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Archive for March 12th, 2011

Hellevator (2004)

A future society in an unnamed underground world is composed of a huge metal cased terminal split into many floors with different functions. The outside world is deemed unfit for human habitation. Individuals travel from one level to another in huge people transporters, metal lifts that speed along the exterior of the terminal. Schoolgirl Luchino gets in unaware that she has left a lit cigarette (smoking is illegal in this world) which causes a devastating explosion. Meanwhile other passengers get on and off the people transporter, until there is a message from the Surveillance Bureau. There is going to be an unscheduled stop at level 99. Two prisoners and guards get on and soon the passengers journey is going to turn into a nightmare hence the name of the movie Hellevator. 

I found this movie to be extremely imaginative with a nightmarish storyline where time is distorted, fantasy and reality is blurred and it provides the viewer with an ending that really is quite audacious and mind blowing. Stylistically, director Hiroki Yamaguchi goes for an almost retro feel in the design of the huge carriers and the world itself. Apparently all the actors gave their services for free for the love of being in this movie, and scrap metal was used to create the future world. How refreshing. This movie proves that it’s best to look to the East when seeking to find new concepts in movies, as Hollywood is a stagnant pool at present.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Death Water (2006)

Newspaper correspondent Kyoko Togakure (Haruka Igawa) visits a nursing home in the outskirts of Tokyo. She finds the dead body of a resident. It was an apparent suicide. He’s holding a piece of paper with the mystifying word “Death Water” written on it. Nearby are blood-stained scissors, and his eyes have been stabbed. She has no idea that this death is just the beginning of a horrendous nightmare.

Intriguing J-horror which is creepy and dark. It’s a bit slow at times but it didn’t put me off watching it. It relies heavily on atmosphere and psychological thrills rather than blood and gore though there is a little bit of that in this movie as well. The plot is a bit confusing though – can water make you mad and possess someone to kill themself. Some secrets about the bad water phenomena is revealed such as an ancient temple being revealed after some earthquakes and a Professor doing some investigating on a so-called ‘water of the dead’. It all builds up to a nice climax. The filmmakers obviously took some time to create a thought-provoking story rather than churn out the usual J-horror cliched movies. It is a little bit scary with the tension being ramped up to full effect as we come to the climax. I really enjoyed this movie and thought it was very good. The acting was great too. Definitely check it out if you’re after a J-horror with a difference.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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