs, the supernatural, ghosts, paranormal voices, seemingly random acts of violence and terrorism, and much more.

Part of what I loved about Noroi was following all the clues and tying together all the fake and real history right along with the film's faux dockumentary filmmakers. It just works really well within the mockumentary medium. This movie paces much more nicely toward a final climax, I feel much better than Noroi did too. I had a real hard time finding this film subtitled. I really hope it gets a proper US release, and I really want American filmmakers to pay attention!!

Spoiler: I will just run through the introduction to this movie, because its the "slowest" part of the film. The film focuses on a documentary crew interviewing survivors and witnesses of a stabbing incident at a famous national mountain park area. The stabbing happened on a bridge, where the "crazed" man kills two people and carves an odd symbol on a third man. Most of the film unravels as we follow this third Man/survivor as he undergoes changes from the stabbing incident. Unravels is exactly what this film does, as one clue after another leads to stranger and more frightening consequences. The acting is great, the main character of this film/the man who survived the stabbing incident, is so great at being this type of regular man who hides a secret greater plan. I feel like that could have easily broken this film, if that character was at any point too unbelievable/overacted/etc, but no, he remains so seemingly dismissive as a pretend ordinary joe but yet... I don't want to spoil any more, but I really appreciated that character.

This film is definitely not without flaws, but all of them can be easily forgiven. The greatest and most obvious weakness would be it's special effects budget.

Do whatever you can to watch this film.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Delightfully creepy Japanese mockumentary does the business.

8/10
Author: wadechurton from New Zealand
7 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Okaruto (Occult)' (2009) is a Japanese 'mockumentary' in which the movie- makers seek to investigate an apparently random stabbing attack on a remote bridge, and discover a far larger and very disquieting force is at work which is only growing in power and influence. It's a slow-builder, but once you're hooked, you have to watch until the end. The final CGI- composed shot is perhaps just a little bit of a letdown (as are some of the other 'filmed' effects during the movie), but it sure is fun getting there, as the clues mount up into an inescapable, tense conclusion. The acting is excellent throughout, and best of all is that you can see it for free on YouTube.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Excellent! Director of Noroi

8/10
Author: krakanova
24 May 2015

Documentary investigating a multiple murder partially recorded with a cell phone and the sole survivor of the attack. Eno-kun is homeless and sleeps in internet cafes if he can afford it. He is around and (with a camera,) captures supernatural occurrences frequently, and has a scar that was carved into his back by the murderer. He is befriended by one of the documentarians and admits his plans for a similar killing for his god, as he is a Chosen One.

Excellent! Very original story. Acting is par and above par for a found footage film. Director of Noroi: The Curse. Please add posters to this director's films

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good, but no Noroi

6/10
Author: grey1066 from United States
9 September 2016

I enjoyed this film which, as many reviewers have already said, is of the Noroi "POV" variety, shot on hand-held cameras. I adored Noroi which I think is one of the best horror films ever made, which makes for a bad comparison with this film. The characters are interesting and kept me guessing, which is a definite plus, since most of the movie is from their point of view (i.e. their camera). The bad special effects some have spoken of are short and, while yes they are quite bad, really only serve to drive home the end scene; could've been done better, but you still get the point.

Sum up: Taken on its own, "Occult" is a good POV film, but it pales in comparison to many of its precursors. It's definitely worth at least one watch.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Spooky, intense but not quite there yet

6/10
Author: gotafever from Brazil
4 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I became interested in Shiraishi's work after watching the great Noroi: The Curse (2005). This film follows the same kind of narrative, which is based on a mystery. The difference is here we look at it from the mockumentary angle and not the found-footage type of story.

The acting is great, and it also includes a little cameo from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa - famous for Pulse (2001) and Cure (1997).The mystery is quite interesting and spooky and it keeps you on the edge of your seat up until halfway through the film.

At this point the mystery is abandoned and it becomes a different kind of story. It's still pretty good, but it feels like they're cheating, since they've been building up something and then simply abandon it for the sake of the characters.

Also, the special effects are quite terrible. Noroi had some great SFX, but this movie (made 4 years later) doesn't quite deliver. I could still swallow it if hadn't been for the ending. It's pretty crappy.

The SFX directly affect the story, because it doesn't make it "believable" enough, and the events that happen throughout the film demand more and more of that belief. I would even say it goes a little too far for me.

Still, the film delivers a good mystery but it eventually demands you to let go of it and just enjoy the ride.

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