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After one of their friends commits suicide, strange things begin happening to a group of young Tokyo residents. One of them sees visions of his dead friend in the shadows on the wall, while another's computer keeps showing strange, ghostly images. Is their friend trying to contact them from beyond the grave, or is there something much more sinister going on?Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As Kawashima starts going over footage of people in the computer screen, he comes a cross a bearded man who looks up and stares directly at him. That man is Kurosawa Kiyoshi, and writer and director of the movie. See more »
This movie is very touching. In fact, almost painfully so. I would recommend it to anyone in the mood to engage in a thought-provoking narrative about the human condition.
I have to admit that when I first saw this film I did not expect it to be what it is. The basic premise involves a haunted website, so when I sat down to view it I was expecting something at the same level of terrible as fear.com; instead, I was shocked to find a truly provocative story full of surrealism and drama that examines the concept of isolation and the deep fear that all people have of loneliness.
This, of course, means that the fear that Kairo invokes is not typical of the horror movie genre--at least not the North American horror movie genre; I can't speak for the Japanese--because it isn't really scary. It's disturbing and eerie, and frankly I wouldn't watch it alone in the dark, but I'll admit that I'm a bit of a coward (The Grudge still terrifies me, so make of that what you will). If you go into this movie wanting to see people being hacked apart, or if you want to be jumping out of your seat every few minutes by fake-out scares, you will probably be pretty angry by the time this one's over. Seriously--you'll probably be more freaked out by the original version of Dark Water, and that's saying something.
However, I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. This film provides a very moving portrayal of people's inability to truly connect with one another. It offers a bleak examination of human nature without being heavy-handed or pretentious; it doesn't come off as condescending and the creators obviously aren't trying to be snobbish or "intellectual". It simply asks the question: can we ever truly connect with one another, or are we doomed to be alone by our very natures?
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