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(Review originally written at 13 November 2010)

It's nice and refreshing to every now and then see some genuinely original horror movies, come from Japan. This movie does not really feature any white ghosts or scary young children, like you so often see in Japanese horror flicks. It instead has an original horror concept, placed at an always classic and effective horror setting; an hospital.

Small problem with the movie though, which prevented me from absolutely loving it, was that it seemed to have trouble with keeping its focus. It's a movie with quite a lot of characters in it, who basically all more or less have their own story going on, with as a result that the movie at times differs away from its main plot-line and all characters get an equal treatment, which allows none of them to ever fully develop because there are just too many of them and there is not enough time in this movie to completely flesh them out. The movie could had used a clear main character and the movie actually doesn't really pick a main character until the last 15 minutes or so.

Nevertheless, the movie remains obviously a good watch because of the reason that it's being quite original. But being original is of course not always enough, it also needs to work out as well. And yes, the story works out for the movie. You can also really say that the story gets strengthened by its settings, that truly adds to the movie its atmosphere.

And this is a movie that relies for a large part on its atmosphere. That doesn't mean that the movie doesn't feature any gore or scare moments though. It's a really good looking movie, that got professionally done.

The story itself, despite its fine concept, does not always work out convincing enough. There are some silly and unlikely moments in the movie, which are mainly just some bad and at times lazy choices from the writer it seems. Also a bit weird seeing all of the characters respond to the situations. The Japanese are people that can get very easily scared but in this movie the characters are times don't seem to be that heavily troubled by all of the extremely weird and just plain scary events that are happening.

Perhaps it also was due to the lacking acting that it didn't always came across as too convincing. Some of the actors in this just don't seem capable enough for the job, or at least not for their roles in this movie. This especially and mainly goes for the younger actors that are in the movie.

But above all things, this still remains a maintaining and certainly original enough watch, for especially the fans of its genre.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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