films seen
average score
Japan - 66 years old
Alive and kicking
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Shrill Cries: Reshuffle

Higurashi no naku koro ni: Chikai
2009 / 108m - Japan
Horror, Drama
Shrill Cries: Reshuffle poster

A follow-up that takes a little time to figure out. It's part sequel, part reboot. Or, as the title already indicates: a reshuffle. The first film was interesting, but it lacked a confident director and/or a slightly bigger budget. This second film hasn't solved either problem, so the conclusion is the same: fascinating, but imperfect.

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Rena's dad is getting mixed up with a shady woman. When Rena finds out that she is hooking up with some junkie gangster, she tries to warn her dad, but he won't listen to Rena, telling her he is going to marry the woman. When she confronts Rena, things spiral out of control and Rena kills her.

The film jumps from drama to horror quite briskly, and the setting is nice. Performances aren't that great and the pacing does have some issues, but the horror elements are fun enough and the film does manage to keep you on your toes. An easy recommend for fans of off-kilter Japanese horror, but not a highlight of the genre.

Shrill Cries of Summer

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni
2008 / 105m - Japan
Horror, Mystery
Shrill Cries of Summer poster

I never watched the anime/read the manga this film was based on, which usually pans out pretty well. Going in with no expectation and seeing where the plot takes you is favorable for a film like Shrill Cries of Summer. The result is a pretty fun mystery with darker/horror-leaning details.

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Keiichi moves from Tokyo to a small mountain village. The kids love him and it doesn't take him long to make new friends. The village is idyllic, but it also harbors some darker mysteries. When Keiichi hears about the local folklore he can't seem to get any straight answers from his friends.

The location is perfect and the actors do a decent enough job. The film starts off rather slow, but that's part of the setup. It does get progressively freakier and the finale has some pretty memorable imagery, but it never quite nails the contrast it set out to accomplish. Fun filler, but nothing more.

Apartment 1303

2007 / 96m - Japan
Apartment 1303 poster

Basic J-Horror, with an above-average finale. I watched the remake years ago, but never really managed to get a hold of Oikawa's original. He's certainly not the most gifted director of his generation, but he can turn out a proper horror film, and that's exactly what you should expect from this film.

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A young girl is finally ready to live by herself. On her first night in her new apartment, she has some friends over. Halfway through the evening, she starts acting weird and commits suicide. Her sister can't believe she wanted to end her life and she wants to know what really went down. With the help of an interested detective, she uncovers the dark past of the apartment.

The setup and backstory are very basic, the scares in the first hour are pretty generic and the performances are rather weak. It's not terrible, just very expected. But then the finale kicks in and the quality really ramps up. Not that it is a Japanese horror classic, but if you're looking for some fun horror filler, Oikawa delivers.

Tomie: Beginning

2005 / 74m - Japan
Tomie: Beginning poster

Tomie: Revenge

2005 / 72m - Japan
Tomie: Revenge poster


1999 / 95m - Japan
Tomie poster