Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Just watched: Rabbit Horror

Shimazu Takahashi directed my favourite horror movie, Ju-On: The Grudge. However, the fact that between 2000 and 2006 he remade this film at least six times made me suspect he may be a one-trick pony. He also directed the TV drama Soil (2010), which is still unsubbed and my poor Japanese is not good enough to follow the story.

My Japanese, however, is good enough to follow this film. I watched because of the twin attractions of the director and the star, Mitsushima Hikari. And for the first half, I was quite impressed. Admittedly, rabbits aren't scary, no matter how hard you try, but in a sequence half way through the film Shimazu manages to conjure up some jumps and disturbing images.

After this promising start, though, the film starts to unravel. The story is about a small boy who kills a rabbit, and is later haunted by a large stuffed rabbit. This sounds absurd, and it is. The presence of a large white rabbit inevitably reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, complete with Mitsushima Hikari going through a "looking glass", or rather, going through a storage space under the stairs and coming out the other side back in her home again.

But mostly, the story (and there is one, just about. But there's no ending. Not a proper one) is hidden behind disjointed scenes designed to heighten the tension. And for every one that succeeds, there's another two that just look daft. Pity. Somewhere in here, there's a good film.

It's one of those films that relies too much on CGI. Prosthetics and blood capsules maybe be old-fashioned but at least the director has to stop and think about what looks good on the screen. CGI is too easy. Too lazy.

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