6 user 2 critic

Jigoku kozô (2004)

A mysterious old woman appears before Setsu, who has recently lost her only child in a tragic accident. She says she can bring Setsu's son, Daio back to life. After agreeing to this ... See full summary »


Mari Asato


Hideshi Hino (comic), Seiji Tanigawa (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Credited cast:
Mirai Yamamoto Mirai Yamamoto ... Setsu
Mitsuru Akaboshi Mitsuru Akaboshi ... Daio
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Baku Numata Baku Numata
Hanae Shôji Hanae Shôji
Shôta Sometani
Kanji Tsuda Kanji Tsuda


A mysterious old woman appears before Setsu, who has recently lost her only child in a tragic accident. She says she can bring Setsu's son, Daio back to life. After agreeing to this sinister proposal, Daio returns to his mother, but to Setsu's horror, he is half decomposed and inhuman. To make him human again, he needs fresh human organs. Setsu does everything she can to reincarnate her son, but Daio just turns into a different kind of monster. No one can stop him as he continues to feed his hunger, claiming victim after victim. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

3 October 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Boy from Hell See more »

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User Reviews

Perfectly captures the visual style of Hideshi Hino's manga work
29 May 2006 | by WetbonesSee all my reviews

THE BOY FROM HELL is the best cinematic representation of legendary Japanese manga artist Hideshi Hino's overall visual and storytelling style so far, even beating out 1988's MERMAID IN A MANHOLE, which was directed by Hino himself. While other entries into the HIDESHI HINO HORROR THEATER hexalogy of short films may be better films when viewed out of context, THE BOY FROM HELL stands as the single best adaptation in the series.

A theme that is almost always present in Hino's manga work is the isolation and suffering of the outsider, the freak. There is a brilliant scene in THE BOY FROM HELL where the titular resurrected monster happens upon a group of children playing ball. When he approaches them, wanting to join in, the run away screaming. Despite the grisly murders Daio has committed up to this point, you still feel sorry for him in that scene.

Another thing that director Mari Asato and screenwriter Seiji Tanigawa (working from Hino's eponymous manga) nailed perfectly is the mix of grotesque horror imagery and gore with pitch black comedy that permeates so many of Hino's comics. The most wonderful examples of this are the ridiculous fake nose they put on the detective and a birthday party for Daio, during which he is forced to wear a mask similar to that of Hannibal Lecter in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS to keep from from devouring the other little kids. Of course that doesn't work so well in the end ...

I hesitate to recommend THE BOY FROM HELL to the casual horror fan or even fans of Japanese horror. It is wildly different from the slow paced malevolent hair-ghost stories of recent years and hearkens closer to the ero-guro films of the 70ies, while also adding plenty of elements from campy fun splatter movies of the 1980ies. If you like those and/or are already familiar with Hino's manga publications (a fair number of which are available in English translations) then this is a movie you should seek out. Everyone else may come away confused and maybe disappointed.

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