2017 / 40m - Japan
Horror, Experimental
Difficulty Breathing poster


August 30, 2021


A film that comes recommended by Shozin Fukui is definitely something I'd want to see. While it's not hard to see why Fukui would react positively to Difficulty Breathing, for me, it was just a little too amateurish. There's potential here, but the bland videocam footage just doesn't cut it for this type of film.

After a woman is assaulted on the street, she finds it difficult to get out of the house. Staying all alone at home doesn't really solve her problems either, as she gets into her head and starts seeing things. Strange shadows visit her at night and a raging stomach ache slowly turns her mad.

Japanese cyberpunk is never expensive, but it's up to the directors to rise above that limitation. Guys like Tsukamoto and Fukui managed to do that through excessive visuals and music, Difficulty Breathing only has a soundtrack to fall back on. The rest is just too cheap and simplistic. Disappointing.