films seen
15
average score
3.00*
nationality
Japan - 48 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Shiraishi is one of the few survivors of the Japanese suspense wave of the early 00s. He's a core horror director who rarely leaves his comfort zone, but if you're looking for some solid horror work you really can't go wrong with him.

The good stuff

Grotesque

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Gurotesuku
Specifics
2009 / 73m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Grotesque poster

Grotesque is for all those people who need a lesson in what torture porn flicks really are.

Solid pieces

A Beast in Love

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Koisuru Kedamono
Specifics
2020 / 85m - Japan
Genre
Comedy, Thriller
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
A Beast in Love poster

Shiraishi, best known for his horror work, comes with something a little different. A Beast in Love is tricky to describe, but at heart it's a dark (even vile) comedy with thriller, horror and light romance elements to flesh things out. The result's a bit of a mess, but if you can appreciate Shiraishi's sense of humor, there's a lot of fun to be had.

In an unnamed town, deplorables gather to escape from their dark past. One particularly shy-looking guy stands out between all the crazies, when pushed even he turns into a manic serial killer. Several people are out to get him, but it's a creepy cross dresser who appears to be the most interested.

There are no heroes, no likeable characters. The film does come with a big trigger warning since one of them is a cross dresser and there's only room for negative stereotypes here. If that doesn't bother you than you can brace yourself for a bit of excessive Japanese weirdness. The technical qualities aren't quite up to par, but the comedy hit the mark for me and the runtime is pretty short. Very fun and entertaining filler.

Hell Girl

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Jigoko Shojo
Specifics
2019 / 107m - Japan
Genre
Fantasy, Horror
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Hell Girl poster

Koji Shiraishi is one of those faithful horror directors. Even though the international interest in Japanese horror has waned over the past decade, Shiraishi's love for the genre clearly hasn't. It's nice to see though that Shiraishi isn't married to a single style of horror, Hell Girl shows a different side of Japanese horror cinema.

The film isn't your typical less is more, black-haired ghost horror, instead it's a more fantastical kind of horror that offers a mix of modern and traditional Japanese horror elements. The story about an ongoing curse feels contemporary, but the characters and moody kills hark back to the classier horror of the past.

The film looks pretty nice (safe some poor CG moments), performances are solid and the mix of fantasy and horror offers a nice change of pace. I wasn't a big fan of the setting (the Japanese pop scene isn't all that interesting), but it hardly affected the film. One of Shiraishi's better films.

Impossibility Defense

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Funôhan
Specifics
2017 / 106m - Japan
Genre
Mystery, Thriller
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Impossibility Defense poster

Interesting thriller with supernatural elements to spice things up. There's also a series attached to this film, no surprises there, but Shiraishi makes enough of an effort to have this film rise above its roots. It gets a little too plot-heavy when the film is working itself to its finale, but all in all an entertaining diversion.

A Record of Sweet Murder

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Aru Yasashiki Satsujinsha no Kiroku
Specifics
2014 / 86m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
A Record of Sweet Murder poster

Interesting film, about a reporter visiting an old friend who is on the run from the authorities. A nifty handheld thriller, with a nice twist and some minor horror elements. Well acted, intriguing from start to finish and sporting a very rewarding finale. One of the better Shiraishi films I've seen.

The inoffensive

Kidan Piece of Darkness

by Koji Shiraishi, Yoshihiro Nakamura, Mari Asato, Eisuke Naito, Hajime Ohata, Hiroki Iwasawa
Also known as
Kidan Hyakkei
Specifics
2016 / 100m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Kidan Piece of Darkness poster

A decent but slightly underwhelming horror anthology. Six respected directors tackle 10 horror stories, but with a setup like this there simply isn't enough variation in style and themes. There are no real weak entries, on the other hand far too few shorts that make an effort to stand out. Solid filler, but nothing more.

Occult

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Okaruto
Specifics
2009 / 110m - Japan
Genre
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Occult poster

Teketeke

by Koji Shiraishi
Specifics
2009 / 70m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Teketeke poster

Teketeke 2

by Koji Shiraishi
Specifics
2009 / 73m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Teketeke 2 poster

A simple but effective sequel to the first film. Shiriashi loses himself a little in the police investigation, which needlessly slows the film down. Luckily the kills are still lots of fun and the monster is freaky enough, even though the CG doesn't do it justice. It's a short and amusing horror flick, nothing too out of the ordinary but good fun nonetheless.

A Slit-Mouthed Woman

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Kuchisake-Onna
Specifics
2007 / 90m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
A Slit-Mouthed Woman poster

Noroi the Curse

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Noroi
Specifics
2005 / 115m - Japan
Genre
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Noroi the Curse poster

Dark Tales of Japan

by Yoshihiro Nakamura, Masayuki Ochiai, Takashi Shimizu, Koji Shiraishi, Norio Tsuruta
Also known as
Suiyô Puremia: Sekai Saikyô J Horâ SP Nihon no Kowai Yoru
Specifics
2004 / 92m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Dark Tales of Japan poster

Dead Girl Walking

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Za Horâ Kaiki Gekijô: Kaiki! Shinin Shôjo
Specifics
2004 / 44m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Dead Girl Walking poster

Koji Shiraishi's entry in the Hideshi Hino horror anthology. Back when this was released, Shiraishi wasn't a "big" name yet. His status has changed quite a lot over the years, which makes it always a bit more interesting to watch these forgotten films. Dead Girl Walking certainly isn't the worst film in the anthology.

On an ordinary day, the young Sayuri suddenly gets a heart attack. She is pronounced dead by the doctor, but Sayuri is conscious, and she can still walk around. She is left in the care of her family as her body slowly starts to deteriorate. When her presence becomes too hard to handle, they decide to kill Sayuri, but she manages to escape.

As with most of these films, the premise sounds pretty basic, but things do get weird real fast. The grim black and white cinematography and some oddball events in the second half really upgrade this film from a simple horror film to something with a more pronounced and memorable signature. Short and sweet.

Dubious filler

The Ring vs. The Grudge

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Sadako vs. Kayako
Specifics
2016 / 98m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
The Ring vs. The Grudge poster

Big nopes

White Eyes

by Koji Shiraishi
Also known as
Shirome
Specifics
2010 / 83m - Japan
Genre
Horror
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
White Eyes poster

Shiraishi made a couple of proper horror films, sadly this one was poor and grating. The J-pop band is horrendous, the less is more approach doesn't work at all and the entire film just looks cheap and unfinished. A terrible fluke, but at least it's kind of short.