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A somewhat fun if slightly troublesome anthology style effort
Returning to her hometown, a student meets a series of strange creatures living in the area.
The Good Stor(ies): Norikabe-Working late at night in her office, a reporter trying to concentrate on her assignment is continually confounded by a strange woman who appears in a window across the hall from her office. When she gets the full idea of what the woman is trying to tell her, it's too late to save her from its evil plans. This was an extremely effective way to start this off as it's a fun opener. The idea of the ghostly woman appearing across the hall and offering a different take than expected. After initially looking to be an exhibitionist trying to strip nude in her showcases, the fact that this changes around into a warning of the other being in the hallway is rather fun especially with the way this one introduces the supernatural creature which is exceptionally chilling and effective.
Karakasa-Coming home in the middle of the night, a man fears he has accidentally hit a woman out on the street but soon finds no trace of the supposed victim. Soon thereafter, he finds a ghostly figure utilizing a similar appearance to who he ran over stalking him intending to make him pay for what happened. This was another fun installment even if the overall payoff is to be expected coming off exactly like the setup it heads towards from the beginning. However, beyond that minor issue the fact that the striking visuals from the pouring rain offers a fine atmosphere and the use of the shapeshifting yokai trailing him gives this a nice original punch. Overall, a rather fun and enjoyable offering.
Hako Onna-Breaking into an abandoned building, a pair of budding photographers are startled to find a dead woman's body lying on the ground of the building. Trying to figure out what to do with the body, it soon starts to dwell on them that they may be dealing with something far more deadly entirely. Again, this is another brief, one-note segment that starts off great with an impressive premise but doesn't really do much with it. The influx of the technological aspects of what they're dealing with offer a strong series of dark images, while it's really the final reveal which offers a chillingly impressive steampunk aesthetic to the supernatural yokai antics that have been featured earlier. In the end, this one is far more visual than expected and pays off rather well.
Kamaitachi-Taking a break inside an abandoned building, two friends looking to pass the time find themselves among something else entirely as accidents begin occurring around them. Once they realize what has happened and who they're with, they try to escape from the demented being that has trapped them inside. This was a rather fun and enjoyable segment. The location for the ordeal is quite creepy and chilling as well as the design of the central figure who looks truly demonic. Topped off with some effective mythology against the being and some solid connections to the present, this was a fun overall entry.
Daidara-Wanting to honor their friend, a small group tries to get to the top floor of an office building in order to complete their special celebration. Upon arriving at the scene of the event, they realize that something supernatural is haunting the area and must try to get away alive. This was quite the entertaining entry. One of the finest points about this one is the way the atmosphere builds about the actual location as to what's actually there with them, a fun reveal that gives this a really impressive and terrifying figure at the center of the story. While none of it makes any sense, there's still a lot more to really like about it.
The Bad Stor(ies): Umibozu-Starting his daily fishing, a scientist becomes perturbed by the youth nearby who claim that a giant sea monster is approaching them. Despite observing the area and finding nothing there, he soon comes to believe that their stories might be real. This is essentially a one-note joke of a segment that pays off solely for the design of the creature within. It's utterly effective and chilling which looks great on camera and becomes quite dark with the manner of its discovery. Still, that's all this one has going for it due to the brief nature and one-joke appearance.
Rokuroku-Traveling to a remote countryside house, a struggling artist looking for inspiration finds it in the form of a mysterious woman he continually spots around the house. When his drawings take a turn for the darker side, his girlfriend tries to help him break free of its hold over him. This was a somewhat flawed segment. The main issue with this one is that the main idea presented here, the figure in the drawings taking over his life, is such a cliched concept that it's telegraphed from the beginning what's going on, and then nothing really scary is done with the idea beyond keeping him on a self-imposed reclusive state to keep drawing it. While it's impressively handled visually and has a solid climax, the fact that it doesn't tie into the yokai premise of the anthology until the very end and isn't that scary tends to hold this one down.
Nekome-Looking after her kid sister, a woman and her friend are intrigued by her new gift given to her by a mysterious woman and attempts to return it to her. After finding the woman's home, she becomes continuously tormented not only by the reappearing child's stroller but it's ghostly owner in her life. This ended up being quite the unusual entry. On its own, the premise is quite hackneyed and cliched with the disturbing and creepy-looking wheelchair constantly appearing around her and tormenting her is an overly familiar and played out trope yet the fact that this is usually done in conjunction with the appearance of the unsightly woman pushing it around makes for a strong series of chilling visuals. The fact that this plays up the cat angle is even more effective and really makes for an interesting segment as the story's rather weak but the visuals excel tremendously.
Hitotsume-Attempting to look after her charge, a nurse goes to visit him in his hospital but an accident prevents her from being able to realize their true nature. Once she realizes what's going on, she begins to fight for her life against the deadly force after her. This was a truly wasted segment. It's a one-note joke that's been employed countless times over and doesn't come off as scary or thrilling at all even with the initial accident used to hide everything. The main problem is the constantly flashing neon lights from the outside window that renders everything so dark and nearly impossible to see that there's nothing to see anyway, and the CGI used for the creature at the center is utterly abysmal anyway. A completely useless effort overall.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.
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