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Reincarnation (2005)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
After Dark Horrorfest
> Reincarnation (2005)
> The Gravedancers (2005)
> Hood Of Horror (2006)
> Unrest (2006)
> The Abandoned (2006)
> The Tripper (2006)
> Dark Ride (2006)
> Wicked Little Things (2006)
> Penny Dreadful (2006)
> The Hamiltons (2006)
Genres:
Horror, Psychological Thriller, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Takashi Shimizu Takashi Shimizu
Starring:
Yűka Yűka
Karina Karina
Kippei Shîna Kippei Shîna
Tetta Sugimoto Tetta Sugimoto
Shun Oguri Shun Oguri

6.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Nagisa Sugiura is a young Japanese actress who comes face to face with a slew of ghosts. These restless spirits begin to appear when she signs on to star in a horror film which tells the true story about a crazed, local professor whose murderous rampage at a hotel left 11 guests dead, including his young son and daughter. The movie is being filmed at the very site where the killings took place. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: May 02, 2007
It's time to take a look at yet another entry from the After Dark Horrorfest, and this time, we're heading over to the Far East for Takashi Shimizu's ghostly little tale. Say what you will about how stale J-Horror has become in the last year or two, but you always have to give it up for Shimizu, a man who can make the most mundane of scenes into something extremely creepy thanks to his keen eye for what works in front of the camera.

The storyline for this one centers around Nagisa Sugiura (Yűka), a young actress who has just landed the starring role in one of Japan's hottest horror directors' new movie. This movie within a movie tells the tale of a professor who went insane at a remote hotel and murdered eleven people before taking his own life, and the director of this film is intent on recreating the events as accurately as possible. He even goes so far as to require his cast to head out to the hotel where these events originally happened and pose for the camera in the exact ways that the bodies of the respective people that they're playing were found. The catch here (there's always a catch) is that Nagisa believes herself to be the reincarnation of a little girl who was murdered in this slaughter, and she finds herself becoming extremely involved with this production... a little too involved, if you catch my drift. Ghosts, possessed toys, and yes, creepy little girls all find their way into the running time as this story unfolds.

Alright, so certain elements of the movie aren't exactly the epitome of originality, but there's actually some good stuff to be found here. The actual storyline (discounting the ghosts and long-haired little girls) is highly original and very intriguing, and even the traditional J-Horror elements (said ghosts and kids) are given an extra level of spookiness thanks to Shimizu's twisted little mind. Did you ever think that a child's toy outside of a Stephen King novel could be unnerving? Neither did I, until I saw what he did with a doll towards the end of this one.

As mentioned, the story is the highlight of this film. As seems to be the norm with Japanese horror, the story ties together a lot of characters and events as it unravels, and while it may not make sense at times, all is finally revealed towards the end. When everything has been laid out on the table and you find that wave of realization rushing over you, it's a pretty damned good shock to the system and will certainly leave a lasting impression.

The style of the film is another huge selling point, in my humble opinion. While we've all seen the long-haired little girls and the ghostly women countless times over in other films, Shimizu manages to make most of these appearances feel unique with the spins that he puts on them. I won't point out any specific examples for fear of spoilers, but that library scene? Yeah, that was a work of art. Then there's the ending, a series of scenes which is almost dialogue-free and relies more on the expressions of the cast and the surrounding environments to tell the story. That was one hell of an ending, especially when one considers that it easily tied up all of the loose ends of what was up until then a rather confusing story - and it did it with very few words.

Yes, I really enjoyed Reincarnation. Those of you who have gotten burned out on J-Horror may not enjoy it as much as I did, but if you're interested in seeing how a skilled director can make old plot devices seem fresh again or if you're just in the market for a good ghost story, give it a shot: you won't regret it. 9/10.
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Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added 05/02/2007, 02:27 PM
I thought this movie was great. It's was one of the best entries from the Afterdark Horrorfest. And I have to agree, Takashi Shimizu is an excellent director.
danimigra #2: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 05:56 PM
Best so far..! 10/10
Rik #3: Rik - added 10/11/2008, 05:41 PM
I saw this movie in the theatres (because I live in Singapore) and didn't expect much because there were too many Japanese/Korean horror movies going on and I was sick of it... but the story and twist at the end was AMAZING. Didn't do too well in the scare department (other than the toy you mentioned) but I always love a good story.

9/10 for this one.
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