Hideo Nakata followed up 'Ring' and 'Ring 2' with this ghostly tale and it continues in the trend of his previous films, proving not only that
Japanese horror is at an all time high, but simplicity far outweighs
The film concerns recently divorced Yoshimi Matsubara's struggle to make a life for herself and her 5 year old daughter Ikuko, despite her husband's
attempts to gain custody of their daughter, for reasons of spite.
Things seem to slowly move to her advantage when she gets an apartment and a new job, however, things go from bad to worse as their new home is
This film was so simple yet effectively executed, making it one of the
best written and directed films I have ever seen,not to mention the best
ghost story I have ever seen.
Involving only two main characters and at one main location, Nakata uses the bland deco and architecture to his every advantage, turning the
apartment building into a chillingly real place.
The scares are few and far between but I was never uninterested and when we do finally get to a scare it pays off!!
The film works because of it's characters, we care about Yoshimi and Ikuko and want them to be happy or at least together, we feel true sympathy for
Yoshimi and even without the ghostly element, we feel sorry for her as she
is in total despair at the thought of losing her daughter.
Another aspect which I really enjoyed was the inclusion of the character of Kishida, a friendly lawyer who helps Yoshimi out of the kindness of his
heart as he believes that she is a good person and that she should be with
Even if this hadn't been a ghost story it would have been a brilliant
psychological drama, and therefore the film is only elevated when the
ghostly goings on begin.
A wonderful film. The most beautifully simplistic horror film I have ever
seen, is elevated through Hideo Nakata's masterful direction, and the
performances of his two main stars. At a time when every studio going is
hammering out slasher rip offs and CGI Blockbusters I thank my lucky stars
that we have Japan.