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Tomie: Re-birth (2001)

An art student disappears after murdering his model. Now his friends and family are being haunted by the resurrected woman, Tomie.

Director:

Takashi Shimizu

Writers:

Yoshinobu Fujioka (screenplay), Junji Ito (Tomie comics)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miki Sakai Miki Sakai ... Tomie Kawakami
Satoshi Tsumabuki ... Takumi Aoyama
Kumiko Endô ... Hitomi Kitamura
Masaya Kikawada Masaya Kikawada ... Shun'ichi Hosoda
Shûgo Oshinari Shûgo Oshinari ... Hideo Kamata
Yuri Hachisu Yuri Hachisu ... Yumiko Sano
Yutaka Nakajima Yutaka Nakajima ... Tomoko Hosoda
Tarô Suwa ... Haruo Aoyoma
Ganko Fuyu Ganko Fuyu ... Takako Aoyama
Yoshi'e Ohtsuka Yoshi'e Ohtsuka ... Sachiko Kimata (as Yoshie Ohtsuka)
Masako Itô Masako Itô ... Norika
Shin Kusaka Shin Kusaka ... Masaru
Hiroaki Muchima Hiroaki Muchima ... Hiroaki
Emi Itou Emi Itou ... Sawori
Maiko Saitou Maiko Saitou ... Yuri
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Storyline

An art student disappears after murdering his model. Now his friends and family are being haunted by the resurrected woman, Tomie.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

24 March 2001 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

富江 re-birth See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Follows Tomie: Replay (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Tomie: Re-Birth"- Another step in the right direction for the troubled franchise. Mildly creepy and atmospheric.
25 October 2016 | by MaximumMadnessSee all my reviews

If there's one thing that can and should be said for the popular cult- franchise "Tomie", it's this: despite an extremely shaky and underwhelming start, the series does make a noted improvement each time with its first round of sequels. It's a franchise that can be well-worth investing in as a result, despite also being one that has the most extremes of up's and down's throughout it's numerous entries.

Yes, despite being a massive fan of the horror genre and particularly of Japanese creep-shows, I've never been particularly taken with the original "Tomie" movie. Based on a popular ongoing manga of the same name by author Junji Ito, the first entry in the film franchise was a messy swarm of under-developed ideas, sloppy attempts at atmosphere building, trite and hackneyed writing and direction and poorly established rules. It was a fundamental failure both as an example of horror and as a film in general. Thankfully, it's first sequel in "Tomie: Replay" was a marked improvement in virtually every capacity, with fun direction, decent writing and generally strong performances.

And I do think that this third entry, "Tomie: Re-Birth", is another step in the right direction for the franchise. With a nice, slow sense of pacing and a great sense of direction from famed director Takashi Shimizu, this entry has a lot going for it. It stands as one of the better early entries in the series, and can be a great deal of fun.

A young woman named Tomie is modeling for a painting by an artist named Hideo. After she defaces the painting in a jealous fit, Hideo kills her. But, as any fan of the series will know... Tomie will not die. And thus she returns to torment the artist and his friends, leading to an intense and disturbing story filled with twists, turns and subversion of expectation...

I firmly believe the main strength that sets this entry apart is the wonderful direction of Takashi Shimizu, who is best known for creating the very popular haunted-house series "Ju-On" and for also directing the first two entries in its American remake series "The Grudge." Shimizu is a fine director when it comes to slow-build, atmospheric horror, and he excels here with some great, creepy sequences of bodily terror. It's arguably the most disturbing of the first three films, and Shimizu it helps to give it a grand sense of dread and intrigue. Especially in some of the very trippy-yet-grounded visuals that he relishes in. We also have one of the best Tomie's of the series here thanks to actress Miki Sakai, who excels in the role in a way not many of the other actresses to portray the character have.

The film does have some faults to it, however. Much as many entries in the series do. I found that while it is a good time, it can often move a bit slowly. To the point it can be boring even. Some scenes feel a tad out of place and wonkilly inserted into the narrative. And much like virtually every other film in the series, it wrongfully assumes that the viewer is intimately familiar with the source material, causing some confusion with those who aren't. And it is a serious problem- adaptations should be able to stand on their own without knowledge of what came before. The films should try and explain the rules and goings on more than they have been to this point. It causes an unnecessary level of confusion for the viewer, and not in an intentional way.

That being said, I'd rank this one right about on par with the previous entry- the very enjoyable but mildly flawed "Replay." It's a lot of fun. It's very watchable. It runs laps around the sub-par original. But it still has a few faults holding it just shy of being a "great" movie. As it stands, it's merely decent. Worth watching for fans of horror and Asian cinema... but probably not for general movie-goers.

I give "Tomie: Re-Birth" a slightly above average 6 out of 10. Another step in the right direction for the series. But not enough of an improvement for me to call it a great film.


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