Solid Japanese horror/comedy with some minor issues
Arriving on the set of his latest project, a man joins the rest of the crew shooting a new high-school teen love story, but when his script for a dark horror film gets loose it possesses the star of the shoot and tries to take over the filming of the project, forcing him to stop his own creation.
Generally, this one was a pretty enjoyable horror/comedy. That comes through from the start where the first half focusing on the shooting of the high school-set love story. The frantic physical comedy with the characters' clumsiness, the awkwardness of not taking the story seriously and the cliched nature of what the crew is shooting create a wholly enjoyable light-hearted tone. The comedy here comes from the familiar and expected setups rather nicely and bring some genuine laughs that go hand-in-hand with the outrageous and silly horror sequences. The scene of the actor getting overwhelmed by the demon book and possessed is full of overt slapstick comedy and is silly enough to come off far goofier than what's supposed to happen. The majority of the setpieces with the possessed running through the cast and crew alternate being outright cheesy and just plain silly which makes the finale seem that much more intriguing by mixing together the over-the-top aspects with more reserved setpieces and has a lot to like as a result. When the film drops the comedy to go for straightforward horror, it's not as enjoyable but still has plenty of positives. The dramatic turning point when the possessed actor turns on everyone and murders the scene-partner in complete astonishment of everyone watching is a fantastic switch. Knowing that the individual is possessed all along and see how it plays out with the severed body lurching around spurting blood everywhere makes the scene rather intense. The various confrontations on the possessed actor contain even more violent outbursts as the demonic powers granted provide plenty of brutal and graphic scenes that still retain a comedic edge but are still played seriously enough to be threats to the survivors still left alive. There's even plenty of action into the finale where the fighting becomes quite impactful as the idea of using the romance angle to stop the horror film moments intertwines the two quite nicely. Managing to feature some great special effects work for the kills and on the demon itself, there's quite a lot to enjoy. Still, there are some problems present here. The biggest problem is the utterly unbelievable reactions to the action that's going on which doesn't make any sense. Watching a film-shoot take place where one of the cast smashes a co-star's face to a pulp in one singular punch would result in more of an outcry and sense of panic than what we get here which is simply confusion and disbelief. That carries over into the later scenes where everyone is more concerned with posting status updates on social media rather than trying to find a way of escape and the comedic tone to the situation ruins the horror and just isn't funny. This is a factor that might stick out for some viewers who will find none of the humor funny and the attempts to laugh fall flat, making this seem like a painful, plodding effort. Likewise, the finale is the other big issue where it just goes on way too long as if this one didn't know how to really end things and just keep it going way too long than necessary. The result is feeling where too many things happen and it drags on past where it should've, but beyond that, not much else is really wrong here.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this