Audition (1999)

DVD Cover (Shout! Factory)
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Overall Rating 71%
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Ranked #1,436
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Ryo Ishibashi
Ryo Ishibashi
Eihi Shiina
Eihi Shiina
Tetsu Sawaki
Tetsu Sawaki
Jun Kunimura
Jun Kunimura
Renji Ishibashi
Renji Ishibashi
Review by Christopher
Added: February 10, 2005
The Aoyama family loses the mother/wife to an illness. Leaving the father (Shigeharu) and the son (Shigehiko) on their own. Years after her death, the two return home from fishing one day and Shigehiko informs his father that he no longer looks young and that he should consider remarrying. He runs the idea past one of his fellow employee's, Yasuhisa. Yasuhisa comes up with the idea to hold an audition for his new wife. But they'll say it's only for a movie that's in the making. Yasuhisa collectes tons of applications for Shigeharu to look through. Out of the bunch, he's only allowed to pick thirty. A week later, the time arrives for the auditions. As several come and go, Asami walks in the door. Shigeharu is instantly impressed with her. Yasuhisa disagrees with his choice, but he calls her anyway and sets up a date.

After the date, Asami wishes that Shigeharu would keep in touch with her. Shigeharu tells Yasuhisa all about the date with her. Yasuhisa tried to get in touch with some of the references she had left with the two during the audition. The places were either unknown are the actual person had been missing for quite some time. Yasuhisa has Shigeharu promise he won't call her again. He keeps his promise for the next few days, resisting every temptation he has to call her. He eventually cracks one day at work and gives her a call. They schedule another date. More dates are had afterwards and by the time he knew it, he was addicted to her.

One night they take a trip to an unknown location. While making plans to go out on the town, Asami shuts off the light and starts to take off her clothes. He tells him to love her and only her. They make love for the first time, but when he awakes, Asami is gone. The front desk of the hotel calls to inform him that she left quite awhile ago. The next morning, he confronts Yasuhisa about the incident. When he refuses to help him, Shigeharu takes it upon himself to find her. He firsts visits the ballet school she attended. While talking to the teacher, it shows how he abused her when she was a child.

Stop number two was at a place she said she worked at three days a week. When he arrives there, one of the men in the building inform him that the establishment went out of business over a year ago. It seems as if the owner of the store was mutilated beyond belief. When the doctors tried to piece her body back together, a number of extra body parts were found. Three fingers, an ear and a tongue. The police never did find the murderer. When he makes it back him, he poors himself a drink. But soon finds himself insanely tired and weak. When he stands up for a few seconds, he soon falls to the ground.

Asami and Shigeharu are shown back at their last two dates. But the conversation has completely changed. After explaining to him all the bad things that have happened, they end up back at her house. Asami tries to go down on him, but he stops her as she changes into Shigeharu's secretary, and then into his maid. When he tries to escape, he trips over a large bag. When he opens it up, a person crawls out. Missing three fingers, an ear and a tongue. Asami is shown in the background puking in a dog bowl, which she feeds to the beaten man that crawled out of the bag. Now at the ballet studio, the teacher is shown once again abusing Asami. But she got the last laugh as she rips his head off with a long string of fishing wire.

Shigeharu is back on the floor of his home where he first fell. Asami is seen in another room getting some protective gear on. She tells him that he drank a poison that numbed his entire body, but his nerves are still able to feel the pain she's about to inflict on him. First she injects some sort of liquid into his tongue. Then begins to put acupuncture needles in his chest and stomach, then moves onto the eyes. After that, she starts to cut off his feet with the fishing wire. By the time she gets the first one off, Shigehiko walks in. With his father still not being able to move or speak, he's unable to warn him about the danger he just stepped in to.

Unpredictable would be the one word to explain this film. The last forty minutes of the film throws you off track a numerous amount of times. A great story that shows how a man can fall in love with such a troubled girl, which turns into how females get mistreated when film producers only call them back from an audition to use them for sex. Every character is presented perfectly. All have a nice background told about them, but are never really developed fully. The way it's shown makes it so the viewer can think for himself. It's not specifically telling you who's the real good guy or bad guy, or girl for that matter. Except for Asami. She's shown to be this innocent girl that was tortured her entire life. Which is true, but turns out she isn't so innocent in the end.

Acting was great. Same with the violence and gore. Every brutal thing Asami did to Shigeharu looked excellent, especially the foot decapitation. The make-up crew that worked on the man in the bag did such a wonderful job. He wasn't zombified or looked like he just got thrown in there. Running close to two hours long, this film doesn't get boring for one minute. Even with little to no action for the first half, it keeps the interest high. The film itself was based on a novel, but stayed quite true to the original in the adaptation. Until the ending, where it just got a bit wild. A must have for any Japanese horror fan, or a fan of Takashi Miike.

Final Conclusion: 10/10
Ginose #1: Ginose - added 09/09/2005, 05:37 PM
I'd heard about this movie on Bravo's 100 scariest movie moments... So obviously I had to see it. I had just seen Ichi the Killer (and by seen I mean bought it) and was damned to find out this was a Takashi Miike movie. Anyway, the movie was very scary, it created a sad and morbid atmosphere all on it's own. It was definatley worth the $14.99 I paid for it at Best Buy... as opposed to the $19.99 they wanted for it at Border's... damn... anyway... not for the squemish... Watch it if you like psychological horrors... if not, then this movie is to smart for you and you offend me for even reading it's review... Ha-Ha-Ha! You suck.
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #2: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 09/12/2005, 07:56 PM
Yep, this is a fantastic film from Miike which I rank highly upon my favorite movies. When Audition started spreading around from word of mouth, it was getting a bunch of hype- mainly how it was seen to be "one of the most disturbing and gruesome movies ever!" Albeit, there comes a few graphic scenes and the upfront idea of the story is chilling, but the psychological and emotional trails are brilliantly exposed. The flow of this movie is perfect, never falling short or becomming dull, despite the limited "action" in the first half. As I see it, the ending has come off as very ambiguous to those who watch it, which was most likely intentional, yet I've found there to be a clearer conclusion that makes the film much more enjoyable (or possibly I'm just being a bit too imaginative).
Dametria #3: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 11:44 AM
I dont know why this movie keeps getting good reviews! It SUCKS! I bought it cause it was on a lot of Horror must have lists but it was awful. The gore is pretty good BUT that dosent make it worth trying to figure out what the hell is going on 90% of the time. If you like the "Oh that was just a dream, THIS is what really happened" tactic done 5 F*CKING times ok then. For the rest of us, find the pretty pictures of the foot and youve just seen the best this movie has to offer
Chad #4: Chad - added 09/03/2007, 07:26 AM
One of the most disturbing horror films ever made, no doubt about it. 10/10.
effin #5: effin - added 11/29/2007, 11:45 PM
Like anyone who has ever had a stalker this movie hits close to home, Dame, i have to agree there is often a huh!? factor in it, watching again with my brother, it was a little better, still really slow, but worth it. Not the biggest fan of gore, but nicely done. Chill factor 10/10. over all 8.5/10
danimigra #6: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 06:12 PM
for sure.. 10/10 for me too.
George Snow #7: George Snow - added 01/17/2010, 11:18 PM
I really enjoyed this movie. The gore was pretty good, for the amount there was. But, I enjoyed the love story more. The concept and execution of the individual characters is what kept me fascinated.
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