films seen
20
average score
3.05*
nationality
Japan - 50 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

An exponent of modern Japanese horror cinema. Shimizu garnered broad recognition for his Ju-on franchise, but had some trouble traveling beyond his trademark series. When looking for decent horror though, his oeuvre is well worth delving into.

Rare treats

Ten Nights of Dreams

by Yoshitaka Amano, Kon Ichikawa, Akio Jissoji, Masaaki Kawahara, Suzuki Matsuo, Miwa Nishikawa, Atsushi Shimizu, Takashi Shimizu, Keisuke Toyoshima, Yudai Yamaguchi, Nobuhiro Yamashita
Yume Ju-Ya
2006 / 100m - Japan
Horror, Mystery
Ten Nights of Dreams poster

A wonderful collection of shorts, visually pleasing, fun to watch and from time to time refreshingly weird.

The good stuff

Reincarnation

by Takashi Shimizu
Rinne
2005 / 96m - Japan
Horror, Mystery
4.0*/5.0*
Reincarnation poster

The Stranger from Afar

by Takashi Shimizu
Marebito
2004 / 92m - Japan
Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
4.0*/5.0*
The Stranger from Afar poster

Ju-on: The Grudge 2

by Takashi Shimizu
Ju-on 2
2003 / 92m - Japan
Horror
4.0*/5.0*
Ju-on: The Grudge 2 poster

Solid pieces

Homunculus

by Takashi Shimizu
2021 / 115m - Japan
Fantasy, Mystery
3.5*/5.0*
Homunculus poster

Takashi Shimizu's latest film is quite a bit different from his usual output. Best known for directing trademark Japanese horror films, Shimizu has been branching out in recent years. Homunculus is a clear step away from the horror genre, though where he ended up exactly isn't as easy to explain.

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Homunculus is a mystery with strong supernatural elements. Go Ayano plays Nokoshi, a strange man who is dead wealthy, but lives in his car and goes through life as a homeless person. One day he is approached by a medical student who wants to drill a hole in his skull. Nokoshi isn't interested, but the boy persuades him and before he knows it, he can see personifications of people's traumas.

Shimizu has a little trouble establishing the tone of Homunculus, and he spends a little too much time on the drama at the end. Other than that, this was pretty great. Pretty rad effects, an original plot, unpredictable until the very end and a great central performance. Don't go in expecting a typical Shimizu film, just sit down and enjoy what Shimizu throws at you.

Innocent Curse

by Takashi Shimizu
Kodomo Tsukai
2017 / 111m - Japan
Fantasy, Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Innocent Curse poster

Shimizu is back with another horror flick. Don't expect scares or gore though, what the film lacks in genuine horror it makes up for with fantasy and drama elements. While set up like a classic Japanese horror film, Shimizu trades scares for mystique and mood. Not a bad film, just approach it with the right expectations.

Flight 7500

by Takashi Shimizu
2014 / 97m - USA
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
Flight 7500 poster

An Encyclopedia of Unconventional Women

by Yoshihiro Fukagawa, Kôji Kawano, Yûka Ohsumi, Takashi Shimizu, Keisuke Toyoshima, Renpei Tsukamoto, Yudai Yamaguchi
Hijoshi Zukan
2009 / 105m - Japan
Comedy
3.5*/5.0*
An Encyclopedia of Unconventional Women poster

The Shock Labyrinth 3D

by Takashi Shimizu
Senritsu Meikyû 3D
2009 / 89m - Japan
Horror, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
The Shock Labyrinth 3D poster

Ju-on: The Grudge

by Takashi Shimizu
Ju-on
2002 / 92m - Japan
Horror
3.5*/5.0*
Ju-on: The Grudge poster

Ju-on: The Curse

by Takashi Shimizu
Ju-on
2000 / 70m - Japan
Horror, Mystery
3.5*/5.0*
Ju-on: The Curse poster

The inoffensive

Suicide Forest Village

by Takashi Shimizu
Jukai Mura
2021 / 117m - Japan
Horror
3.0*/5.0*
Suicide Forest Village poster

Shimizu's recent films all suffer from the same thing: they are way too long. Suicide Forest Village is a pretty simple horror flock that shouldn't need to run past the 90-minute mark, but because the intro is excessively long and Shimizu wastes quite a bit of time on inconsequential drama, the film runs almost 120 minutes.

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Hibiki and Mei are sisters with a dark past. Mei has been able to leave that past behind, Hibiki turned out to be an introverted girl who has trouble adapting to the world around her. When she finds an odd box below their house, connected to Fuji's suicide forest, strange things start to happen to Hibiki and her friends.

The finale is pretty spectacular, a fine mix of horror and fantasy elements, it just takes a long time before it actually starts. Performances are decent, and the setting is very atmospheric. Sadly, the drama is rather bland, and the first 90 minutes are pretty by the numbers. Shimizu can do better, if only he could bring his films back to 90 minutes.

Rabbit Horror 3D

by Takashi Shimizu
Rabitto Horâ 3D
2011 / 83m - Japan
Horror
3.0*/5.0*
Rabbit Horror 3D poster

Dark Tales of Japan

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

Worthy but flawed

Howling Village

by Takashi Shimizu
Inunaki Mura
2019 / 108m - Japan
Horror
2.5*/5.0*
Howling Village poster

Takashi Shimizu is returning to his roots with this film. Howling Village is a Japanese horror that could've easily been released 20 years ago. A horror film steeped in historic trauma, with ghostly apparitions reaching out from the realm of the dead to pester the living. For diehards only.

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Inunaki Village is a ghost town, hidden deep inside the Japanese forests. When two kids go there to shoot a horror video, they are attacked by spirits. They get out alive, but Akina doesn't come out unscathed and not long after she commits suicide. Kaena, the sister of Akina's boyfriend, decides to investigate.

The film has its moments, but Shimizu messes up the balance between narrative and horror. There's simply too much backstory to wade through and since it's all so predictable, it slows down the film unnecessarily. The haunts aren't particularly scary either and though the second half is definitely better than the first one, this is hardly a standout film in Shimizu's oeuvre. Basic filler.

Kiki's Delivery Service

by Takashi Shimizu
Majo no Takkyûbin
2014 / 108m - Japan
Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure
2.5*/5.0*
Kiki's Delivery Service poster

Ju-on: The Curse 2

by Takashi Shimizu
Ju-on 2
2000 / 76m - Japan
Horror, Mystery
2.5*/5.0*
Ju-on: The Curse 2 poster

Plain forgettable

The Grudge

by Takashi Shimizu
2004 / 91m - USA
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
1.5*/5.0*
The Grudge poster

Tomie: Re-birth

by Takashi Shimizu
2001 / 101m - Japan
Horror
1.5*/5.0*
Tomie: Re-birth poster

Irritation overload

The Grudge 2

by Takashi Shimizu
2006 / 102m - USA
Horror, Thriller
0.5*/5.0*
The Grudge 2 poster