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The Sylvian Experiments (2010)
"Kyôfu" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  10 July 2010 (Japan)
5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 313 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 16 critic

Dr. Hattori and her husband watch footage of brain surgery experiments with Manchurian, Russian and Japanese guinea pigs that had been found in the basement of a wrecked hospital. Out of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yôko Chôsokabe
Mina Fujii ...
Kaori
Momoko Hatano
Tomohiro Kaku
Nagisa Katahira ...
Etsuko
Sô Kusakabe
Ryôta Matsushima
Yuri Nakamura ...
Miyuki
Yôichirô Saitô
Chôei Takahashi
Ken'ichi Takitô
Nuts Tanahashi
Hiroyuki Yamamoto
Kimika Yoshino
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Storyline

Dr. Hattori and her husband watch footage of brain surgery experiments with Manchurian, Russian and Japanese guinea pigs that had been found in the basement of a wrecked hospital. Out of the blue, there is a white light and when they look back, they see they children Ota Miyuki and Kaori staring at the light. Years later, Miyuki vanishes from the Tama Medical University Hospital and her sister Kaori, Miyuki's boyfriend Motojima and detective Hirasawa are seeking her. However, Miyuki and the teenagers Kazochi, Takumi, Hattori and Rieko have been submitted to a nightmarish experiment by Dr. Hattori and her team with tragic results. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content | See all certifications »
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10 July 2010 (Japan)  »

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The Sylvian Experiments  »

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User Reviews

 
Meandering Mess
13 May 2012 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

'Kyofu' starts out as intriguing only to plummet into muddled vagaries and plot-less shenanigans with an overly ambitious undertone and is never fully realized. The initial thrust of the movie includes a failed suicide who ends up a guinea pig captive of her own mother, the experiments including brain surgery in a quest to alter human perception and bring the species to a whole new level. A chilling scenario given that the point of the reference were human experiments that the Imperial army actually performed on prisoners of war during WWII.

In fact, the horrors of such things like Unit 731 are beyond anything 'Kyofu' could ever hope to achieve, testifying that real life can so often trump fiction. But perhaps it is unfair to expect this movie to deliver on that account, however, this is a movie spawned from a rich tradition of scary cinema and it fails to live up to the expectations within the genre.

Instead of exploring a genuinely scary story the movie loses itself in meanderings about life after death, virgin pregnancy, a looming bright light that becomes very fake looking CG created fog to represent the never quite explained threat, and there is even one of those infuriating twists that by now are all too tiresome.

'Kyofu' does try to be scary and its vocabulary is for the most part that of Asian horror with a slow pace, plenty of moody scenery be it a creepy clinic or the many forest scenes that seem to invoke such classics as the Tale of Two Sisters. Unfortunately it does not adhere to the aesthetics by adding conspicuous special effects that become more laughable as the movie reaches its convoluted climax.

Through most of it there is a feeling of disconnected bits all pieced together with no actual sense, almost as if scenes could have been edited in any random order to the same general effect. While not long it feels like it exhausted itself long before it comes to an actual conclusion. The characters seem only half present and their very stilted lines about the afterlife ring hollow.

All and all, it's a shame how such promise was wasted. Here was an opportunity for dealing with one of the darkest sides of Japan, its frighteningly high suicide rate and to possibly go into beyond disturbing human experiments to justify the title of 'Kyofu' (Fear). Hailing from the writer of the ever so famous Ringu this effort comes across as a disappointment on all fronts.


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