Nightmares on Netflix: Audition

“Kiri… kiri…. kiri… kiri… kiri…” ~ Asami Yamazaki

Maybe I’m on a foreign horror movie fix? Sure, I reviewed the movie where three people are sewn together ass to mouth last week and it is shocking while positively drab, so it’s really a strong possibility that I wanted to offer everyone who reads this, the other side of the coin. There are dozens of brilliant foreign horror flicks out there – most of which will likely be remade because North American audiences find subtitles intimidating or are simply too lazy to read. Either way, I wanted to share with you this masterful piece of horror.  I’ve seen it before, but when I noticed that it was on Canadian Netflix (and for you American fans, it’s there too), I just had to make sure you were all aware of its existence.

Original Movie Poster

Synopsis:

Shigeharu Aoyama is a widower. Left to raise his son all alone, this middle-class citizen is overwrought by sadness and loneliness. Exploiting the desire for companionship, his friend convinces the television producer to use his power to hos an audition for a new wife. The young and beautiful women who respond to the advertisement to appear in his next project are completely unaware of the game between these two men. Enter Asami. Demure. Shy. Innocent. Despite warnings, Shigeharu pursues the seemingly fragile creature and when she vanishes for a few days, he is ruined.  He longs for his virginal bride. What is unknown to him is what Asami does when no one is watching… but we know, we’ve been watching her closely this whole time.

Basic Instinct.. but worse..

Thoughts:

This film is both breathtaking and disgusting. It paints the picture of victims – both Shigeharu and Asami, how each are driven by their pain. A common theme in Japanese horror is the slow crescendo to the deafening climax at the end and this is one of the best examples I have seen. We are given glimpses of two characters who are brought together under strange circumstances, their lives bound to one another. What unfurls is this tale of lies and deception (on both ends) to the brutal and violent finale.

The writing is something to be admired, how carefully each line of dialogue has been selected while parts of the film are filled with silence. While there has never been any confirmation from the writer or director of this movie, it has a subtext related to the treatment of women. Much like a Fatal Attraction, there are consequences when taking advantage of a female or treating her poorly.

Don't You Love Me?

The acting is brilliant. The weight of Shigeharu’s sadness is felt in every scene, whether it be in the beginning when we are first introduced or when he is certain that Asami is no longer interested in him when she disappears for days. Initially, we feel Asami’s awkward discomfort, that gentleness of a young woman, but as her strange behavior is revealed, our sympathy begins to fade. What is most disturbing about this character is that even in the most horrific moments of the film, there is this disquieting sweetness to her, as if she is unaware of how vicious and sadistic her actions truly are.

Without giving away too much of the gruesomeness (as it is far more effective to see it all played out), I will say that it is convincing. It will make anyone even with a stomach of steel feel ill and have them squirming in their chair. Someone also eats vomit.

Open Wide and Say 'Ahhhh!'

Netflix Rating: ***1/2

My Rating: *****

There are few horror movies that can capture the true sense of the word, and I feel that this is one of them. I highly recommend this to anyone who has yet to see it and has a love for the genre.

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One Comment

  1. Kim
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Hey!

    So, I just wanted to update you all – apparently Audition is no longer available on Canadian Netflix.. or maybe I just dreamed that it had been put up? Either way, just wanted to correct my glaring mistake! Hopefully you all still check it out.

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