Written by: Goon
Japanese horror has always been very intriguing to me. It started with Battle Royale and Ringu, than when I was at a convention a dealer pointed me to Takashi Shimizu's Ju-On. From that moment on I have been in awe of his work in Japanese film. Every single one of his movies that I have seen have gotten better including this little gem.
The movie begins with Masuoka, a cameraman as he is filming random images. Suddenly you begin to see some of the most intense images he has caught on camera. Including some very disturbing "snuff" footage that almost looks real. As the story is slowly revealed to you by Masuoka himself as he narrates the story you learn he is in the search of real terror.
To find this terror he examines a tape of a man who murders himself and notices that he is looking at something. Maskuoka returns to that spot and discovers an underground world that is inhabited by creatures called "Deros". As he investigates this underground dwelling he finds a young girl with a deadly dependency that he must help her contain.
This film truly has the feeling a documentary. I know that saying that now is somewhat cliche but this movie really makes you feel like you are one of the characters. Everything in this film works to Shimizus advantage and plays into the Japanese fear of the unknown.
While the film delves into the fear of the unknown it doesn't dwell on it. Marebito contains extremely intense moments puncuated by silence that leaves you on the edge of your seat. Shimizu knows how to instill fear with silence and doesn't shy away by cutting away or using loud noises to make you jump.
Marebito is a film that all horror fans should see. Especially if you have never seen a Japanese horror film before and want to see what all the hooplah is about. The Japanese, and in particular Takashi Shimizu, know exactly how to turn the common places in life into places of true horror.