A 2nd-year high school student named Shun Takahata lives an ordinary teenage life until one day he's suddenly forced to participate in a series of children's games such as "Daruma-san ga Koronda" with death as the penalty for losing. With no knowledge of who's behind the games, he's left with no other choice but to keep winning as his only means of protecting himself and his childhood friend, Ichika. Meanwhile, a troubled classmate named Takeru seems to actually be relishing the opportunity to get other students killed.Written by
The video game Shun plays near the beginning is Biohazard 6 (Resident Evil 6). See more »
Stunning, twisty-turny, and NOT what you expect. The 'WTF did I just watch' guy totally misses the point... Rewatchability: Very High Blu-ray: excellent A:10 V:10
WOW! This is NOT my normal fare, let me tell you. Normally I would cross to the other side of the 'street' rather than watch many of Takashi Miike's films. BUT... I had indeed kind of braced myself for a bit of a cartoony gore-fest, although that is NOT my first choice in films. But, this premise was SO damn WAAAAAAAAY OUT there, that I just had to check it out.
Man, I truly do not know where to start... I am still kind of reeling a bit from the film, which I JUST finished. Well, firstly, it was not really that realistically gory or graphic; it mostly had a more cartoon-like vibe to it. And, regardless of the director's NOTORIOUS proclivity for extreme, sadistic violence (thus my normal avoidance of his films) this one honestly came off as not really that explicit or 'Real'. Other films of his where he has actual PEOPLE doing horrific, REALISTIC things to other people, I wouldn't come within 100 miles of, but based upon the extremely Fantastical premise, I figured that this would not likely be another one of his super heavy-handed Sadist- fests, and it truly wasn't.
YES, the basic premise of what these 'Gods' are doing to these students is of course in principle quite terrible. But, that really wasn't the point of the film; the primary focus was NOT just a big set-piece for a bunch of gory deaths, although those do happen, but for most part, with a couple of exceptions (where I did FF a bit) they were not graphic or overly explicit.
At the end, without giving anything away, you are left with a feeling that there are more layers to this than seems evident on the surface. As a matter of fact, the last minute or two actually left me kind of puzzled because I didn't quite understand what exactly happened (so I will be frigg'n LIVING on discussion boards until I find that out!) One underlying level of the film is fairly apparent concerning the one fellow learning to appreciate the life that he has (sort of a Psychedelic, Acid-induced 'IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE' by way of Takashi Miike) But, even beyond that there are other things touched upon and quite unexpectedly thought-provoking.
So, I can fully understand how some here (3/5?) who are likely VERY hard core Miike fans, would be BITTERLY disappointed that this is NOT one of his usual more horrific and sadistic films, and probably just find this one totally Stupid. Understandable... BUT... for me, NOT a usual fan of Miike, heh... what I would call by comparison a 'Normal' person (using the term VERY loosely) I think the movie if you give it some thought, actually is more intriguing and entertaining and surprisingly thought-provoking than what might appear at first glance.
So, I would say that if you are a hard core Miike fan and you really LIKE his usual hard core stuff, than this film will probably leave you flatter than Chaz Bono. BUT... If you like your Horror films REALLY Imaginative, and you aren't just looking for a bunch of torture-porn sadism, and if you can be patient and give the movie some thought, I think that many people will definitely come away from seeing this with several different feelings and levels that the movie touches in you that you would not expect...
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