Saturday, November 18, 2006
Reincarnation (Rinne) (2005)
Reincarnation is one of the few new Asian horror films that is actually good. It is directed by Takashi Shimizu, who also gave us Ju-On, but don't expect any Ju-On-like scares...the terror here is more psychological than anything else.
In 1970, a doctor massacred 11 people (including his two small children) at an isolated hotel before killing himself. The motive for the murders was never discovered. In present day there have been a rash of mysterious disappearances coinciding with the filming of a movie about the massacre. Two seemingly unconnected girls, a college student and an actress in the film, begin having nightmares and visions about the hotel and the massacre that took place there, and when they visit the hotel, they discover that they, and those that have disappeared, may be the reincarnations of those that were murdered there so many years ago.
This film held me rapt from the first scene to the end credits...I was transfixed to the screen for the whole hour and a half, never even checking my watch (always a good thing). The storyline is interesting and is reminiscent of Kubrick's The Shining. The 8mm footage that the doctor took of the massacre is chilling and adds a real, documentary feel to the film. The first appearance of the ghosts of the murdered people is truly creepy and had me gripping the seat for the rest of the movie. I loved the whole premise of a movie-within-a-movie that gave us an accurate re-creation of the massacre.
The acting was wonderful, and I especially loved the actor who played the director and the expressive actress playing an actress in the film-within-a-film. The cinematography was great as well with beautifully ominous shots of the hotel and the eerie massacre shot all on 8mm by the doctor.
The build up to the climax had perfect pacing and the climax had a jaw-dropping moment. Reincarnation is one of the best Asian horror films I've seen in a while. It is suspenseful, has an interesting story, has some shocking parts (the on-screen death of the children, especially) and makes the viewer think. I am waiting for it to be available on DVD because I definitely want to add it to my collection.
If you love Asian horror movies, I highly recommend this film. Even if you aren't into the Asian horror genre but want something different from your typical hack-and-slash American horror that is more intelligent and engaging, go see Reincarnation!