Infection (2004)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Masayuki Ochiai Masayuki Ochiai
Michiko Hada Michiko Hada
Mari Hoshino Mari Hoshino
Tae Kimura Tae Kimura
Yko Maki Yko Maki
Kaho Minami Kaho Minami
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6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Natural Horror
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Review by Chad
Added: December 14, 2005
An understaffed hospital is the setting for tonight's tale, and a crew of overworked doctors and nurses round out the employment roster at said hospital. You see, the crew is overworked thanks to a large number of patients and an even larger number of doctors who have recently quit their jobs here... this, obviously, puts the burden of caring for these numerous patients on the shoulders of just a few men, mainly Dr. Akiba (Kichi Sat), Dr. Uozumi (Masanobu Takashima), and Dr. Nakazono (Michiko Hada). There's also a few nurses running around (Mari Hoshino, Tae Kimura, Yko Maki) as well as a Head Nurse Shiozaki (Kaho Minami), but make no mistake about it... there's not enough professionals on-board to take care of the numerous patients who require various treatments to stay alive. That alone would be bad enough, but to kick the movie into gear, we find out that a man has been found who is suffering from some bizarre, unknown rash that seems to be highly contagious... and guess which hospital he is brought to? As the infection spreads, the remaining doctors must save as many lives as possible, while at the same time avoid catching the disease themselves.

I realize that the above description sounds like something that could pass for a Halloween episode of E.R., but make no mistake about it... this is Japanese horror at its finest. There's a number of twists and revelations that keep this movie firmly inside of the horror genre, but revealing them would spoil the movie for any potential viewers, and with a movie as good as this one, I'd like to avoid as many spoilers as possible.

There's a pretty funny story behind the making of this movie. Apparently, director Masayuki Ochiai had set out to make a typical slasher flick which would take place inside of a hospital, but instead of receiving the numerous gallons of fake blood that he ordered, he wound up with numerous gallons of green goo. Instead of simply sending this goo back to whichever manufacturer that screwed up his order, he rewrote the script a bit to accommodate this and we wound up with the movie known as Infection. Obviously, I can't say how good the movie would have been with the original script in place, but I can say that this script rewrite churned out a damned good horror / thriller film. I'm not going to say how this green goo was used in the film, but I will say this - I found its usage to be much more effective in setting up the scares than the originally planned gallons of blood would have.

The best part about this movie, as with so many of the other fine offerings from Japan, is the twists and turns to be found throughout the storyline and the way that plot is prioritized higher that gore or special effects. Unlike American cinema, this does not follow the traditional "here's a story, here's what happened, roll credits." You can watch this movie from start to finish and get a pretty good idea of what you just witnessed, or you can delve deeper into the subplots and the subtle clues in order to get a completely different idea of what occurred in this hospital. There is no simple explanation behind these happenings, and although the general storyline would convey the idea that there is, your mind will definitely be changed after going through some of the clues that were revealed throughout the running time.

Give it a viewing if you're a fan of Japanese horror or if you're wanting to explore their offerings a bit. This movie was a nice compromise between the two radically different styles of film-making, so fans of either culture should enjoy this one. It has the flowing, deep storylines that J-Horror fans have come to know and love, yet its structured like an American release and it doesn't feature those complex, mind-bending storylines that J-Horror fans have come to expect. Although I'm sure that fans of both cultures will be able to pick out small nuances about this movie to complain about, I felt that the overall product was one of the better movies I've seen in the last few months, and it comes highly recommended by yours truly. 8/10.
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Cryptorchild #1: Cryptorchild - added 12/11/2005, 09:41 PM
I personally loved this movie. Very suspenseful and I thought it had a great ending. I think this IS my favorite J-horror type of movie. Just a cool story and visuals.
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 12/12/2006, 11:47 PM
Got it at a bargain, worth every penny ($5.00). Towards the end, I'll admit, it was alittle confusing, but the last 2 scenes sum up all of my confusion. This really was one of the best J-horror films out there.
Dametria #3: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 12:02 PM
I thought it was dumb. Not scary, not funny, not suspenseful, not artistic. Nothing makes it worth watching....
grain of sand #4: grain of sand - added 12/17/2007, 08:44 PM
I love this movie, my favorite j-horror movie actually..

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