Publicity Stills of "Reincarnation"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Starring: Takako Fuji, Yasutoki Furuya & Atsushi Haruta
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG

Official Website: http://www.j-horror.com/rinne/index.html

Opening Day: 13 April 2006

Synopsis :

35 years ago...A random act of violence is committed at a tourist hotel. A college professor, possessed by madness, goes on a killing spree, slaughtering 11 hotel guests and employees. While recording his acts of violence on an 8mm camcorder, he slashes one victim after another, as they run for their lives. Present ....Matsumura (played by Kippei Shiina) is a director who wants to turn this crime story into a movie. Titled "Memory" he casts a young actress, Nagisa Sugiura (Yuuka) as the heroine of his project. But as their shoot date closes in, Nagisa begins to see creepy dreams and hallucinations. Meanwhile, several other people start seeing similar nightmares and illusions - is the grudge of the victims from 35 years ago surfacing?

Movie Review:

Nearly eight years ago, the Japanese gave the cinematic world a good scare by introducing audience to the spooky, macabre “Ringu” followed by “Juon” in 2002. The latter directed by Takashi Shimizhu was even given an American makeover none other by Shimizhu himself.

Now Shimizhu is back to helm “Rinne” or the English titled “Reincarnation” (after Infection and Premonition) in the “J-Horror Theater” series of six. Co-written by Shimizhu, “Reincarnation” is about an upcoming actress, Nagisa (Yuuka) who experienced horrifying hallucinations while on the set of her feature debut which is based on a true crime story. As revealed through paper cuttings and Nagisa’s dreams, the crime involved a college professor who chillingly killed his own children and 11 hotel guests 35 years ago and the killer even resort to recording the whole process on an 8mm camcorder.

The above might sound scary on paper, however bear in mind the pacing of the actual movie is slow to a crawl at times and the so-called scare factor is minimal unless you are one who will jump at the cue of loud sound effects. In typical Japanese horror movies, you can’t really do without a ghost child. And yes you have that in “Reincarnation”. How about a heinous, eerie looking doll for the child? Yes you have that as well. And so these repetitive images accompanied the fading in and out of the scenes from the present to the future throughout. Not much synergy you might say. What really intrigued the audience is how Nagisa is related to the whole crime. There’s a slight twist towards the end, not “The Sixth Sense” type I assured you but sort of goes back to its theme of “Reincarnation”.

The Buddhists believed that once a living being die, they are reborn in another world following their deaths. The soul continues to live on. And there’s a scientific term called Klepto-Amnesia where one infused stories from elsewhere and allowing them to surface in their memories thus erasing their own.

Shimizhu tries to infuse these 2 different themes into “Reincarnation”. However, the weakest link lies in his indecision to how he’s going to project this movie to the horror fan base. On one hand, he has a worldwide audience of hungry fans to feed. The other, his struggle to infuse the theme of “Reincarnation” into the movie. Thus on the whole it’s a mixed bag of horror, thriller and psychological elements. You might appreciate “Reincarnation” more if you think along this line. If not, your karma will come if you think otherwise.

Movie Rating:

(To sell it as a horror movie is an overstatement, "Reincarnation" is more of a psychlogical thriller that threads on the issue of what else, reincarnation of course!)

Review by Linus Tee

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