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GHOST TUNNEL (Otoshimono) (Japan)
  Publicity Stills of "Ghost Tunnel"
(Courtesy from UIP)

In Japanese with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Takeshi Furusawa
Cast: Erika Sawajiri, Chinatsu Wakatsuki, Shun Oguri, Aya Sugimoto
RunTime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG

Opening Day: 18 January 2007

Synopsis :

High school student Nana is the sole caregiver of her younger sister, Noriko while their mother is in the hospital. Nana's world suddenly turns upside down when Noriko mysteriously disappears. The only clues Noriko has left are the train pass that she has picked up from the station a day before her disappearance and the dark shadow seen following the young girl on the surveillance footage from the station.

Movie Review:

Have you ever heard of the headless ghost seating at the last cabin of the train when our mrt system first started? Or the supposedly haunted station in Singapore? These are among the few many urban legends circulated around us regarding our transportation system. Compare to the millions of Japanese, this form of transportation has long integrated into their lifestyle way before us and to base a horror movie on it seems a natural thing to do.

In “Ghost Tunnel”, young actress Erika Sawajiri plays a high school student whose sister mysteriously vanishes after picking up a train pass. At the same time, a train operator Shunichi (played by Shun Oguri, last seen in “Gigolo Wannabe”) has apparently spotted a woman’s body on several occasions on the railway track. What’s the link between these two mysterious cases?

First-time director Takeshi Furusawa who worked his way up as a production assistant on movies such as “Pulse” and “Rush” has sadly nothing new to contribute to the already declining Japanese horror thrillers industry. Rest assured, the jump-scare tactics and extreme loud creepy music are still here and who can forget the “dressed in all black with long silky hair” lady hovering around. Furusawa is playing it safe here, although he did state in the production notes that he wrote this movie “to create a way to express a new sensation of dread”.

It’s encouraging to see themes of kinship and friendship being brought up in the movie though but to the horror fans base, “Ghost Tunnel” might be a tad too mild and unsatisfying. Of course, it’s unethical for me to reveal more of the happenings and the haphazard conclusion. In the end, I fully agree with Furusawa’s way of expressing a new sensation of dread. The only exception: his usage of the word “dread” is far apart from mine.

P.S. Budding local directors can consider using our popular urban legends of the mrt as their next movie. Might be a dark horse in the box-office if well execute.

Movie Rating:

(It’s scarier to take the last train home than venturing into ghost tunnel)

Review by Linus Tee


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