Monday, February 2, 2009

Koji Shiraishi continues to work through every style of horror with "Occult"

by Chris MaGee

It seems that while many of the big names of the J-Horror explosion have gone onto straight drama (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) or documentary (Hideo Nakata) that Koji Shiraishi is still down in the trenches digging up things to scare us with. While there is something admirable about a filmmaker sticking to his guns and continuing on making j-horror long past its pop culture sell by date I do have to shake my head when a director like Shiraishi keeps chasing after one style of horror movie after another. Thus far we've had the scary Japanese ghost girl à la "Ringu" with "Ju-rei", the "Hostel" torture porn of his recent "Grotesque" and now Shiraishi is giving us the shaky handheld video camera approach of films like "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield" with hios latest film "Occult".

The plot, which involves UFOs, ancient petroglyphs, people getting blown up and taking refuge in an internet café, doesn't seem that well thought out, but Shiraishi does get some help from fellow fright master Kiyoshi Kurosawa who shows up as himself in a faux documentary segment.

Nippon Cinema has the trailer for "Occult" which is due to open at the Euro Space Theatre in Shibuya on March 21st, but there's no telling if we'll get a chance to see the film on these shores, especially since the used DVD bins at Blockbuster have become the final resting place for most of the J-Horror films that distributors picked up a few years ago.

1 comment:

Jake Featherston said...

"Occult" is an absolutely amazing film. Not as entertaining as "Noroi," but more powerful. I saw it yesterday, and I'm having a hard time thinking about much else. The final scene may well haunt me for the rest of my life. I'm 41 years old, and horror movies largely stopped scaring me when I was about 15...but this movie scares me.