27 user 32 critic

The Tattooist (2007)

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A young artist unknowingly plays a role in releasing a deadly spirit as he attempts to learn tatau, the Samoan tradition of tattooing.


Peter Burger
4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Behr ... Jake Sawyer
Mia Blake Mia Blake ... Sina
David Fane ... Mr. Va'a
Robbie Magasiva ... Alipati
Ian Vincent Ian Vincent ... The Tattooist / Lomi
Caroline Cheong Caroline Cheong ... Victoria
Nathaniel Lees ... Mr. Perenese
Michael Hurst ... Crash
John Bach ... Lazlo McFadden
Matailiili Denzel Tuimaunga Matailiili Denzel Tuimaunga ... Osone
Glen Jackson Glen Jackson ... Cousin #1
Edmund Paongo Edmund Paongo ... Cousin #2
Fasitua Amosa Fasitua Amosa ... Dr. Lima
Lauren A Jackson Lauren A Jackson ... Triage Nurse (as Lauren Jackson)
Alison Bruce ... Charge Nurse


American tattoo artist Jake Sawyer wanders the world, exploring and exploiting ethnic themes in his tattoo designs. At a tattoo expo in Singapore, he gets his first glimpse at the exotic world of traditional Samoan tattoo (tatau), and, in a thoughtless act, unwittingly unleashes a powerful angry spirit. In his devastating journey into Pacific mysticism, Jake must find a way to save his new love, Sina and recover his own soul. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Evil in ink.


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



English | Samoan

Release Date:

30 April 2007 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

O Tatuador See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$141,146 (New Zealand), 2 September 2007, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Mr. Perenese: [On Mr. Va'a] He should pay for what he has done
Alipati: Then let him live... with the shame
Mr. Perenese: [throws a machete down in front of Va'a] You no longer have the right to wear that mark
[forces Va'a to cut the tatu from his skin]
See more »


References Psycho (1960) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The potential was there, but...
26 November 2015 | by Wizard-8See all my reviews

I decided to watch this movie because it seemed like it would be a horror movie that was somewhat more original than usual - I certainly couldn't think of another horror movie centered around the culture of tattooing. While the movie does have some interesting insight here and there about tattooing and South Pacific cultures, the movie fails in its main intent - being a horror movie. For starters, the movie takes a long time before delivering its first real supernatural horror scene. And once the movie starts delivering horror, there isn't really a feeling of menace. Instead, it feels just as slow and boring as things were in the first part of the movie. It certainly didn't help that the protagonist wasn't that sympathetic. The enterprise also suffers from a low budget. While the special effects actually aren't that bad for a low budget enterprise, the surroundings look and feel like a modestly budgeted episode of a television show. This movie actually took three countries working together to make; it's surprising that the filmmakers actually found enough people who thought this tired script was worth filming.

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