is a cameraman possessed by the craving to understand fear – what
it is and where it ultimately leads. He wanders the Tokyo streets, a voyeur,
hungrily looking for clues. Obsessing over the haunted expressions of the
faces he has captured in his daily filming, in particular a man who committed
a grisly suicide on the metro.
He returns to the scene to better comprehend the dead man’s reasoning.
Following his final gaze leads Masuoka to a door, an entry into a bizarre,
cavernous underworld. Here among the ghosts and the subterranean robots
called DERO's he finds a beautiful young girl chained to a rock. Saving
her from her imprisonment, he takes her home.
But watching her from his web-cam at work each day he begins to suspect
there is something truly inhuman about this girl with sharp teeth and who
walks on all fours. When he begins to uncover her horrifying secrets Masuoka
realises that he has found the key to gaining the terrible knowledge he
so craves. From the director of the cult hit Ju-On (The Grudge)
The Japanese are famed for having churned out a number of sappy romantic
dramas that have caused the surge in the sales of tissue boxes. They’re
also famed for being the land which has brought out the worse fears in people
with their own brand of horror and now for Hollywood to remake. For the
uninitiated, Japan is also fast becoming a haven for the weird and the bizarre;
Marebito is proof of that.
If you had
an itch, would you scratch till it goes away, kill the mosquito or allow
it to feast on your flesh further? The protagonist in Marebito, Masuoka,
chose the last option. After watching a man commit suicide in the subway,
Masuoka is left curious by what the man saw upon his death. In an unprecedented
move, Masuoka decides to discover what kind of fear can lead a man to kill
himself. And as with every movie of the horror genre, (again, that’s
a fine line for this movie) curiosity is a no-no and that could only lead
to more trouble.
case, curiosity is what carries the movie and it is also the movie’s
downfall. From this point onwards, the movie carousels into the netherworld,
quite literally. Masuoka discovers the existence of detrimental robots called
DERO’s inhabiting the underworld. This is in relation to Richard Shaver,
who in the 1940’s theorized that our world was filled with huge cavernous
undergrounds which were home to evil dwarves called dero. While it gave
the characters the opportunity to wax philosophical about the unknown, it
lost me right about here. And it did not help either that the whole underworld
saga draws parallels to Neil Gaiman’s novel, Neverwhere. I sure hope
they didn’t use Gaiman’s material as reference.
picks up when Masuoka discovers a young girl, unclothed and chained to a
rock. He takes her home and starts to observe her. The girl strangely enough
begins to walk on all fours and there are hints of a master/pet relationship.
When the girl refuses to eat or drink, Masuoka soon discovers her true craving
and soon enough, the movie ventures into voyeuristic experiences of sadism.
One craving leads to another and Masuoka soon realizes the horrible truth
behind the fear he so desires to understand.
not the usual fare to be watched with popcorn and coke. If you’re
up for something different and morbid, you could try picking this one up.
Otherwise, I’d suggest putting more butter on your popcorn.
are no special features on this Code 3 DVD and that’s a good thing.
At the end of the movie, I had lost my stomach to even find out what the
makers actually had in mind with this.
DVD comes in Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0.
movie starts off with gritty camerawork similar to the like of The Blair
Witch Project. The movie switches between this style and that of a normal
camera. While this helps to fit the voyeuristic mood of the movie, the results
Otherwise, the earlier half of the movie is filled with bluish hues as Masuoka
seeks to find out the truth behind the fear. The later parts of the movie
are filled with different shades of red to suit both the transformation
and degeneration of a man.
(Japanese pulp fiction that is only for those up for a night of morbidity)
Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri