Archive for August 1st, 2012

Tomie Replay (2000)

A 6 year old girl is rushed to hospital in pain and with a badly bloated stomach. X-rays reveal a dark shadow which is thought to be a tumour. Doctors perform a caesarean and find a human head inside her stomach and it’s alive! The head is transported to a fish tank where a body and a set of limbs start appearing. Eventually a teenage girl is formed. Months go by and all the people that took part in the procedure begin to disappear or turn up dead including the father of a schoolgirl Yumi who is worried where he has gone. She finds his journal which is full of odd messages implying that he is going slightly mad and the last couple of pages are covered in blood. The young female at the hospital who is known as Tomie escapes with a man called Takeshi who takes her to his apartment. He falls for her. She begins to become bored of him and asks him how he is going to kill her. When he discovers that Tomie wants to meet his friend, Takeshi in a fit of rage murders Tomie with his telephone by repeatedly smashing it over her head. Later he saws her head off and buries it in the woods. Back at his apartment, Takeshi receives a knock on his door. Opening the door he finds the body of Tomie minus her head standing there and suddenly Tomie’s head starts regenerating itself. This is enough to send Takeshi completely over the edge. Yumi starts investigating the disappearance of her father and with some help from a male patient from the hospital tries to track down Tomie. She thinks Tomie might know where he father is. What she discovers is a monster that refuses to die and comes back to life over and over again.

When I watched the first Tomie movie about 8 years ago I didn’t think it was any good so that’s why I’ve been avoiding the sequels over the years which apparently vary in script quality so I’ve skipped the first sequel and gone straight to the 2nd sequel which is supposed to be one of the better movies in the franchise. It starts out very well and I was expecting an alien chestburster moment when I saw the little girl with the swollen belly being operated on at the hospital and seeing something moving inside it. Thing is, that’s probably the only interesting part I really liked in the movie. The rest of the movie is very slow and gets boring after a while even with the limited gore that we get. There’s nothing to really hook you in after the memorable opening scene. Tomie is only a bit part player in the movie, it concentrates more on the characters trying to track her down. I remembered in the first movie that all men swoon and fall in love with Tomie for some reason like she’s got a hypnotic effect on them and then they proceed to murder her in various gruesome ways after a jealous fit and this continues in this movie. It gives you some insight into her deranged evil mind. Tomie obviously hates herself in some way as a scene sees visit her old head in the woods which has been cut off, pour petrol on it and set it alight. What the movie doesn’t do is to explain why Tomie keeps coming back from the dead? The overall atmosphere of the movie is suitably eerie at times but I still wouldn’t rate this as being that scary. Those expecting some jump out scares will be disappointed although given the snail’s pace of the movie a cheap fright or two might have improved the movie slightly. The movie ends on a poor climax with no tension or suspense of any kind. I was glad to see it finish.

The acting is OK, nobody in the cast really stands out in their roles. Mai Hosho is beautiful and bitchy as Tomie but Sayaka Yamaguchi whilst looking cute as Yumi isn’t that good of an actress and comes across quite wooden and lifeless in my opinion. The only thing of note about her in this movie is she has a good pair of lungs which enables her to scream loudly!!

Although a tiny bit better than the first Tomie movie from what I remember, it’s still not worth wasting your valuable time watching it and trying to make any kind of sense from the plot. Don’t bother. I might take a look at one or two of the other Tomie movies in the future just to see if anything improves.

Sadako’s Rating: 2 stars out of 5

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