Shimizu’s “Reincarnation” definitive work of horror

Friday night I finally watched Takashi Shimizu’s “Reincarnation.” I had already started to watch it two other times but I kept on falling asleep halfway through! So for the third time around I decided to fast forward through the first half and pick up where I would fall asleep. It’s definitely not a boring movie the couch is just really comfortable.

“Reincarnation” follows a young actress, Nagisa Sugiura, who was cast to be in a movie based on a true story about a man who killed his family and all of the attendants of a hotel. Before they started shooting the movie Nagisa Sugiura has visions of ghosts of the victims and then while the movie is being shot sees the murders actually happening.

What lead me to watch this movie was that the same person that made “Ju-on” made this film. I knew if “Reincarnation” was made by him then it’s bound to be a good movie, and a good movie it is. This is one of the few movies that actually scared me. I could have sworn I saw a figure in the dark corner of the kitchen.

If you have seen “Ju-on,” then you could find some similarities between that movie and “Reincarnation.” One theme that was similar was the ghost of a dead boy and girl appearing out of nowhere.

Another similarity is that the reason why there is a haunting is because there was a man, who out of rage or insanity, kills his family. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a formula because the story structure is different but Takashi Shimizu knows what works and sticks with it.

What made “Reincarnation” interesting was that in the second half of the movie the main character Nagisa Sugiura started to have visions of the killings that took place in the hotel. When the killer slaughtered his family and the other hotel attendants he was filming it with a 8mm camera. The filmmakers shot these vision scenes probably not on 8mm. but it was made to look like it was, the scenes were grainy and a bit off color. Using this technique heightened the suspense and terror, especially when it cut to what the killer’s camera was shooting. That made it much more personal and up front.

I realized while watching the Japanese movie, “Reincarnation” that if you want to make a good horror movie all you need to do is watch a one made by either Takashi Shimizu (“Ju-on”/”The Grudge”) or Hideo Nakata (“Ringu”/”The Ring”). These two are masters of horror filmmaking and why Hollywood would want to remake their films makes sense (so they can profit) but that’s not the kind of respect they deserve.

“The Grudge” and “The Ring” should have been screened here in America and not remade, because the originals are far superior and much more frightening than the dumbed-down Americanized versions.

Not very many horror movies scare me but “Reincarnation” did. There were a few scenes that were not as good as the rest but overall it is a truly terrifying film. The special effects are well done and the thrills build up to a shocking conclusion. Some of the characters were a bit confusing because I couldn’t tell if it was the same person or two different people.

If you want to see how a horror movie should be made then watch “Reincarnation” (“Rinne”), “Ju-on” or “Ringu.”

Don’t watch the American remakes. They won’t be worth your time.

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